The author, wearing a T-shirt that reads, "I read banned books."

Props to romance author April White for the cool T-shirt!

It’s time to get political again, Friend.

Look, I’m sorry. I hate it, too. I’d love it if I could just stay home and read and write romance novels in peace.

But now they’re coming for us.

“Parental rights” sound great. I mean, as a parent, I know my kids best, and I hope I always act in their best interests. But that includes exposing them to different perspectives because that’s what learning is all about. But some folks think just because they’d rather pretend other lived experiences don’t exist, they can take away my kids’ rights to learn. That doesn’t make sense to me.

For example, this Texas bill seeks to ban mentions of any non-heterosexual relationships (among many, many other things, including masturbation, which, as I always tell my kids, is the safest sex you can have) in public school libraries. And school districts, including Katy, Texas, have already banned Angie Thomas’s The Hate You Give, an excellent, award-winning book about growing up Black in the U.S. My kids and I watched this movie to facilitate our conversations about white privilege. Not to mention Florida’s bill that would ban discussions of periods in schools. I mean, I started my period in elementary school. Do they expect girls to have to learn some kind of code to ask to go to the restroom?

But this Oklahoma bill hits me right in the first-amendment rights. It would ban books – not only from school libraries but also from public libraries – that are judged to contain “a predominant tendency to appeal to a prurient interest in sex.” Y’all, they’re coming for our spicy romance novels.

In the U.S., it’s spring, and that means it’s time for local elections. Pay attention to yours. Check out what’s happening with your school board. Write your representatives. Do what this awesome 100-year-old lady did. Don’t let them tell kids it’s not okay to be Black or gay or trans or have loved ones who are. And don’t let them take away our sex-positive romance books.

What's your favorite banned book?