Kids’ Right to Read Project Director Jamie Chosak interviewed author Chris Crutcher about his experience as one of the most challenged young adult authors of all time. Here’s an excerpt:
Kids’ Right to Read Project: Challenges against your books have been raised over numerous “themes” and issues.” Some commentators have identified efforts to ban “pro-gay literature” as an increasing trend. Would you like to comment on this?
Chris Crutcher: The “gay issue” is particularly interesting to me. There are openly gay writers who write about growing up in that shroud of secrecy and the damage it does (and I know it does that damage from the number of gay kids I’ve worked with in therapy). My gay characters are usually in the story to get a reaction out of the main character; get him to look at his own bigotry. Roughly ten percent of the population is gay and I think that’s probably true of my characters. Yet I put a gay character in a book and I’m accused of “recruiting”. The censors automatically decide I’m gay and that I write from the “gay agenda.” Usually I won’t tell them whether I am or not, because if I were I would hope I’d have brought myself up to speed by now, and I don’t care if they think I’m gay because it’s like caring if they knew whether or not I’m left-handed. (Same percentage). Look, being anti gay is bigotry, pure and simple, and in ten or twenty years, the loud voices against homosexuality are going to look as stupid as the anti-black voices of our early history.
Click here, to read KRRP’s full interview with Chris Crutcher
For more on Chris Crutcher’s books and his experience with censorship, click here.