Let's listen to her explain how that was news to her. If that's not enticing enough, the revelation came to her from beloved children's author, Judy Blume! [1:21]
Jacqueline Woodson: It's so funny because I remember getting an email from Judy Blume about an anthology she was putting together called Places I Had Never Meant to Be. And it was an anthology of censored writers. And I said, well, you know, I haven't been censored. She said, "Oh yes you have!" And I think that's the great thing about censorship is that you're oblivious as the writer, you know if I don't get invited to a school is it because they don't like my work, because I'm censored, or they don't have the money. I don't know. And so there is a way in which I'm kind of protected by it. I've gotten emails of course and I've gotten letters from people saying you shouldn't write this or you shouldn't write that; I'd never let my child read that. And for me it's delete, delete, delete. I'm not gonna keep silent. The thing I write is realistic fiction and because it's realistic fiction I want people who are in the world to be in the literature. Growing up, with this idea, every time in the 70s and 80s, you came across a gay character that character was about to fling themselves from a roof or hang themselves, you know, they were so deeply ruined because of their sexuality and that's not the reality for many. And hopefully the more we write about it, the more we talk about it, the more people feel comfortable inside their skin, it'll be the reality for fewer and fewer people. I don’t want people to be invisible. People have a right to see themselves in literature.