Juno Dawson: This Book is Gay

Lesbian. Bisexual. Queer. Transgender. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who’s ever dared to wonder. This book is for YOU.

There’s a long-running joke that, after “coming out,” a lesbian, gay guy, bisexual, or trans person should receive a membership card and instruction manual. THIS IS THAT INSTRUCTION MANUAL. You’re welcome.

Inside you’ll find the answers to all the questions you ever wanted to ask: from sex to politics, hooking up to stereotypes, coming out and more. This candid, funny, and uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it’s like to grow up LGBT also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, not to mention hilarious illustrations.

You will be entertained. You will be informed. But most importantly, you will know that however you identify (or don’t) and whomever you love, you are exceptional. You matter. And so does this book.

WHY THIS BOOK WAS BANNED:

WHILE I COULD NOT FIND ANY SPECIFIC RESOURCES (BESIDES APPEARING ON MULTIPLE CHALLENGE LISTS), I FOUND NEWS ARTICLES LISTING TWO TOWNS TRYING TO REMOVE THIS BOOK FROM THEIR LIBRARY BECAUSE OF THE GAY CONTENT. IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT THIS BOOK WOULD MAKE IT ON TO CHALLENGE LISTS DUE TO THE NATURE OF ITS CONTENT.

Juno Dawson’s book can’t be missed. It’s bright rainbow cover beckons to everyone. And that really is the message she wants to display– “Hello, welcome to our community. We see you, and we are waving the flag for you. Come on in, we have a place at our table. Join us.”

Her book covers every topic in the LGBT* space. (She uses that abbreviation throughout the book, according to him, not to exclude anyone, but for brevity’s sake.) There’s SO much information here from identifying your sexuality, to coming out, to actual gay sex, to activism. She also covers transgender issues in almost every subject.

I think she could have done a better job explaining asexuality and nonbinary topics. She mentions them at the beginning, and talks about asexuality a few other times by definition, but never really goes into details. This book is VERY MUCH about sex. I won’t go so far to say she erased asexuals, but the snub is there. And this book is pretty binary in its discussions.

It isn’t perfect, that is for sure. But Dawson tries really hard to open the doors to the community for young LGBT* people who need guidance. She provides a good deal of information, and then some testimony from people who have lived that situation.

It’s a start. We definitely still need to fill some gaps in other places, but I do think this book is going to help a lot of kids who are desperately needing information that they aren’t getting in school (at least not from their teachers). It’s not perfect. But it does have a lot of really great information that none of us had in book form when we were growing up. And I wonder how many of my classmates’ lives would have been helped by a book like this?

 

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