The Queen of Claremont has brought a terrible circumstance to the attention of the Queen of the Libraries. Namely, the Queen of Claremont is underrepresented in this blog.
The Queen of the Libraries is mortified. We (that’d be the royal We) are going to make immediate recompensation to Her Highness and Her sovereign nation in the form of leftover Halloween candy. Her Highness and Her Royal Consort will be granted full diplomatic immunity for all future visits to Wilhelmsplatz, and We will make futher reparations for a variety of past indignities, such as slavery, apartheid, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the Bubonic Plague, and the Full House sitcom.
…so the entry title is a pun on King & King, a controversial children’s picture book that has been reviled, disputed, and outright banned. It’s your run-of-the-mill children’s story about a prince who’s lookin’ for true love, and, as you would expect, he does find his heart’s content at the end of the book. It’s just that he winds up hitched to a boy monarch, rather than a girl monarch.
Out of curiosity I checked to see if Wilhelmsplatz owns it. (Many libraries failed to purchase the title, either because of the mediocre reviews of the artwork or because they wouldn’t touch that kind of controversy with a 10 foot pole.)
The good news: yes, we have a copy.
The bad news: we are censoring fascist pigs.
We have a copy but it’s hiding in nonfiction. Someone, somewhere, decided to shelve this make-believe picture book in nonfiction. The subject headings clearly show that this is a fiction book, but it has been relegated to the 306 section. That’s Dewey for "culture and institutions."
Quiz time! This sort of behavior is known as
D) the encroachment of faith into the public sphere
Ha, ha! That was a trick! All of the answers are correct!
Mine, alas, is not the only library to shelve K&K in nonfiction. The logic in putting it there is to protect parents from accidentally checking out a gay-themed book. If any parents actually want to find K&K, they won’t get it by browsing the kids’ fiction books, sensible though that would seem. Instead they’ll have to go out of their way to look it up in the catalog.
This infuriates me. Some parents don’t want to read gay-themed books, sure. Me, I don’t want to read "If you don’t believe in Christ you’re going to rot in hell" books, but I’m not asking anyone to hide them in nonfiction. Being a literate adult, see, I can make my own choices about what books to check out and which ones to pass over.
By hiding K&K in nonfiction, we’re denying parents the grace of serendipity. So many times we find great books accidentally, just by stumbling across them on the bookshelves. Why should this title be removed from the serendipitous choices?
Yeah, I know, some people don’t want their kids reading about gays. Seems pig-headed to me, since gays, you know, exist. (Gays also raise children, some of whom may be playing with your children, right now.) But hey! Do what you want! Prevent your kid from reading King & King— that’s your prerogative as a parent. But so help me God don’t you dare prevent my kid from reading King & King.
Not that I, uh, have kids. But it could happen. I could do the hetero barefoot-n-preggers thing. In fact, I am barefoot as I type this. I am halfway there.
Or even if sperm and egg don’t meet, I could adopt. Seems to me the ideal way to do things. I could get myself a whole passle of children, some of a black variety, some of a brown variety. It would be yet another way to piss off the far right.
So anyway, let’s pretend I’m doing the domestic baby-raising routine and that there’s a daddy in the picture. And while we’re in this fantasy, let’s pretend I learn to cook, and that I start keeping a spotless home, and that I don’t have stretch marks. This is fun!
There I am, the perfect picture of a breeder mommy. You might suspect that I want to protect my children from King & King (and Heather Has Two Mommies, and Daddy’s Roommate). You would be wrong. You don’t have to live a gay lifestyle to read gay books. Or consider: I am not black, but I like to read Alice Walker. (Why, one of my favorite authors is black!)
But I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. We have the blessing from our state constitution to practice discrimination against gays.
I am moving to Canada. I mean it. Or at least Vermont.