Heartstopper author Alice Oseman has warned that racist and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric are “thriving” after her graphic novel was banned in part of Florida.

It was one of more than 50 books to be banned in the Clay County school district in Florida, according to the Florida Freedom to Read Project.

Many of the restricted books were written by LGBTQ+ authors and/or discuss sexuality and gender identity.

The first three books in Oseman’s Heartstopper series are among those that were banned, as well as her 2016 novel Radio Silence which also features an array of LGBTQ+ characters.

In a statement posted on Instagram Stories, Oseman noted that the banned books are usually “inclusive of LGBTQ+ people and people of colour”.

READ MORE: “Close to sinful”: Joe Biden condemns Florida’s “cruel” anti-LGBTQ+ laws

“Racism, homophobia and transphobia are thriving under the guise of ‘concern for children’,” she continued.

“This is not just a US issue either. We’re seeing the exact same ‘concern’ here in the UK.”

The aforementioned organisation reported that 355 books have been removed from the school district since July 2022.

What is Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill?

Anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric has been increasingly rife in Florida, with the state introducing an array of legislation mirroring this.

Its infamous ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill was signed into law in Florida in March 2022 and restricts “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

New research from the UCLA School of Law confirmed that the legislation has already had an impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the state.

READ MORE: Republican behind Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill resigns after federal indictment

The data, which was released in January 2023, found that 17 per cent of LGBTQ+ parents had already taken the necessary actions to move elsewhere.

Almost nine out of 10 also express concern over the effects the legislation could have on their family.