After public outcry over a sexually explicit and pornographic novel, “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” the Anchorage School District has decided to remove the book from circulation.

A Nov. 15 message from Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop said she requested a “team” to review the controversial book earlier this month after a community member raised concerns about it at the Oct. 29 school board meeting.

After reading the book, which contains graphic images of oral sex and masturbation, the review team determined that the book “contained adult material, is not appropriate for our school libraries, and will not be in circulation at ASD,” Bishop said.

The book was taken out of circulation on Nov. 11, but the wider issue of how district personnel approved it in the first place remains unclear. Published in 2014 by Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, the autobiographical comic book traces Kobabe’s gender confusion, gay crushes and his bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction.

“Gender Queer” has been banned from school districts across the nation and has become a flashpoint in the ongoing battle by parents to root out far-leftist curriculum that has infiltrated many publics school systems nationwide. One of the leading proponents of LGBTQ books in libraries is the American Library Association, of which nearly every community and school library is a member.

Bishop said the school district’s Teaching and Learning Department is convening a “controversial concerns committee” to review its regulations related to controversial issues and materials.

“If your family has a concern about materials made available through school libraries, please connect with your principal or school site librarian,” Bishop wrote. “You will be directed to the Request for Re-Evaluation of Instructional Material form to initiate a review. If the site-level procedure does not resolve the objection within 10 school days of the filing of the original written objections, the matter shall be submitted to the Senior Director of Teaching and Learning who will form a committee to review the concern.”

This is not the first time the school district has come under fire for pushing controversial books that promote radical leftist social ideologies. This past summer the district pulled from its website a long list of books that support the teaching of critical race theory.


— Click here to review the Anchorage School District’s regulations on controversial issues.

— Click here to contact Anchorage School District principals.

— Click here to contact Anchorage School Board members.

— Click here to contact Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Pornographic ‘Gender Queer’ book pulled from Anchorage School District

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • jh says:

    Teaching our children about genders stuck in the wrong body, embracing irreversible transition therapies and body mutilation…Sounds like mental illness to me!!

  • Greg in Homer says:

    The author of this article captured the essence of this issue with this sentence, “…the wider issue of how district personnel approved it in the first place remains unclear.” Alaskans want to know who approved this purchase in the first place? Who thought this was a good subject matter for a public school library? Are they simply misguided people thinking they are doing the right thing for the alternate sexuality community, or are they members of the LGBTQ community that are trying to subvert the morals of the children in Alaska. Removing the book is not the end of the matter, it is just the beginning. Alaskans should be provided answers for who is behind this matter in the first place and we should decide if they deserve continued employment paid for by the taxpayers in Alaska.

  • Penny Seliger says:

    I am extremely saddened by the road ASD has taken since I retired in 2019. Unfortunately I am equally frustrated by the leadership of Deena Bishop and the School Board. They don’t respect their teachers. After giving Deena Bishop a 7% pay raise and the Principals a pay raise, the School Board has offered their teachers NOTHING in bargaining. Where does ASD spend their money? Good question. Not on the teachers.,Won’t be surprised if a lot of the good teachers leave this next May. People need to start to vote the current board members out as they are destroying our children’s education and future!

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Published in 2014 by Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, the autobiographical comic book traces Kobabe’s gender confusion, gay crushes and his bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction.
    Just sickening
    Get your kids out of these schools

  • Charlotte says:

    “Gee, how did Gender Queer get into our library?” they asked. It’s libraries, actually. How did it get into all those libraries? It’s still circulating around, fyi. Too busy to notice. I wonder, could the liberal American Library Association have anything to do with the choice of books? The librarians and library managers are busy forming multiple committees and probably don’t have time for much else.
    And Deena Bishop, in all her wisdom, requested a “team” to review the book. In discussing this subject on Monday on 650 AM radio, Dan Fagan said, puzzled, “What is there to review?” Now there’s an understatement, Deena. Did you catch that? What IS there to review?

    Deena, put on your glasses, flip through the book and look at the explicit illustrations. Get involved. Discussion over, Deena. Stop playing games and start doing the right thing, Deena.
    I never saw so much bloviating over one obviously obscene book that never should have made its way to a library where children frequent. You’ve got all your committees ready to go if a parent finds out what kind of operation you’re running. Well, now we know. And your committees and your lying aren’t working, Deena.
    Tell us, what protections do you have built in to PREVENT books like Gender Queer and all the hundreds of others in the stacks from coming through the
    doors? We haven’t seen those policies.
    Let’s review the steps that must be taken when a parent wants a book gone, such as Gender Queer.
    1. There must be a team review. The team must read the book. Gender Queer was found not to be appropriate. Obvious decision. Hope you enjoyed it.
    2. The teaching and learning department is convening a controversial concerns committee to review its regulations…good idea.
    3. Request for re-evaluation of instructional material form (whaat?)
    4. Senior Director of teaching and learning will form a committee if all else fails.
    This is just CYA. Instead of wasting all that time, why not have the librarians and managers review the Library Collection Policies and follow them. Problem solved. What decade was that last done, Deena?
    There is also quite a lengthy form that must accommodate complaints about library material in the Anchorage area. It is called “Statement of Concern About Library Materials” There are nine questions to be answered, among them, “Did you read the entire book? If not, what part” “What do you feel might be the result of reading/viewing this work?” “What do you believe is the theme of this work?” “Are you aware of judgments by critics?” “How would you answer those who feel that the work is important and should be in the library?” “Is there a work you would recommend to balance the effect of this material?”
    This form is what they require from a parent to remove a book. But they must not have a system for ordering books, because they don’t have a clue how Gender Queer got into their library. Or do they?
    Deena, you, the Anchorage School Board and all the librarians and managers at all the libraries in the state that provide inappropriate reading material to children should be ashamed of yourselves for intentionally damaging the children you were entrusted with. You and those before you hid in plain sight for decades while our education system was methodically taken apart. Those days are over. We are taking our children back.
    Once again, thank you to the Watchman for watching. It’s such a pleasure to read an honest story.

    • Concerned Teacher says:

      Curious….did you email this to her directly?

      • Charlotte says:

        It wouldn’t do any good. She’s captured by those surrounding her. She was conservative at Matsu, retiring at the end of the year, I believe.
        Maybe my comments will raise an eyebrow or two. I don’t live in Anchorage. I don’t have children in school but, I have a Governor who is sitting by as though he’s a democrat, allowing children to be degraded. On the other hand, we have a conservative platform here which allows us to express our opinion.

  • jh says:

    The public schools/colleges are committing academic genocide!

    Parents have not controlled public schooling for half a century. Public schools are now a metastasized CANCER that is controlled by unelected bureaucrats who elected representatives refuse to control. These bureaucrats are largely hostile to the majority of Americans’ desires for education.

    Today teachers in public schools are teaching misleading, illusory skills.

    Today’s teachers IGNORE to teach Language for Learning (L4L), Reading Mastery (RM), and other proven reading curricula. The teachers, administrators and the schools of education are to blame for this.
    To enhance reading comprehension, knowledge, and vocabulary, the teachers MUST teach history, science, literature, and the arts, using curricula that guide kids through a logical sequence from one year to the next: Native Americans and Columbus in kindergarten; the colonial era and the American Revolution in first grade; the War of 1812 and the Civil War in second grade; and so on. It enables children to make sense of what they’re learning, the repetition of concepts and vocabulary in different contexts makes it more likely that they’ll retain information.

    The kids born in the ’80s and ’90s who are today’s millennials, are the LEAST religious, MOST politically wackadoodle, and possibly and historically the MOST illiterate generation in American history, ever since PROGRESSIVISM swept through the culture and saturated the public schools. They are the most politically liberal generation since the 1970’s.

    In 2016 a survey found that 30 percent of freshman declared their religious affiliation as atheist, agnostic or none.

    Public schools expose children to dangerous, shallow, socially contagious ideas like alphabet soup genders, but also shames and excludes religion. The public schools are breeding a youth culture to oppose the adults in their life rather than aspire to become like them.

    Public schools are a breeding ground that de-emphasizes knowledge, grouping children by age instead of ability.

    Public schools are breeding ignorant political activists rather than informed citizens. Dumbing down our educational system has created new problems and our national security may be at risk because of it.

    We need to stop public schools from indoctrinating and exposing our children to transgenderism and condemning heterosexuality.

    Public schools that are teaching anti-science, anti-religion, and gender ideology will more likely make your children conform to it. The environment in which children are raised deeply influences their outlook and behavior.

    High quality teachers and peers are the greatest influence on young impressionable minds. Laying a standard set of values, and morals must be taught in school.

    For many decades now, public schools have dumbed down on the education system, dumbed down on teachers, dumbed down on teaching and learning. Public schools are depriving children from a good education.

    Public schools are teaching children meaningless platitudes and hollow promises that will hurt their lives and future forever!! A good education is the key to future success!

    The Department of Education should be abolished. President Trump wanted to do this. The Federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the marketplace. We need to end federal meddling in our schools and promote family choice at all levels of learning! We also need the Legislature to enact penalties for violation of parental rights.
    If you have kids, pull them from public school and enroll them in something better and get other families to help.

  • David Mares says:

    The above article should be mandatory reading for every U.S. Senator and Congressional Representative!! The Department of Education in our Government should be obolished, as recomended, since there is no Constitutional basis for it’s existence!! I am a Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a Vietnam Vereran.