The Silent Message: Professional Journals’ Failure to Address LGBTQ Issues

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 by Elizabeth Koehler

 Abstract: This paper discusses the pervasiveness of homophobia in our culture and its impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) teenagers. It argues that young adult librarians can support LGBTQ teens by collecting and promoting young adult literature that portrays positive, realistic images of the LGBTQ community, and that professional journals should support librarians in that effort. Presented are the findings of a study that investigated the content of nine journals that are frequently read by young adult librarians, looking for articles about LGBTQ issues and book reviews of LGBTQ literature that have been published since 2006. Results revealed that LGBTQ issues are infrequently addressed in the journals—one of the nine journals has not published an article about LGBTQ issues since 2006. Young adult librarians can do their part to increase the information about LGBTQ issues available in professional journals by writing to the editors of the journals and asking for more information, by writing their own pieces for inclusion, and by encouraging their LGBTQ patrons to send in their testimonies and ideas.


Introduction

The LGBTQ Teenager’s Reality

In the fall of 2010, a rash of teenage suicides drew national attention to the anguish of many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) teens. Among those teenagers was Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after he was bullied for being gay.1 Such incidences opened America’s eyes to the real damage that bullying can do to children and teenagers and showed that, even at a young age, hate can kill.

While society’s acceptance of the gay community is increasing in many ways, homophobia is still a very real and pervasive part of the American culture. The LGBTQ community (comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual persons, as well as persons who are questioning their sexuality and/or gender) is the target of more hate crimes than any other minority population.2 The 2009 National School Climate Survey3, conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), revealed some disturbing statistics about the day-to-day experiences of LGBTQ teenagers in school. According to the survey, 61% of LGBTQ students feel unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation. Eighty-seven percent have actually experienced anti-gay bullying, often including physical harassment (40%) or even physical assault (19%).

In addition to affecting LGBTQ students’ feelings of safety, homophobia and anti-gay bullying can affect other facets of a young person’s life, including their emotional well-being and their performance in school. The 2009 National School Climate Survey4 determined that LGBTQ students who were harassed because of their sexual orientation and gender expression had an average grade point average of 2.7, while their peers had an average grade point average of 3.1. According to Ryan and Futterman,5 victimization increases depression and anxiety and decreases self-esteem in LGBTQ students, and, as a result of the isolation and despair they experience, LGBTQ youth are also at a high risk for other significant problems, including homelessness, substance abuse, and suicide. In fact, one study found that LGBTQ teens like Tyler Clementi are over four times more likely than their peers to attempt suicide.6

These statistics confirm that homophobia is more than just a word. Homophobia has become an epidemic, one that is slowly draining the emotional, physical, and mental health of LGBTQ teenagers.

Recent Controversy

Recent controversies surrounding LGBTQ issues in America illustrate that sexuality and gender identity are hot-button topics for many people, inviting impassioned arguments from all sides and often exposing homophobic attitudes and beliefs. Notable in the national news has been the debate over, and ultimately the repeal of, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the United States military’s policy restricting bisexual and homosexual persons from military service. There have been countless debates over the legality of gay marriage and gay adoption and the rights that accompany those institutions.

Schools, which have long been popular arenas for moral- and value-based challenges, have seen their fair share of disputes related to gay rights and LGBTQ materials and curriculum. In 2010, the Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Itawamba, Mississippi refused to let senior Constance McMillen bring her girlfriend to the prom. When McMillen appealed the decision with the backing of the ACLU, the school board responded by cancelling the prom altogether, preferring no prom to a prom attended by an openly lesbian couple.7

In Alameda, California in 2009, a group of parents sued the Unified School District upon discovery that their children were reading And Tango Makes Three, a picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin together, as part of a pro-tolerance lesson.8 And Tango Makes Three was the most challenged book in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010, and was the second most challenged book in 2009, according to the American Library Association. Among other things, the book was challenged for “homosexuality,” for its “religious viewpoint,” and for being unsuitable for its intended age group.9

LGBTQ issues have undoubtedly become more visible in recent years, thanks to television, movies, books, news, and other media. Willingly or not, school and public libraries have become potential battlegrounds for opponents of LGBTQ rights. The most recent data available from ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom found that 8.3 percent of the books challenged in the last decade were challenged due to homosexuality.10 Rather than waiting for or fearing challenges, however, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association challenges libraries to act as centers of LGBTQ advocacy, “encouraging and supporting the free and necessary access to all information, as reflected by the missions of the American Library Association.”11

Arguing that adults who work with children have a particular responsibility to advocate for LGBTQ children and teens and to maintain schools and communities where these students can feel safe, three organizations—GLSEN, Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and the Trevor Project (a grassroots suicide hotline for LGBTQ teens)—issued a statement following the highly publicized suicides of Tyler Clementi and the other young people who took their lives in 2010. This message is especially pertinent for librarians who work with young adults:

Studies show that when a young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) person knows there is an affirming teacher, school nurse, clergy member or parent they can trust, they are much more likely to turn to them for help when they are bullied or depressed….The horrible instances of school bullying that have led young people to take their own lives reflect the growing need for a change in our culture to value the differences of our youth. That cultural shift must begin now, in communities, schools, and at home by recognizing and addressing the needs of LGBTQ youth, and letting them know they are not alone. It is now up to all of us to make sure it happens.12

LGBTQ-Themed Literature in the Library

One way that young adult librarians in public and school libraries can support LGBTQ teens and help to counteract anti-gay bullying and homophobia is by collecting and promoting LGBTQ-themed young adult literature, especially books that portray positive, accurate images of the LGBTQ community. Dennis Sumara writes, “Through language and literature we transmit values; we demonstrate virtues….Equity means the inclusion of all voices. If the gay and lesbian voice in literature is systematically and intentionally excluded, our attempts to promote equity of voice and experience have failed.”13

While race, religion, and gender are often included in multicultural studies and collections for young people, sexuality and gender identity often remain taboo topics.14 Some librarians exclude books from their collections, while others even go so far as to remove existing books from their collections because they fear challenges of books that contain homosexual characters or include characters who are questioning their sexuality.15 Debra Lau Whelan found that when researchers asked school librarians if their collections offered the most popular gay-, bisexual-, lesbian-, and transgender-themed books published between 1999 and 2005, the answer always came back no.16 Curwood, Schliesman, and Horning17 argue that schools who fail to include LGBTQ literature may be viewed as condoning homophobia, and this holds true for public libraries as well. A lack of LGBTQ literature implies that the LGBTQ community is not important and not worthy of inclusion in the library.

Young adult librarians understand that it is critical for teens to be provided with opportunities to see themselves and their communities in the books that they read.18 This is especially true for LGBTQ teens who often come of age in communities where few gay adults are visible, attend schools with no openly gay staff, and interact with peers who use “fag,”  “dyke,” and “that’s so gay” as preferred insults.19 LGBTQ-themed literature can provide LGBTQ teens with opportunities to learn about themselves and to affirm that they are normal. It can teach them about what it means to be queer, illustrate gay social norms, exemplify the coming out process, and provide opportunities to connect with other people like them.20

Quality LGBTQ-themed literature can have a positive impact on all young adults, not just teenagers with same-sex orientation. Familiarity with LGBTQ-themed literature can help heterosexual teens understand what it means to have gay friends, family members, classmates, peers, colleagues, and acquaintances. Thus librarians should not just recommend or provide LGBTQ books to LGBTQ teens, but should actively promote them to all of their students or patrons, as well as feature them on reading lists, displays, booktalks, and book clubs.21

 The Study

Purpose

As discussed above, sexuality and gender identity are loaded issues, and when it comes to LGBTQ services and collections for young adults, a lot is at stake. More than ever, young adult librarians need knowledge and support from professional literature. But how well are professional journals supporting them in their efforts to include LGBTQ resources in their library collections and to serve LGBTQ teens? To find out, I performed a study focused on the representation of LGBTQ-themed articles, including reviews and letters to the editor, in nine journals commonly read by young adult librarians. My purpose for conducting this study was to determine how much and what kinds of information these journals are providing to young adult librarians about issues related to LGBTQ materials and services. By performing a qualitative coding of nine professional journals over the past five years (January 2006 through March 2011), I specifically intended to discover what messages (if any) these professional journals have communicated regarding issues of collection development, advocacy, programming, and other issues that affect service to LGBTQ patrons.

Sampling

In The School Library Media Manager, Blanche Woolls identifies a core group of professional journals that she recommends school librarians read. 22 Michelle Gorman and Tricia Sullentrop provide a similar list for young adult librarians in Connecting Young Adults and Libraries.23 The sample of journals coded in this study (see Table 1) was adapted from these recommended lists and modified based an examination of current circulation statistics, and electronic availability of past issues of the journals. It includes journals that primarily provide reviews (such as Kirkus) as well as those that provide a combination of articles and reviews (such as VOYA).

Table 1. Professional Journal Titles Examined for LGBTQ Content

  • School Library Monthly (SLM) (formerly School Library Media Activities Monthly)
  • School Library Journal (SLJ)
  • Library Media Connections (LMC)
  • Knowledge Quest (KQ)
  • Teacher Librarian (TL)
  • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
  • Young Adult Library Services (YALS)
  • Booklist
  • Kirkus Reviews 

The Coding Process

Articles were coded as addressing LGBTQ issues if they were indexed under any subject terms that correspond with the LGBTQ acronym. In order to determine which articles fit this condition, I searched each journal electronically for the following subject terms: gay*, lesbian*, homosexual*, transgender*, transsexual*, transvestite*, and queer*. The asterisk was used as a wild card, ensuring that any articles indexed under any form of these search terms were included in the study. A search for “homosexual*,” for instance, retrieved all articles indexed under subject terms that contained the words homosexual, homosexuals, or homosexuality.

Once all articles under these subject headings had been identified, I performed open coding, reading the articles and abstracts in order to gain a sense of the ways in which LGBTQ issues were addressed in each. During my first pass through the articles, I created general categories which I refined and conceptualized based on further analysis during the phases of axial and selective coding.

Article Categories

The articles were categorized based on their general purpose or theme. Eight categories were identified. Not all articles fit into a singular category; many of the articles were placed into multiple categories. The categories included:

  • Reviews of materials: These articles reviewed LGBTQ-themed books, movies, or other materials. This category also included reviews of professional resources.
  • LGBTQ collection development: These articles discussed ways in which librarians can improve their LGBTQ-themed collections. They included recommendations for expanding collections, evaluating resources, and maintaining and promoting collections.
  • Personal testimonies/interviews: These articles contained interviews or testimonies from LBGTQ persons dealing with their own experiences with LGBTQ-themed literature and library services or collections.    
  • Debate of LGBTQ issues: These articles consisted of debate or opinions (both positive and negative) about the controversy surrounding LGBTQ persons or issues.
  • Criticism of current practice: These articles criticized the current state of library services for LGBTQ persons and/or the current state of LGBTQ collections in libraries. They asserted that librarians are doing a poor job of meeting LGBTQ persons’ information needs or are under-collecting LGBTQ-themed literature.
  • Highlight of a project/event: These articles followed up on special projects or events that celebrated or promoted LGBTQ-themed literature or persons. They dealt with singular projects or events in specific libraries.
  • Commentary on the importance of serving LGBTQ teens: These articles were intended to convince readers of the importance of serving LGBTQ teens. The arguments in these articles were based on research, personal anecdotes, and/or emotional convictions.
  • Information or history: These articles contained informational content dealing with the history or facts about LGBTQ-themed literature or library collections or services for LGBTQ persons.

Findings

The nine professional journals examined for this study had published a total of eighty-three articles addressing LGBTQ issues since 2006. (See Appendix A for the full list of articles organized by category.) As shown in Figure 1, one of the nine journals had published no articles about LGBTQ books or library services.

As Figure 2 shows, there was little variation in the number of articles published each year. In 2011, four articles had been published in the first three months. If that rate of publication continues, the number of articles for 2011 will be similar to previous years.

The vast majority of the articles (70.2 percent) were reviews of materials. The remainder of the articles addressed one or more of the other categories, with no other category representing a significant percentage of articles. Table 2 shows the breakdown of topics included in each journal.

Discussion

So how well are professional journals supporting young adult librarians in their efforts to include LGBTQ resources in their library collections and serve LGBTQ teens? Not as well as might be expected, it seems. The amount of information about library resources and services to LGBTQ teens published in the nine journals included in this study was low, with one not publishing a single related article in the last five years.

It is possible that more articles (in addition to the ones identified in this study) addressing LGBTQ issues have been published in professional journals during the past five years, but those articles were apparently not indexed under LGBTQ subject headings since they were not retrieved in the searches conducted for this study. This could be due to the fact that LGBTQ issues were not the main focus of those articles (if these issues are mentioned in conjunction with other issues of diversity, for instance), or due to indexing errors. Regardless of the reason, the possibility that there are more professional LGBTQ articles beyond what was retrieved during the study does little to meet the needs of librarians who rely on electronic searches of professional journals to locate articles and reviews about LGBTQ issues. Unless items can be accessed easily, they are of little use as LGBTQ resources after their initial publication.

Though the vast majority of the articles in the professional journals analyzed for this study were reviews of LGBTQ-themed books or professional resources, the number of reviews included does not scratch the surface of the wide array of positive, accurate LGBTQ titles that have been published since 2006. While it is impossible to determine exactly how many LGBTQ-themed books for young adults have been published in the last five years, it is safe to say that it is more than the number reviewed in these nine journals since 2006. For example, the Rainbow Project,a joint project of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association, offers “an annual bibliography of quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content.”24 The first list was released in 2008, and since then, the Rainbow Project has included 137 quality fiction and nonfiction LGBTQ-themed titles for young adults.25 In that same time period, the nine journals examined in this study reviewed only thirty-four LGBTQ-themed books and five of those were professional titles. While professional journals cannot realistically review every book that is published, these numbers suggest that dozens of quality books that could benefit young adults and the librarians who serve them are being overlooked by the professional journals that many librarians read.

While there were a few articles that discussed the importance of library programming and services (beyond just the inclusion of literature in the collection), there were only two articles that described library programs or events aimed at LGBTQ teens. Again, perhaps there are more in these journals, but they were not retrieved when electronically searching the issues of each journal.

While I do not intend to draw a causal relationship between a lack of LGBTQ-themed books in libraries and a lack of articles about LGBTQ issues and books in professional journals for librarians, I do believe that the results of this study provide evidence that professional journals only exacerbate the under-collection of LGBTQ materials and the lack of programming for LGBTQ young adults in some libraries that has been discussed by many authors.26 Librarians look to professional journals for current trends, research, recommendations, reviews, and professional development. While young adult librarians themselves need to be held accountable for the current state of LGBTQ services in their library, so do professional journals—in this case, for the lack of advice and information they provide to librarians who want to take appropriate steps to improve their LGBTQ services.

It is particularly concerning that inclusion of LGBTQ issues in professional journals for young adults has not increased in relation to the number of current events related to issues of sex and gender. As Figure 2 shows, the number of reviews and articles has remained relatively unchanged over the past five years. The repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, the debates over gay marriage and adoption, and other contentious LGBTQ issues are pervasive in the media, yet it seems that the professional literature available for young adult librarians does not adequately reflect the existence of such important questions, conversations, and events. While Dan Savage has created the It Gets Better Project27 to reach out to LGBTQ teenagers, celebrities of all ages have spoken out against victimization, and schools have developed anti-bullying initiatives, it appears that professional journals targeted at young adult librarians have remained largely silent, thus failing to do their part to provide support for LGBTQ teens. The people behind the journals, people who play an important part in steering the profession of young adult librarianship, continue, perhaps unintentionally, to send the message that LGBTQ library services are not important.

Conclusion

As it stands, the information that librarians need in order to provide collections and services tailored to LGBTQ teenagers and their information needs appears to be under-represented in the professional journals read by many young adult librarians. That does not mean, however, that librarians have to accept this lack of information. Instead, they should consider doing their part to increase the number of articles about LGBTQ topics that appear in professional journals over the next five years. Possible actions include:

  • Writing letters to the editors of the journals that they subscribe to asking them to include more articles about LGBTQ collections and library services.
  • Sending in opinion pieces or write-ups about special events in their library to Teacher Librarian, School Library Journal, or another professional journal that prints articles from librarians in the field.
  • Writing book reviews about their favorite new LGBTQ books and submitting them for publication.
  • Encouraging the LGBTQ teenagers that they serve to send in their personal testimonies and reviews to Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA).

Librarians should also be aware of other selection tools and resources that might help them to select quality LGBTQ literature for their library. There are a number of awards specifically for LGBTQ literature. The Lambda Literary Awards28 are given annually to the best LGBT books in several categories, including a category specifically for children’s and young adult literature. According to the Lambda Literary Foundation website, the awards honor “exceptional writing about queer lives across multiple genres” and “brilliantly written and a meaningful examination[s] of the LGBTQ experience.”29 Another important award is the Stonewall Book Award. This award, given by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table, is “the first and most enduring award for GLBT books”30 and contains a special category for children’s and young adult books. The Rainbow Project mentioned above is another good source for LGBTQ titles. Booklist publishes the “Rainbow List” every year.

Librarians can also find programming ideas in publications such as Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians by Hillias Martin and James Murdock.31 This book contains ready-to-use programming ideas and booktalks, tips and suggestions for handling challenging situations, and an annotated bibliography of recommended titles.

Using these and any other available resources, all young adult librarians need to take immediate, active steps to communicate that they support LGBTQ teens and that they value their worth as individuals. By opening their library shelves to the LGBTQ experience in young adult literature, librarians may be providing “a lifeline to the teenagers who need affirmation and support in their lives most.”32

We cannot expect homophobia to disappear overnight. Young adult librarians can, however, do their part to help make libraries safe places for LGBTQ teenagers and to collect the literature that makes a real difference for them. One teenager illustrates the impact that literature can have in the life of a young homosexual person, testifying that books have prevented him from being counted among the ranks of the gay teenagers who have committed suicide:

You wonder why I am not drinking or jumping off a bridge onto cold, hard concrete at this very moment like so many gay teenagers do today? Why do I refuse to give up my fight to be accepted, to be able to tell my parents some day and have them understand? Books. These books—these books with characters who are gay, who live life honestly, who breathe through the pages like they are real—have gotten me through. My life has been fifteen years of a slowly sinking ship, and until the dawn arrives, these books are my life preservers, and if my library and bookstore had not carried them….I probably would have died a long time ago. These books make people feel safe and loved, and mean more and more to teens every day.32

Now, more than ever, we must be aware that books really do have the power to save lives.

Notes

  1. Jason Mannino, “Homophobia: The Plague That is Killing Our Youth,” Huffington Post, October 11, 2010, accessed December 12, 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-mannino/homophobia-the-plague-tha_b_753510.html.
  2. Mark Potok, “Under Attack,” Intelligence Report 140 (2010): 26-30.
  3. “National School Climate Survey: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth in Our Nation’s Schools,” GLSEN, 2009, http://www.glsen.org/binary-data/GLSEN_ATTACHMENTS/file/000/001/1676-2.PDF.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Caitlin C. Ryan and Donna Futterman, Lesbian and Gay Youth: Care and Counseling (New York: Columbia University, 1998).
  6. “Youth Risk Behavior Survey,” Massachusetts Department of Education, 2009, http://www.mass.gov/cgly/YRBS09Factsheet.pdf.
  7. Carlin DeGuerin Miller, “Constance McMillen Wanted to Take Her Girlfriend to the Prom, so the School Board Canceled It,” CBS News, March 11, 2010, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20000321-504083.html.
  8. Katie Landan, “Gay Curriculum Proposal Riles Elementary School Parents,” Fox News, May 22, 2009, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,521209,00.html.
  9. “‘And Tango Makes Three’ Waddles its Way Back to the Number One Slot as America’s Most Frequently Challenged Book,” American Library Association, April 11, 2011, http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pr.cfm?id=6874.
  10. “Number of Challenges by Year, Reason, Initiator & Institution (1990 – 2010),” American Library Association, July 11, 2011, http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengesbytype/index.cfm
  11. “Mission,” Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association, July 11, 2011, http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/rts/glbtrt/index.cfm,
  12. “Release Statement on Recent Tragedies,” GLSEN, PFLAG, and The Trevor Project, September 30, 2010, http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/news/record/2634.html.
  13. Dennis Sumara, “Gay and Lesbian Voices in Literature: Making Room on the Shelf,” English Quarterly 25, no. 1 (1993): 34.
  14. Jen Scott Curwood, Megan Schliesman, and Kathleen T. Horning, “Fight for Your Right: Censorship, Selection, and LGBTQ Literature,” English Journal 98, no. 4 (2009): 37-43.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Debra Lau Whelan, “A Dirty Little Secret,” School Library Journal 55, no. 2 (2009): 27-30.
  17. Curwood et al., “Fight for Your Right: Censorship, Selection, and LGBTQ Literature,” 2009.
  18. Michelle Gorman and Tricia Suellentrop. Connecting Young Adults and Libraries: A How-To–Do-It Manual, 4th ed. (New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2009).
  19. James T. Sears, “Helping Students Understand and Accept Sexual Diversity.” Educational Leadership 49, no. 1 (1991): 54-56.
  20. Elisabeth W. Rauch, “GLBTQ Collections are for Every Library Serving Teens!” Voice of Youth Advocates 33, no. 3 (2010): 216-218.
  21. Angie Manfredi, “Accept the Universal Freak Show,” Young Adult Library Services 7, no. 4 (2009): 26-31.
  22. Blanche Woolls, The School Library Media Manager, 4th ed. (Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2008).
  23. Gorman and Suellentrop, Connecting Young Adults and Libraries.
  24. The Rainbow Project, http://glbtrt.ala.org/rainbowbooks.
  25. Ibid.
  26. Brent, “Limited Shelf Life,” School Library Journal 56, no. 7 (2010): 15; Curwood et al., “Fight for Your Right: Censorship, Selection, and LGBTQ Literature,” 2009; Whelan, “A Dirty Little Secret,” 2009.
  27. It Gets Better Project, http://www.itgetsbetter.org.
  28. “23rd Annual Lammy Awards,” Lambda Literary,  http://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards (accessed May 12, 2011).
  29. “Awards History,” Lambda Literary , http://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards/awards-history (accessed May 12, 2011).
  30. “Stonewall Book Awards,” American Library Association, 2011, http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/rts/glbtrt/stonewall/index.cfm (accessed May 12, 2011).
  31. Hillias J. Martin, Jr., and James Murdock. Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians (New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2007).
  32. Angie Manfredi, “Accept the Universal Freak Show,” Young Adult Library Services 7, no. 4 (2009): 31.
  33. John, “Coming Out in Books,” Voice of Youth Advocates 33, no. 3 (2010): 219.

Appendix: LGBTQ Articles in Professional Journals by Category

Reviews of materials

Allen, Sarah K. “David Inside Out.” School Library Journal 55, no. 6 (2009): 115.

Allen, Sarah K. “The Vast Fields of Ordinary.” School Library Journal 55, no. 6 (2009): 116.

Allen, Sarah K. “Out With It: Gay and Straight Teens Write About Homosexuality.” School Library Journal 56, no. 7 (2010): 100.

“Between Mom and Jo.” Kirkus Reviews 74, no. 7 (2006): 354.

Brenner, Robin. “Boy Meets Boy and Girl Meets Girl, Otaku Style.” Voice of Youth Advocates 31, no. 3 (2008): 212-215.

Brenner, Robin. “The Full Spectrum: GLBTQ Films for Teens.” Voice of Youth Advocates 32, no. 3 (2009): 212-213.

Burwinkel, Julie. “Nothing Pink.” Library Media Connection 27, no. 4 (2009): 75.

Cart, Michael. “Gay America: Struggle for Equality.” Booklist 105, no. 11 (2009): 41.

Cart, Michael. “The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Other Identities.” Booklist 102, no. 18 (2006): 46.

Cart, Michael. “The Gay and Lesbian Guide to College Life.” Booklist 104, no. 1 (2007): 26.

Cart, Michael. “What if Someone I Know is Gay?: Answers to Questions About What It Means to Be Gay and Lesbian.” Booklist 104, no. 3 (2007): 44.

Chow, Amy J. “How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity.” School Library Journal 55, no. 9 (2009): 152.

Draper, Jennifer-Lynn. “Nothing Pink.” School Library Journal 55, no. 3 (2009): 144.

Evans, Betty S. “Gay America: Struggle for Equality.” School Library Journal 54, no. 7 (2008): 109.

Evans, Betty S. “Gay and Lesbian Rights: A Reference Handbook.” School Library Journal 56, no. 4 (2010): 70.

Evans, Betty S. “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teen Lists.” School Library Journal 56, no. 7 (2010): 112.Evans, Betty S. “Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Popular Culture.” School Library Journal 54, no. 8 (2008): 78.

“Family Outing: A Memoir: What Happened When I Found Out My Mother Was Gay.” Kirkus Reviews 76, no. 9 (2008): 470-471.

“Gay Believers: Homosexuality and Religion.” Booklist 107, no. 6 (2010): 38.

Glantz, Shelley. “Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians.” Library Media Connection 26, no. 2 (2007): 94.

Goldsmith, Francisca. “Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teens; A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians” School Library Journal 53, no. 6 (2007): 184.

Gray, Ann M. G. “Gay America: Struggle for Equality.” Library Media Connection 27, no. 4 (2009): 91.

“Grl2grl: Short Fictions.” Kirkus Reviews 75, no. 15 (2007): 801.

Honig, Megan. “Odd Ones Out: Transforming Identity Against the Odds.” School Library Journal 55, no. 6 (2009): 56.

Johnson-Doyle, Morgan. “M or F?” School Library Journal 52, no. 1 (2006): 141.

Johnston, Lisa. “Great Events from History: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Events.” Booklist 103, no. 17 (2007): 110.

“Jumpstart the World.” Booklist 6 (2010): 43.

Lloyd, Sue. “In Mike We Trust.” School Library Journal 55, no. 3 (2009): 154.

“Love Drugged.” Kirkus Reviews 78, no. 15 (2010): 731.

Martin, Hillias J. “The God Box.” School Library Journal 54, no. 1 (2008): 124.

Martin, Hillias J. “What if Someone I Know is Gay? Answers to Questions About What it Means to be Gay and Lesbian.” School Library Journal 54, no. 1 (2008): 66.

McClune, Patricia N. “The Boy in the Dress.” School Library Journal 55, no. 12 (2009): 136.

Murphy, Nora G. “Absolute Brightness.” School Library Journal 54, no. 3 (2008): 204.

“Nothing Pink.” Kirkus Reviews 76, no. 19 (2008): 1069.

Odean, Kathleen. “YA Fiction: GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender).” Teacher Librarian 35, no. 3 (2008): 44.

“Outlet.” Library Media Connection 26, no. 6 (2008): 62.

“Pink.” Kirkus Reviews 79, no. 1 (2011): 66.

“Rainbow List, 2011.” Booklist 107, no. 12 (2011): 22.

“Rainbow List, 2010.” Booklist 106, no. 13 (2010): 16.

“Rainbow List, 2009.” Booklist 105, no. 14 (2009): 24.

Rashid, Lynn. “In the Garage.” School Library Journal 53, no. 11 (2007): 122.

Rettburg, Cathy, Elizabeth Sargent, Vicky Lopez-Terrill, Angela Leeper, and Karin Thogersen. “Professional Resources.” Young Adult Library Services 6, no. 2 (2008): 43-44.

Roberts, Michelle. “Playing the Field.” School Library Journal 52, no. 3 (2006): 218.

Rochman, Hazel. “Gay Characters in Theater, Movies, and Television: New Roles, New Attitudes.” Booklist 107, no. 3 (2010): 56.

Rochman, Hazel. “Gay Rights.” Booklist 103, no. 2 (2006): 52-54.

Rochman, Hazel. “The Heart Has Its Reasons: Young Adult Literature with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content, 1969-2004.” Booklist 103, no. 1 (2006): 175.

Schene, Carol. “Another Kind of Cowboy.” School Library Journal 54, no. 2 (2008): 118.

Senser, Sharon. “Gay Rights.” School Library Journal 53, no. 1 (2007): 150.

Spencer, Roxanne Myers. “Say the Word.” School Library Journal 55, no. 6 (2009): 124.

Stratton, Steve. “Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Popular Culture.” Booklist 104, no. 18 (2008): 65.

Taniguchi, Marilyn. “7 Days at the Hot Corner.” School Library Journal 53, no. 4 (2007): 150.

Thomarie, Dylan. “Hero.” School Library Journal 53, no. 9 (2007): 204.

“Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend.” Kirkus Reviews 75, no. 7 (2007): 336.

Wickham, C. Ellen. “Freaks and Revelations.” Library Media Connection 28, no. 3 (2009): 83.

Welton, Ann. “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teen Literature: A Guide to Reading Interests.” Booklist 106, no. 22 (2010): 74.

Welton, Ann. “Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teens: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians.” Booklist 103, no. 22 (2007): 104.

“Wide Awake.” Kirkus Reviews 74, no. 15 (2006): 15.

“Wildthorn.” Kirkus Reviews 78, no. 17 (2010): 854.

Wilson, Robert D. “Videos for Professional Development.” Teacher Librarian 33, no. 5 (2006): 61-62.

LGBTQ Collection Development

Cart, Michael. “Carte Blanche: Of Rainbows and Lists.” Booklist 107, no. 12 (2011): 65.

Johnston, Lisa. “The Stonewall Book Award for Children’s and YA Literature Joins the ALA Youth Media Awards.” Young Adult Library Services 9, no. 3 (2011): 4-5.

Kenney, Brian. “Do the Right Thing.” School Library Journal 52, no. 1 (2006): 11.

Manfredi, Angie. “Accept the Universal Freak Show.” Young Adult Library Services 7, no. 4 (2009): 26-31.

Storts-Brinks, Karyn. “Censorship Online: One School Librarian’s Journey to Provide Access to LGBTQ Resources.” Knowledge Quest 39, no. 1 (2010): 22-8.

Whelan, Debra Lau. “OUT and Ignored.” School Library Journal 52, no. 1 (2006): 46-50.

 Personal testimonies/interviews

Brent. “Limited Shelf Life.” School Library Journal 56, no. 7 (2010): 15.

Jennings, Kevin. “Librarians Make a Difference.” Knowledge Quest 34, no. 5 (2006): 22.

John. “Coming Out in Books.” Voice of Youth Advocates 33, no. 3 (2010): 219.

Kenny, Brian. “Holden Caulfield in Chanel, Size 4: Interview with James St. James.” School Library Journal 53, no. 6 (2007): 35.

McCafferty, Dominique. “Love and Accept Yourself for Who You Are: An Interview with Alex Sanchez.” Young Adult Library Services 4, no. 4 (2006): 10-12.

Taylor, Brent. “Don’t Deny Me the Right to Read.” Voice of Youth Advocates 33, no. 5 (2010): 427.

Debate of LGBTQ issues

Bailey, Carolyn. “Objection.” School Library Journal 54, no. 4 (2008): 12.

Grant, Mary Ellen. “A Difference of Opinion.” School Library Journal 52, no. 4 (2006): 14.

“It’s Good to Be King.” School Library Journal 54, no. 1 (2008): 16.

Nilsen, Alleen. “Give Card His Due.” School Library Journal 54, no. 4 (2008): 11-12.

Parrott, J. Steve. “Try to Understand Orson Scott Card’s Beliefs Before Passing Judgment.” School Library Journal 54, no. 4 (2008): 11.

Criticism of current practices

Alexander, Linda B. and Sarah D. Miselis. “Barriers to GLBTQ Collection Development and Strategies for Overcoming Them.” Young Adult Library Services 5, no. 3 (2007): 43-49.

Brent. “Limited Shelf Life.” School Library Journal 56, no. 7 (2010): 15.

Kenney, Brian. “Do the Right Thing.” School Library Journal 52, no. 1 (2006): 11.

Martin, Hillias J. “A Library Outing: Serving Queer and Questioning Teens.” Young Adult Library Services 4, no. 4 (2006): 38-39.

Rauch, Elisabeth W. “GLBTQ Collections are for Every Library Serving Teens!” Voice of Youth Advocates 33, no. 3 (2010): 216-218.

Taylor, Brent. “Don’t Deny Me the Right to Read.” Voice of Youth Advocates 33, no. 5 (2010): 427.

Whelan, Debra Lau. “A Dirty Little Secret.” School Library Journal 55, no. 2 (2009): 27-30.

Whelan, Debra Lau. “Gay Titles Missing in Most AR Libraries.” School Library Journal 53, 1 (2007): 18.

Whelan, Debra Lau. “OUT and Ignored.” School Library Journal 52, no. 1 (2006): 46-50.

Highlights of Projects/Events

King, Kevin A. R. “Author Visits, or Hobnobbing with the Semi-Rich and Literate.” Voice of Youth Advocates 28, no. 6 (2006): 470-473.

“Rainbow History Project.” School Library Journal 54, no. 5 (2008): 15.

Commentary on the Importance of Serving LGBTQ Teens

Brenner, Robin. “The Full Spectrum: GLBTQ Films for Teens.” Voice of Youth Advocates 32, no. 3 (2009): 212-213.

Kenney, Brian. “Do the Right Thing.” School Library Journal 52, no. 1 (2006): 11.

Martin, Hillias J. “A Library Outing: Serving Queer and Questioning Teens.” Young Adult Library Services 4, no. 4 (2006): 38-39.Rauch, Elisabeth W. “GLBTQ Collections are for Every Library Serving Teens!” Voice of Youth Advocates 33, no. 3 (2010): 216- 218.

Storts-Brinks, Karyn. “Censorship Online: One School Librarian’s Journey to Provide Access to LGBTQ Resources.” Knowledge Quest 39, no. 1 (2010): 22-8.

Whelan, Debra Lau. “OUT and Ignored.” School Library Journal 52, no. 1 (2006): 46-50.

Information or History

Manfredi, Angie. “Accept the Universal Freak Show.” Young Adult Library Services 7, no. 4 (2009): 26-31.

This entry was posted in Volume 1 Number 4: August 2011 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Silent Message: Professional Journals’ Failure to Address LGBTQ Issues

  1. EB says:

    Questions: you stated one of the categories examined was reviews. the article defined the category as “These articles reviewed LGBTQ-themed books, movies, or other materials. This category also included reviews of professional resources.” This implies that you included all GLBTQ themed materials appearing in the 9 journals in your analysis. Is that correct, or did you apply some additional scrutiny to narrow the results to YA materials such as: must have a positive review, contain a certain percentage of YA content, etc.? I ask because I am aware of additional titles reviewed in at least one of the journals in your study, but don’t see that item cited in your appendix.

    Also, did any of your categories count articles or news items about challenges to GLBT literature or displays? that would seem to fit into multiple categories.

  2. Robin Nyzio says:

    Keep in mind that many professionals don’t rely entirely on professional reviews. Many of us read those and monitor the listservs which highlight GLBQT titles frequently. Most of the YA librarians that I know personally are some of the most open-minded, in terms of their collection development. YA/Teen Librarians are always trying to add materials to their collections that will appeal to ALL teens.

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