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County Council Meeting on October 17th on Banning Books at the Spartanburg County Public Library

Good evening everyone. My name is Amberlyn Boiter and I use she and her pronouns. I am the daughter of a Southern Baptist pastor, married to the daughter of an Independent Fundamental Baptist pastor who I met on a Christian dating website, and a former seminary student. I am also a proud SC native and resident of Councilwoman Coker's district, where I live with my wife and daughter.

Prior to the 1930s, less than two percent of the general population identified as left-handed. Today, that number is between 10 and 20 percent. If you wonder why the big increase, it's because left-handedness was long considered shameful by society - who wanted everyone to conform to the most common version of humanity. The Italian word "sinistra," for "sinister" was used to describe the left-handed. Children who favored their left hand in school were shamed and scolded, and forced to learn to write in a way not natural to them - their brains weren't wired that way.

Despite the harmless nature of left-handedness, it took centuries for people to understand that it was not a choice, and nothing to be feared. Once we stopped persecuting the left-handed, more of them "came out" and embraced how they were born. Today, despite being a minority, they enjoy equal representation by the law and our society.

We are facing this exact same battle today, but with marginalized minority groups. For example, there is panic right now over the latest CDC survey which says one in five school-age children identify as "not heterosexual." Uninformed people erroneously assume that this increase is because there are people like me knocking on doors, trying to convert children to become queer in some way. As someone who has seen the 99% failure rate of conversion therapy, I can assure you that is not the case. I would be the last person to suggest someone live a life that didn't feel authentic to them.

Another surprising statistic is a recent study from the UK which suggests one in five of baby boomers also identify as "not heterosexual." So I have no idea where this "social contagion" or "sudden increase" theory is coming from.

There have been repeated calls this year by very vocal groups insisting that public and school libraries remove any literature which discusses LGBTQ identity, or historical facts pertaining to race.

Council members, my daughter is almost two years old. She is a person of color and she has two moms. One of those moms is a trans woman. These are not sexually explicit, age-inappropriate, or indoctrinating topics - they are simply the facts of her life. While her family structure is a minority, it deserves equal representation in the public square - just like left-handed people, straight people, and white people do.

It is my hope that this council rejects the calls of hate and refuses to fall for outrage politics. Please allow the libraries to continue to be a safe place for my daughter, and support our incredible librarians.

I am open for questions - thank you!

With Kind Regards,

Amberlyn Boiter

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