Maine library sparks outcry after stocking book titled ‘Irreversible Damage’ about ‘the transgender craze seducing our daughters’, with one local warning it could cause a SUICIDE
A library in Maine has found itself at the center of controversy after stocking a book against ‘the transgender craze’, with one local warning that it could lead to suicide.
Rich Boulet, the director of the Blue Hill Public Library, was working at the front desk when a patron asked to donate a book.
As they handed it over, he saw the title: ‘Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters’ by journalist Abigail Shrier.
“To be completely honest, my heart sank when I saw it,” Boulet said New York Times.
The book hypothesizes that gender dysphoria is fueled by social media and peer influence, which undermines teenagers’ desire to transition to confusion.
Maine’s Blue Hill Public Library was embroiled in controversy after it decided to stock a book rejecting the ‘transgender craze’.
Rich Boulet, the library’s director, said he wants the library to be ‘there for everyone, not just people who share my voting record’
The book in question – ‘Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters’ by Wall Street Journal writer Abigail Shrier – has faced extensive public criticism.
“I want the library to be there for everyone, not just people who share my voting record,” Boulet said. So he chose to shelve the book, a decision supported by library staff.
“I felt that it filled a hole in our collection of a lot of material on that subject,” Boulet explained.
The move was intended to serve Blue Hill’s politically diverse community of nearly 3,000 residents. President Joe Biden won the town by 35 points in 2020, but his voters do not lean overwhelmingly left.
In 2014, 39.1 percent of voters were registered Democrats compared to 26.9 percent registered Republicans.
Boulet later wrote in an open letter to the local newspaper that the library welcomes everyone, ‘not just you or my part of the community.’
His decision to stock the book was divisive. Less than a week after it was exhibited, the parent of a transgender adult approached him and said she found it harmful.
The woman, who has known Boulet for years, calmly expressed her opinion before filing a reconsideration request asking that the book be kept ‘under the desk’ and be available only upon request.
However, the library’s collection committee unanimously voted against her wishes.
Blue Hill is a small town of nearly 3,000. President Joe Biden won there in 2020 by 35 points, but the town doesn’t lean overwhelmingly left
Boulet’s decision to put ‘irreversible damage’ on the shelves was supported by other members of the library staff
Less than a week after the book was exhibited, a patron requested that it be kept ‘under the desk’ and available only by request. The library’s collections committee voted against it
In the weeks that followed, Boulet was constantly confronted, even at the grocery store and post office, outside the walls of the library.
One person told Boulet that if a transgender youth reads the book and commits suicide, “that’s on you.”
Perhaps the most damning criticism came from a former friend of Boulet’s, who dismissed the library’s decision to carry the book as “hate speech.”
The library director took to Facebook to defend his decision in a now-deleted post on the library’s public page.
He also wrote to the American Library Association to request a public letter of support, which it offers to libraries facing censorship.
“They haunted me,” he said.
Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, said the request sparked debate within the organization.
‘Our position on the book is, it should remain in the collection; it is among us to adopt the instruments of the sensors,’ she said. Months later, Caldwell-Stone ran into Boulet at a conference and apologized.
Boulet told the New York Times that he started running into critics at the grocery store and post office. One patron told him that if a transgender youth committed suicide after reading the book, ‘that’s on you’
He wrote to the American Library Association asking for a public letter of support, but the organization did not acknowledge his request
Shrier, an opinion columnist for the Wall Street Journal, came under fire after her work was published in 2020.
“A generation of girls is at risk,” proclaims an online listing, adding that the book “will help you understand what the trans craze is and how you can inoculate your child against it—or how to off this dangerous road.’
While the book has earned some positive reviews—and currently has a glowing 4.8-star rating on Amazon—critics have taken issue with the author’s use of anecdotes for evidence.
In November 2020, Target stopped selling the book after online backlash, but made it available for purchase a day later.
The following year, petitions demanded that the Halifax Public Library system remove their two copies of the book from circulation. The library refused, arguing that removal would be censorship.
Shrier took to X, formerly Twitter, in response to the New York Times article, decrying ‘suppression’ of her thesis by mainstream media.
“The NYT is willing to publish this now because it has decided to acknowledge conversions and the harms of pediatric gender medicine,” she wrote.
IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE was published in 2020. Thanks to its suppression by the MSM, tens of thousands of additional families have been harmed.’