THIS BOOK IS GAY by James Dawson


Age Range: 12 - 18
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An exuberant guide to LGBT life takes the stance that “being L or G or B or T or * is SUPER FUN.”

Speaking with candor, humor, and enthusiasm, Dawson addresses topics from coming out to sexually transmitted infections to sex apps. With irreverent chapter titles like “Stereotypes Are Poo” and a chatty narrative voice, the tone is largely upbeat, though the author also touches on “some MEGA-SAD FACE topics” like discrimination. Easily readable tables and humorous cartoons further liven up the presentation. To add more perspectives, segments from interviewees who represent areas of the LGBT spectrum not represented by the author himself are also included. Chapters on sex and apps like Grindr are helpfully matter-of-fact, and readers hear from people who choose casual sex as well as those who prefer emotionally intimate relationships. The book is a U.K. import, and while U.S.–based readers shouldn’t have much trouble understanding Briticisms like “fancy” or “shag,” some of the anti-discrimination laws referenced won’t apply. More troubling, the book’s efforts to support transgender readers are undermined by persistent, thoughtless affirmations that biology really is destiny—for instance, when the author debunks the myth that “gay men are ‘girls’ ” with a jokey “Penis? Check! Yup, gay men are, in fact, male.”

Important for its frank sex talk but far less inclusive than it aims to be. (glossary, resources) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4926-1782-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2015


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