Every day during the month of June, we will be spotlighting our 2022 Logo30. This powerful series profiles ordinary and extraordinary people who show pride in unique and provocative ways. Visit the Logo30 homepage to view current and past honorees.
By Sam Manzella
George M. Johnson’s voice will not be censored.
The Black nonbinary journalist, author, and activist is best known for their two books: 2020’s All Boys Aren’t Blue, their New York Times-bestselling “memoir manifesto” about the joys and triumphs of being Black and queer, and 2021’s We Are Not Broken, a series of stories from their childhood growing up with three brothers under the purview of their fiercely protective Nanny.
Sadly, it didn’t take long for homophobic lawmakers to target Johnson’s books in the recent tide of book bans in K-12 public schools that have cropped up in a number of states across America.
“I always knew All Boys Aren’t Blue was going to be banned,” the Los Angeles-based author tells Logo. “Historically, Black storytelling has always been seen as a threat to the ideologies of white supremacy [in America]. And so I knew in telling this story, it was going to be viewed as that very same threat.”
But that didn’t deter them from the work. If anything, the proliferation of book bans has made Johnson even more vocal about the power and necessity of stories by Black queer writers for Black queer people. It’s “not always easy” to be so vulnerable, of course, but they are proud to share their stories with the world and humbled whenever those tales resonate with readers.
“Choosing to live and not simply exist, choosing to share my voice and not be silent — I think that is the thing I'm most often proudest of,” they share.
Learn more about Johnson and the rest of our incredible Logo30 honorees in the video below.