by Gabi Admi ‘23
The MCPS English Curriculum provides a diverse selection of books that explore important topics such as racism, immigration, and mental health, but they are lacking an important piece of history and culture: LGBTQ+. To give you a broader sense of how outrageous this is, MCPS has approved about 200 books for high school English teachers to teach, but only a few of those books involve LGBTQ+ themes. Within my entire K-12 experience, I have not been assigned to read a single book containing LGBTQ+ material.
For LGBTQ+ students to be comfortable in their sexuality and their environment, it’s important for them to feel represented. There is no excuse for the lack of representation; a wide variety of books exist with LGBTQ+ themes or elements that are informative and well-written, such as The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar and All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson. MCPS just hasn’t approved them. It is important to note that LGBTQ+ books shouldn’t just be read by high schoolers, but by kids of all ages. If MCPS wants its students to feel safe and understood and to start to remove stigmas and stereotypes from a young age, it is important that students read about the LGBTQ+ community to better understand the experiences of their peers or themselves.