Parents Outraged LGBT Sex Ed Book For Teens In Local Library

One parent said shelving "This Book is Gay" in the library's juvenile non-fiction section "was straight-up pedophile kind of behavior."

This Book is Gay, YA author James Dawson’s acclaimed guide to growing up LGBT, has outraged parents in Wasilla, Alaska, where the book is shelved on the juvenile nonfiction section in the local public library.

Vanessa Campbell, whose 10-year-old picked the book off the shelf, said she was “shocked to find it contained frank drawings and descriptions of gay sex acts,” according to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.

Her criticism wasn’t that the library carried the book, Campbell insists, but that “it shouldn’t be in the mix with children’s books.”

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After Campbell’s complaint, librarian K.J. Martin-Albright read This Book is Gay, as well as relevant reviews, and determined the library wouldn’t remove or relocate the book.

Campbell then took her appeal to a Wasilla town hall meeting Monday which drew dozens of locals.

“I can’t imagine what kind of person would order that material and want to make it readily available for children,” said one parent. “That is straight-up pedophile kind of behavior.”

After children were removed from the room, he read a passage from the book that explained anal sex and declared that, “as with hand jobs and breakfast eggs, all men like their blowjobs differently.”

The American Library Association labels “Young Adult” books as those appropriate to ages 12 to 18, and “Juvenile” books as those appropriate for readers age 8 to 12.

While fiction books in each category are in separate sections of the lower level of the Wasilla library, nonfiction gets lumped together, Martin-Albright said.

Dawson, who has come out as trans but still uses male pronouns, says the backlash has left “a bitter taste.”

James Dawson - left
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“In 2015, when you read of people comparing gays to pedophiles you just despair,” said the author of Say Her Name and All of the Above.

“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.”

The children of Sarah Palin’s hometown are receiving a chilling message, Dawson added: “They must be so terrified to come out if this is the reaction they think they’ll get.”

He added he was happy, though, that the librarian stood her ground.

“young people are ready to talk and think about sex at different ages,” he . As ever, I utterly trust in the judgement of librarians.”

Amen to that!

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery