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Book bans? To quote P!nk, “So what?”
The “Just Give Me A Reason” singer is giving away 2,000 banned books at the Miami and Sunrise, Florida stops of her “Trustfall Tour” in partnership with PEN America, a nonprofit that “stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression.”
“Books have held a special joy for me from the time I was a child, and that’s why I am unwilling to stand by and watch while books are banned by schools,” she said in a press release.
“It’s especially hateful to see authorities take aim at books about race and racism and against LGBTQ authors and those of color,” Pink continued. “We have made so many strides toward equality in this country and no one should want to see this progress reverse. This is why I am supporting PEN America in its work and why I agree with them: no more banned books.”
P!nk will offer concertgoers four different books that have appeared in PEN America’s Index of Banned Books at the shows, which are taking place on November 14 and 15 : The Family Book by Todd Parr; The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman; Beloved by Toni Morrison; and a book from the “Girls Who Code” children’s series, which was inspired by Reshma Saujani’s nonprofit of the same name.
P!nk and PEN America’s banned books giveaway announcement comes as book bans and censorship continue to sweep the country. Many of these books are specifically singled out for being LGBTQ+-related — a 2022 report from PEN America found that, of the 3,362 instances of books banned over the 2022-2023 school year, 30% were targeted due to LGBTQ+ content.
The report also found that Florida is currently leading the charge, with 40% of all book bans in the 2021-2022 school year — 1,406 to be exact — occurring in the state. In August, the Collier County School District, which served 50,000 Florida students as of 2020, removed over 350 books from libraries and teachers’ collections for fear of violating Florida’s vaguely-worded House Bill 1069, which bans any material that “[d]epicts or describes sexual conduct'' from schools. These titles range from high school reading list staples like Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five to many books with LGBTQ+ themes, including Meredith Russo’s If I was Your Girl and Camryn Garrett’s Full Disclosure.
As GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis pointed out in 2022, book bans are closely linked with other attacks on LGBTQ+ youth.
“Banning books is just one arm of a larger, organized campaign to target and harass LGBTQ youth nationwide,” Ellis said. “There’s no separating book bans from ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws, attacks on healthcare and sports for trans youth, and the hundreds of other bills and policies that put LGBTQ youth at the center of a target built by extremist groups and politicians. Everyone deserves to see themselves represented in books and other forms of media, and the targeting of LGBTQ youth through book bans and other anti-LGBTQ school policies must end.”
Originally Appeared on them.