The Rainbow Sower
A lot has been going on in Nebraska and the US involving censorship of all sorts. Especially in the library-world.
And as a white cisgender heteronormative LGBTQ+ ally – I am angry. And as a library worker – I am angry.
And I’m someone who has struggled with being verbally abusive throughout my life. If you don’t know, then know that anger is at the core of a verbal abuser’s makeup. And so when I get angry, my first response can be unthoughtfully mean and nasty.
Over the years, and with the help of some great therapists, I have gotten better at utilizing the energy of anger, and putting it into something positive – and for me that’s usually art.
But I want this post’s focus to be on what is going on in Nebraska in terms of homophobia, bigotry, and censorship. But I felt that I should explain why I’m choosing to let the following articles explain some of what’s going on, instead of my writing in an anger-fueled manner.
▼ THE QUIET DISAPPEARANCE OF QUEER STORIES IN NEBRASKA: THE GOLDEN SOWER AWARD LIST DRAWS CRITICISM – Book Riot article by Kelly Jensen
▼ CENSORSHIPS’ NEW FRONTIER: YOUR PUBLIC LIBRARY – WaPo article by Annie Gowen
wherin Nebraska is featured (sorry about the paywall)
▼ GOLDEN SOWERS’ FACEBOOK POST ANNOUNCEMENT – how the majority of NE librarians learned about their leaving the Nebraska Library Association (NLA)
▼ THE NLA’S OFFICIAL RESPONSE
▼ THE NEWLY-NAMED NEBRASKA GOLDEN SOWERS ‘ EXPLANATION FOR THEIR SUDDEN DEPARTURE
Full disclosure: As a Co-Chair of the NLA’s Tiny & Mighty Interest Group, I’m a non-voting member of the NLA Board of Directors. I have also served as the Chair of the NLA’s School, Children’s, and Young People’s section, and am a former President of the NLA.
Over the past 24 hours, I designed what I’m calling The Rainbow Sower, as a way to express my support of the marginalized LGBTQ+ Nebraska residents. For those of you outside of NE – The Sower is a statue of a man sowing seeds that is on top of the state’s capitol building. You can read more about The Sower here if you’d like. But please know that The Rainbow Sower is free for you to copy/modify/use in any way that you’d like.
Also know that there’s a large set of public domain Library Pride images available through the Wikimedia Commons.
Finally, what I want to end this post on is a re-assertion of my allyship. If you are a LGBTQ+, transitioning/transitioned student who reads this and needs anything in any way, then please reach out to me: Hafuboti@gmail.com. I will listen and/or do everything possible, with my privileged power, to help.
And if I did something unintentionally insensitive – either with my art or with what I’ve written – please let me know. I want to do better.
I hope that we all can do better.