Home » The largest teachers union in America recommended educators include ‘Gender Queer’ in their summer reading

The largest teachers union in America recommended educators include ‘Gender Queer’ in their summer reading

by Mahmmod Shar

‘Gender Queer’ has courted major controversy among parents for its depictions and descriptions of oral sex, masturbation

By Joshua Q. Nelson

The National Education Association (NEA) on Monday recommended that teachers include the controversial book “Gender Queer” on their summer reading lists.

The book was featured in the NEA’s “Great Summer Reads for Educators!” list that showcased 11 books. Among those books are “White Fragility,” a book that insists that White Americans use anger, shame and guilt to avoid taking responsibility for racial inequality. 

Other sections included “books to help you forget about work” and “books to celebrate or help you understand Junetheenth.”

Under the “banned books” section, Gender Queer is recommended as a reading. 

Gender Queer cover Maia Kobabe
“Gender Queer” a memoir by Maia Kobabe has been criticized for depicting what appears to be an older man with a younger boy.  (Maia Kobabe/Oni Press)

“Gender Queer” has as courted major controversy among America parents for being in public school libraries throughout the U.S. and has been challenged for its depictions and descriptions of oral sex as well as discussions on masturbation.

Fox News Digital previously reported on Gender Queer’s author, Maia Kobabe, defending the sexually explicit graphic images in the memoir during an interview with NPR in January.

“And I honestly think the book is a lot less explicit than it could be,” Kobabe told NPR. 

“The topic of gender touches on identity… and it touches on sexuality,” Kobabe continued. “And it’s hard to fully explain I think what like how a gender identity can impact every facet of life as an adult without touching at least a little bit on sexuality. And I wanted to at least not to like shy away from that.”

The book also discusses Kobabe’s journey of self-discovery towards identifying outside the “gender binary.” 

This list of books comes after the president of the National Education Association declared that racial and social justice is a “pillar” of the NEA’s efforts.

Book "Gender Queer"
Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, is one of the banned and challenged books on display during Banned Books Week 2022 at the Lincoln Belmont branch of the Chicago Public Library on Sept. 22. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“For us at the NEA, education justice must be about racial justice, it must be about social justice, it must be about climate justice. It must be about all of those things,” president Becky Pringle said. 

“For our students to be able to come to school ready to learn every day–We can never think of education as an isolated system because everything connects to our students’ ability to learn. So, we have to necessarily talk about housing justice, food inequality, and the reality that we all just went through a global pandemic together and of course it was the most marginalized communities that were already suffering from the inequities in every single social system in this country and every country.”

Fox News’ Hannah Grossman contributed to this report.

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