I hope it’s not too name-droppy to say that the fine gentlemen of Geeks OUT are my buddies. It’s been incredible and inspirational to watch this organization, which exists to give a voice to the LGBTQ community within geek culture (among other things), start off as a fun, local NYC group. Now, they’ve received well-deserved national attention as they have called for a boycott of the new Ender’s Game movie (which comes out in November). The film is based on noted jerk-face, hate mongering, and homophobe Orson Scott Card’s book of the same title.
Before I was even aware that an Ender’s Game movie was going to be made, I was fairly well informed of Card’s stance on the LGBTQ community. If you have no knowledge of his views, click here and inform yourself. And it’s not just that he spouts of his mouth in a very dangerous manner (imagine being a gay or trans* youth reading one of his YA novels. Imagine how damaging it could be to know that a beloved YA author thinks you’re a national threat), he’s also a member of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). As a librarian, it’s hard to figure out where I stand on his books. On the one hand, I want to protect my LGBTQ patrons and teen patrons in general. On the other hand, I know Card’s books have literary merit and I’m a staunchly anti-censorship (though, it should be clear that censorship and boycotting are two totally different beasts. Let’s not get that confused).
When it comes down to it, here’s how I feel: In the library, I must co-exist with Orson Scott Card’s books and his views. Even if they concern me. Even if I wonder if they’re harming my patrons. So yes, when it comes time to replace those Card paperbacks, I will re-order them. I’m not in charge of ordering DVDs for my library, but if I were, I’d have to purchase copies of this film. In my private, non-library life, I have no use for his books or his upcoming movie. Not a dime of mine will ever line this awful man’s pockets.
Enough of my views. I briefly interviewed Jono Jarrett of Geeks OUT. I believe that librarians need to be involved with this conversation (granted, I think librarians should be part of every conversation), and luckily, Jono was happy to oblige.
Ingrid Abrams: Why is the boycotting of Ender’s Game important to Geek culture, as well as LGBTQ culture?
Jono Jarrett: I think the idea of standing up and making your voice heard is important for any culture, specially the youth who are still finding themselves the way both Geek and Queer are doing. Boycotting the Ender’s Game film is about understanding where your money goes in a real-world way; supporting him financially benefits the National Organization for Marriage and their extreme antigay agenda—is that where you want your money going? It’s important for both cultures to consider that question, because both cultures are heavily marketed towards, and as consumers our only real vote is our dollar.
I’d like to thank Jono Jarrett, as well as fellow Geeks OUT-er Patrick Yacco, for taking the time to speak to me about Orson Scott Card and Ender’s Game. If you’re interested in reading more on the topic take a look here, here, and here. I’ve already pledged to #SkipEndersGame. If you want to as well, sign up here. While you’re at it, keep in touch with Geeks OUT on Facebook and Twitter. I always appreciate what they have to bring to the table.
If you insist on watching his movie or reading his books, I ask you to take advantage of your local library. Wait for the DVD to come out and put it on hold if you really need to see Ender’s Game. Hate libraries? Well, you kinda suck. But if so, I’m sure you can troll your local thrift stores and/or raid your friends’ personal libraries for copies of his books.
So, librarians, where do you stand on boycotting Ender’s Game?
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid