SAN ANTONIO – Anel Flores, a San Antonio author and former teacher, said concerns over whether students should read certain books in school libraries are in response to writers like herself.
“They’re scared how amazing and powerful and united we are,” Flores said.
“Empanada, A Lesbiana Story in Probaditas” or “little tastes,” was originally a play.
Flores said her book that was published in 2012 is now in several San Antonio middle school and high school libraries, as well as at UTSA and the San Antonio Public Library.
Hers is not on the list of books being reviewed by the Northeast Independent School District or among the 850 titles listed by State Representative Matt Krause of Fort Worth, most being race- and LGBTQ-related books.
Although her book has never been “officially banned,” Flores said she’d gotten reactions like the one by a local university when she asked to do a reading from her book.
Flores said she was told, “Oh, well, it’s not appropriate. We have kids coming to this.”
In response, Flores said, “How do you know that a book with the word lesbian in it is not appropriate? You don’t know that.”
“This is a love story about my ‘gente’ and my people, being Chicana and also being lesbian,” Flores said.
Flores said after reading her book, “The one queer student or the two queer students get up and say thank you to me. They do that in front of everybody.”
She said it’s also kept others from committing suicide.
“It’s important that we have brown and black and queer and marginalized, silenced voices in our literature so children can feel like they belong somewhere,” Flores said.
Hear Flores read an excerpt from her book in the video below: