More than 7 thousand books censored in Florida by the Don't Say Gay law

In Florida, United States, more than 7 thousand books have been censored following the controversial law known as Don’t Say Gay. This measure, widely criticized for its restrictive nature, caused a wave of indignation among authors and defenders of freedom of expression.

The writer and screenwriter José Ignacio Valenzuela (Santiago de Chile, 1972) is among those affected, because in his children’s book A day with dad and dada addressed the theme of a homoparental family.

The law signed in 2022 by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis seems extremely aberrant to me. This far-right man seems to have hatred in particular against women, migrants and writersValenzuela explained in a telephone interview with The Day.

While the world seems to be moving towards a more inclusive and tolerant society, there are states like Florida, where it seems like we are going back at least 80 years. The current legislation violates our rights as if they were disposable, in addition to the fact that our humanity is at the mercy of a politician in power.

Don’t Say Gay (Don’t say gay) prohibits teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity other than heterosexual in all school grades.

Valenzuela, known as Clicks –which means matted hair in several regions of the Southern Cone–, pointed out that this editorial censorship not only “discriminates, but also deprives children of the opportunity to know and understand different ways of life and love.

A day with dad and dada It emerged from my own experience as a father and member of a homoparental family. With the arrival of our daughter, I wanted to immortalize the simple but very happy moments of our life.

“If I had been a painter, I would have loved to make a family painting, but since I am not, I had no choice but to write it, because I also believe that literature, in addition to fulfilling an entertainment role, generates pleasure for us, a desire to travel, dream and recognize ourselves in other characters, circumstances. Precisely, homoparental families do not have many texts in which to recognize ourselves.

My husband and I have a common goal: to keep our daughter happy and protected, as well as to educate her in the best possible way, although as in all relationships, we parent in very different ways.

Diverse families

Published by the Alfaguara publishing house, One day… tells the adventures of Leonora, who is immensely happy with her parents. With illustrations by the renowned Mexican graphic designer and illustrator Luis San Vicente, the book warns that “families of our times can be very diverse: look around you and see it with your own eyes.

But something that almost all of them have in common is love. With this example we learn that there are many valid ways of relating and loving each other.

For Clicks, writing what you experience firsthand does not represent any challenge “because my family is not a complication, much less a problem to be solved. Writing for children is the complicated part because they are too intelligent, they are the fiercest critics, and if they don’t like a book, they abandon it.

“I hope that this work reaches those people who believe that my family is aberrant, that it should not exist or that it lives in sin. These types of comments are prejudices and the best way to dismantle them is by showing yourself as one is.

When my daughter reaches adulthood, I hope she will treasure this text and show it to our grandchildren; This way she will be able to remember those moments that she lived with her parents and her dog. Every night before going to sleep, we make sure she feels the most loved in the world. I hope that children around the world experience that same feeling.

Valenzuela has lived in the United States for years and has published more than 15 books for children and young people, many of which have become best sellers.

By Editor

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