In our little town, there have been threats made to cut funding for the public libraries because they have lgbtq+ content in some books for children and teens. By lgbtq+ content, I am referring to picture books depicting two moms or dads, Pride flags, or stories about children who don’t conform to society’s gender norms.
I have been getting really irritated at people labeling the LGBTQ+ community as “groomers”! It is happening frequently, and even being directed toward anyone who speaks out against censorship!
I will say this….my stepdad was a pedophile. I lived under the same roof with him for seven years. I was groomed….my younger siblings were groomed and molested. My stepdad went to jail, leaving my mom with three adopted children still living at home (there were five adopted, and my sister and I were biological). My stepdad was liked by many, a real giver and people person.
Child grooming is befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a minor, and sometimes the child’s family, to lower the child’s inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse. Child grooming is also regularly used to lure minors into various illicit businesses such as child trafficking, child prostitution, cybersex trafficking, or the production of child pornography.
Many of my friends in the LGBTQ+ community experienced sexual abuse. Some friends in the LGBTQ+ community are asexual, meaning basically that they are not interested in sexual activity in general.
Are there groomers and sexual predators? Yes….They are mixed in with many different groups. Currently, the Baptist Convention is being investigated. We had a local teacher actually lure a teen to run away to another state for sex. It’s everywhere.
We need to be teaching our children to think critically. While we may be hesitant to teach them about things we may not like, that is our job. I would much rather my children learn about things while I can support them, than learn the hard way! I was told the basics, but I knew nothing about reality. It all caught me by surprise, and I had no where to turn.
One very important lesson that my parents did teach me, was not to judge others by how they look. My parents were in school during the time that schools were segregated. They were part of the first integrated school in their area, while most of the white families opted to start a “white only” private school. I am so very glad that this is imbedded in my heart, and if I pass nothing else to my children, I hope that I pass this lesson!
For a little fun, I introduce “Drag Queen Storytime”! I have not had the pleasure of attending one in person, but I love a nice Drag Queen! I think it could be interesting to do this in our little library!
I have so much more stirring in my mind about this whole subject, but I will save those thoughts for another time.