Parents compare gay men to paedophiles after ‘sex book’ added to school library
‘This Book is Gay’ includes relationship and sexual advice for LGBT young people.
The book, written by trans author James Dawson, aims to be an ‘instruction manual’ for LGBT people coming to terms with their sexual and gender identity.
The book got an extremely positive reception from LGBT fans when it was released last year – but scandalised the town of Wasilla, Alaska, after one ‘concerned mother’ claimed the book was inappropriate for children.
An organised group of activists raised the complaint at a council meeting, claiming it is “straight-up paedophile kind of behaviour” to permit the book outside of a restricted adult section.
One parent, Vanessa Campbell, said that she raised the complaint after her 10-year-old picked the book off the shelf to discover “frank drawings and descriptions of gay sex acts.”
Following the feud, administrators have this week attempted to quell criticism – by ordering the entire library to be reorganised.
Rather than single the book out and restrict it, the library committee opted to move the entire youth non-fiction section away from Juvenile fiction books – meaning they will be kept further away from younger children.
The committee that made the decision says the re-organisation, which will take place this week, is intended to avoid “singling out” the book.
A statement to Alaska Dispatch News said: “The Committee understands the parental concern on this book being placed in the Juvenile section of the library and the accidental discovery that may be made by younger children.
“We also understand the subjective nature of age-appropriate content; and the herculean effort it would take for a librarian to segregate every controversial book to everyone’s liking; and the chilling effect it would have on free speech.”
Dawson said: “In 2015, when you read of people comparing gays to paedophiles you just despair.”
“I always think, as a community, we’ve come so far and achieved so much—but then you read something like that and realize there is still such small-mindedness and hatred left to contend with.”
“Young people are ready to talk and think about sex at different ages. As ever, I utterly trust in the judgement of librarians.”