Aug 18, 2019

Nixon Center debuts new LGBT collection

New collection features fiction geared toward children and teens

Kyle Lowe/The Collegian

The Arne Nixon Center, in a move that reflected the Central Valley’s changing attitudes toward the gay community, has been trying to call attention to a new collection of donated books that feature lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

While the new donations aren’t the first books in the Henry Madden Library that address LGBT issues, they are the first books the library recieved that make the issue more accessable to children and young adults.

“Some of the books are about young people discovering that they’re gay or lesbian,” Angelica Carpenter, curator of the Arne Nixon Center in the Henry Madden Library, said. “These kinds of books used to be about a straight character who had a gay friend, or the villain would be gay or lesbian.

In this decade, heroes and heroines have different sexual identities, and the books are moving more into the mainstream.”

The Arne Nixon Center hosted a reception for the new collection to draw attention to the latest library donation.

“It was a tailgate for books,” Peter Robertson, coordinator of The Bulldog Pride Fund. “We didn’t have the band there, of course, but it was comforting and reassuring to see the collection on display. I donated four books that night.”

One children’s book in the collection, “And Tango Makes Three,” is one of the most censored books in the country. The controversial story about a baby penguin with two dads has had readers so up in arms that elementary schools across the country have pulled it from library shelves, or else moving it to restricted sections of the library.

“I have no idea why it’s so controversial,” Carpenter said. “It’s an innocent book.”

The controversial book, based on the true story of two male penguins in The Bronx Zoo in New York, is banned in several schools, but not Fresno State.

“I love it,” Robertson said. “That’s what libraries are for.”

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