So that’s what they’re afraid of

People have this absurd fear that fraternizing with different kinds of people will radically transform them in every way.

If you think that, allow me to reassure you: I’ve been friends with and talking to gay and trans people for decades now, and I’m still heterosexual. I’ve just become a liberal, socialist-leaning, humanist-atheist who always votes for the political party with the more tolerant, progressive policies. Nothing to be afraid of there.


  1. Rich Woods says

    I’ve just become a liberal, socialist-leaning, humanist-atheist who always votes for the political party with the more tolerant, progressive policies. Nothing to be afraid of there.

    You terrify me!

    No, wait. It’s the beard. Just the beard. All else is OK.

  2. says

    Authoritarians believe that children should obey without question. They shouldn’t think on their own. So telling a child that gay people exist means that child will immediately turn gay because authoritarians don’t see their children as people but obedient automatons. That’s why these types of people demand that LGBTQIA+ books should be removed from libraries.

    I will never not find it hilarious that the “Eff your feelings snowflake” crowd gets their feelings so hurt because non-straight people actually exist. 🙄

  3. Bruce says

    Obviously, if hearing about LGBTQ stuff could change anyone, then so-called “conversion therapy” torture would be super effective, instead of never ever having conversions that are genuine.
    I agree with Silentbob. Once left handed people were allowed to exist, they rose up to 10-15% of the population and then have stayed level for a century. So likely LGBTQ stuff is analogous. Let it reach its natural level and then nobody needs to think about it except the people who make and sell left handed scissors.

  4. raven says

    Idaho is leading the way in keeping children from becoming gay or Trans or any LGHTIAQs. The libraries are prohibiting children from…going to the library.
    That will also make sure that besides being not-gay they will also be not-educated.

    It’s due to a typical Idaho cuckoo new law.
    They allow anyone to shut down a library by complaining about a children’s book.
    Children will only be allowed in the library if accompanied by an adult guard to make sure they don’t see a “dangerous” book of some sort.

    That is going to hurt a lot of kids.
    I looked on a map and Donnelly is like most of Idaho, in the middle of nowhere. It’s a small town of 152 people which means there isn’t a whole lot to do for kids or anyone.

    Donnelly Public Library will become adults-only to comply with new ‘library porn’ law
    Boise State Public Radio News | By James Dawson
    Published May 20, 2024 at 12:47 PM MDT

    Donnelly Public Library will no longer allow anyone under 18 to visit unless accompanied by a parent starting July 1.

    That’s due to the implementation of House Bill 710 passed earlier this year, which requires all libraries – both public and private – to relocate a book to an adults-only section within 60 days of receiving a written complaint.

    If the library declines to do so, it could face a civil lawsuit under the law. That comes with a mandatory $250 fine for the library and plaintiffs could receive uncapped damages.

    “Our size prohibits us from separating our ‘grown up’ books to be out of the accessible range of children,” the library’s statement reads, noting it’s only 1,024 square feet.

    Donnelly library director Sherry Scheline compared the new policy to a parent being able to bring their child to a liquor store.

    “Your kid could even give you suggestions at the liquor store, but your kid cannot take anything off the shelf at the liquor store,” Scheline said.

    Only kids participating in the library’s paid programming and whose parents sign a waiver will be given free access to the 13,000-item collection, she said.

    Minors won’t be allowed to even use the library’s restroom unless they’re a program participant or accompanied by a parent.

    Scheline said it’s the last choice she wanted to make, but that she doesn’t have the resources to fight a lawsuit.

    “Because we don’t have an attorney on retainer, we can’t take those chances. We need to let it be fought out by somebody other than a small and rural library.”

    According to the Idaho Commission for Libraries, Donnelly Public Library is the first organization in the state to make such a policy change to comply with the legislation.

    Supporters of the law argue libraries are allowing those under 18 to access “harmful” materials and “pornography.” Many of the books they cite as examples have LGBTQ characters and themes or are sex education materials.

    A request for comment from Gov. Brad Little wasn’t immediately returned.

    Little vetoed a similar bill in 2023, writing the legislation “will have unintended consequences for Idaho libraries and their patrons.”

    “Many of our fondest memories as children are venturing down to our local library and immersing ourselves in the sea of books and knowledge,” Little wrote, noting that libraries are a “critical component” to enhancing literacy across the state.

    The governor signed this year’s version, saying the lowered mandatory fine helped ease his concerns that the law would be used as a punitive cudgel.

    Donnelly Public Library is urging its patrons to donate to the library’s building fund as a way to help it comply with the law by expanding its footprint.

    The shovel-ready project would triple the facility’s footprint, but Scheline said they still need about $630,000 to fund the $1.5 million expansion.

    If constructed, she said it would allow them to lift the upcoming policy change by having dedicated youth and adult sections on opposite sides of the building.

    Copyright 2024 Boise State Public Radio

  5. raven says

    The problems with all these attacks on schools, books, and libraries is obvious.

    These days, everyone has access to an entire world’s worth of reading and viewing material by using the internet.
    Internet connected computers are everywhere, homes, schools, libraries, etc..

    And many or most people have smart phones that can connect to the internet that they carry everywhere.
    Many or most people also have TVs/cable/satellite, another source of information.

    The christofascists attempts to censor what their children see and find out about the real world around them isn’t going to work.

    They are acting like we are still in the 19th century and the only way to get information is to read newspapers and books.
    You could even ask, who reads newspapers and books anymore anyway?
    (I just got a book from the library yesterday, but then again, I’m a Boomer from the Dark Ages.)

  6. muttpupdad says

    I grew up in public libraries, getting my first card when I was four. It did not take me long to go thru the children’s section and move into the teen and adult sections Even the old prude Opal Tanner never said a thing about what I could check out, leaving that decision to me and my parents. I am very glad that I have had public libraries all of my life and still get a thrill looking over the spines of the books on the shelf, never knowing what new adventure they will bring. It is for this that we must fight for the freedom to make our own decisions on what we read and not let it be taken by those who are frighten by what is in books that they have never read.

  7. Howard Brazee says

    That’s a slippery slope. If you start caring about one person who’s not like you, who knows where you will end up with. Gays and immigrants, maybe even animals and the planet.

  8. Artor says

    I grew up in Idaho. It’s been 30 years since I left, and I thank every day I don’t live in that fucking redneck shithole anymore.

  9. raven says

    Obviously, if hearing about LGBTQ stuff could change anyone,

    This is the Social Contagion theory they keep talking about.
    Supposedly, it explains why Trans people exist.

    Trans people make up 0.5% of the population.
    Which means Cis people make up 99.5% of the population.
    So, how come being Cis isn’t spreading due to…Social Contagion then? At 99.5% of the population, the Cis people have a huge head start.

    Next, how being heterosexual is spreading through the US population due to Social Contagion.

  10. says

    I can guarantee that this doesn’t work. If it did, I would have been more successful in ensuring that tail-end Cold Warriors would be able to look beyond the end of the Cold War to other challenges — and unlike Ms Woke, I had the authority to make them actually read the book(s).

    Or maybe that’s the explanation: It only works if the kids just put the books by their beds and don’t read them (really: proportion of teenagers who actually read stuff recommended to them/forced on them by Authority, instead of putting it in a stack somewhere so the Text Monsters can infect them while the sleep?). If they actually read the books, then they might question them even as they’re questioning their prior assumptions…

  11. jenorafeuer says

    Sometimes I wonder if the continuation of authoritarianism isn’t primarily about jealousy.

    It’s long been a joke that certain religious groups are often defined by ‘the eternal fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun’. But I wonder if it wouldn’t be more accurate, in most instances aside from the first (where a cult leader set it up as a control method), to say ‘the eternal jealousy that someone, somewhere, is having fun that I wasn’t allowed to have‘. “My father beat me if I so much as spoke up in his presence, so I’m not letting you get away with anything I couldn’t do!”

    People who took the ‘hard’ route when younger can react disproportionately if somebody manages to succeed without having to make the same sacrifices. (I believe there was a subplot like that in Mad Men, even. One woman actively trying to undermine and destroy one of the others, for the ‘crime’ of succeeding on her own rather than sacrificing her dreams and marrying someone else to get rich.)

  12. gijoel says

    @5 My local library was a refuge from my shit home life growing up. I really feel sorry for the kids of that town.

  13. robro says

    raven @ #6 — I’m not sure I would say that part about the internet out loud too loud. The morons flailing themselves over wokeness and immorality…and the politicians exploiting them…are just looking for an excuse to go after the internet.

    Puritanical thinking has deep roots here. Some movies in the late-20s and early-30s define the “Pre-code” era because they came out before the Hayes Code began to be enforced which attempted to regulate what was shown in movies. And what was shown in most of those Pre-Code movies would be considered tame by even television standards today.

    The same thing happened with comic books with the Comic Code Authority (1954). Just to illustrate the power of censorship: Archie Comics didn’t drop the CCA seal from their covers in 2011 no long after DC Comics.

  14. John Morales says

    Communist floribundia goes like this: “let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend”.

    (But sensibly, only ostensibly)

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