Controversial same-sex book faces national ban

·1-min read
Andrew Cornaga/AAP PHOTOS

An award-winning graphic novel depicting same-sex relationships and sexual experiences faces an Australia-wide ban.

Gender Queer: A Memoir is the first book in ten years referred to the Classifications Board, which will consider an appeal against its rating as a book for mature audiences.

The board will meet on Monday to consider its decision.

A journey of self-discovery, trauma and queer identity, Maia Kobabe's illustrated memoir has been banned in conservative parts of the United States.

It was classified as "unrestricted", by the Classifications Board in March with advice that it was not recommended for readers under 15 years, due to its depictions of sexual acts.

A spokesperson for the Department of Communications, which covers the Classification Board, said no other literary works have been referred to the board in the last ten years.

Sydney bookseller Kinokuniya, which has defended the novel in the absence of an Australian publisher, celebrated the "thoughtful" determination of the initial review.

"This book means so much to so many of our staff – we were firmly invested in a positive outcome," a staff statement said.

Gender Queer has won the 2020 ALA Alex Award and a 2020 Stonewall Award Honour Book award.

In Queensland, Gender Queer has been removed from shelves in Logan City Council libraries, following a similar appeal from councillor Scott Bannan and commentator Bernard Gaynor.

Mr Gaynor described the book as pornographic.

"This battle is not over and we will succeed in having it removed from Logan City Council libraries altogether," he said.