Reading Banned Books at Drag Shows Published on May 1, 2023

Written by Lora Wondolowski, Director of Advancement and Communications, Peace Development Fund

The fight for rights and justice is a slow road; often taking two steps backward for every step forward. Censorship and book banning are happening at an alarming rate around the country targeting Black history, women’s rights, and queer identity. Additionally, for the last two years the number of anti-transgender bills and laws has grown exponentially. These trends are troubling.

This anti- “woke” moment reminds me of the “political correctness” backlash in the 90’s. It struck me then and now, how some are claiming that the practice of treating people with dignity and respect is considered censorship. After the murder of George Floyd, the movement for anti-racism and ending white supremacy was more mainstream than ever. Book clubs, corporations, and churches were among those educating themselves and creating more inclusive practices. Additionally, companies, colleges, and other employer have been honoring employee’s preferred pronouns quicker than I expected. More people were understanding the linkages between racism, sexism, anti-queer, and other forms of discrimination. But as I learned in physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

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