LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Book ban a disservice to society


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I feel it is important to speak up in response to the suggestion that books with LGBTQ2S+ content should be removed from school libraries in Brandon.

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I feel it is important to speak up in response to the suggestion that books with LGBTQ2S+ content should be removed from school libraries in Brandon.

I went to school in Brandon from kindergarten to Grade 12 and completed my Bachelor of Arts at Brandon University before moving away to Winnipeg to pursue a law degree. My brother and I grew up in Brandon during an era when there was not a great deal of knowledge, understanding or education related to gender identity.

As a result, my brother, who is gay, grew up hiding his true self because he didn’t know if he would be accepted or loved if he came out. I can only imagine the fear and isolation he felt during his childhood, adolescence and early adult life.

The lack of literature didn’t prevent my brother from being who he truly is. It did, however, cause him to feel isolated, alone and afraid of the consequences of coming out. It prevented him from being open about who he truly is and about losing the support of family and friends if they were to find out.

I am thankful every day that my brother had the strength of character to survive that period of time and to hold on until he was able to move away and find the strength and support he needed to live his true self and to share his true self with his family.

We have come so far since that time and that is certainly not an era that I would wish to return to. There are so many young people who would not have the strength of character to endure. I fear for the mental health and well-being of our youth if they don’t have the ability to see the reflection of their true self in school, literature, media and society.

I recently attended a session on gender identity at my daughter’s school in Winnipeg. The resounding message was that children are born who they are going to be.

Removing books that talk about gender identity or sexuality won’t change the true gender identity of a child. It will, however, take us back to a time when a true reflection of the spectrum of genders was not available to youth and where they grew up confused, isolated and afraid of showing their true self. It will also continue to promote intolerance, fear and hate based on uninformed and ignorant beliefs.

The world is filled with a colourful rainbow of people. It would be a real disservice to our children, society and the education system if we close the door to the world that exists. It makes me sad that a system in charge of educating our youth would even be considering the notion of limiting the education and knowledge that is accessible to them.

I stand up in support all of our of youth, an education system that reflects the true diversity of all people and the LGBQ2S+ community of people. I stand up for love, understanding and tolerance of all people, and I stand up against the fear, hate and intolerance that is being proposed.



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