Gender Queer author Maia Kobabe talked to the Washington Post about Sen. John Kennedy’s reading from the graphic memoir at a Senate hearing last week.

The Louisiana Republican read from Kobabe’s book at a hearing about book bans last Tuesday, highlighting a passage that reads, “I got a new strap-on harness today. I can’t wait to put it on you. It will fit my favorite dildo perfectly. You’re going to look so hot. I can’t wait to have your cock in my mouth. I’m going to give you the blowjob of your life, then I want you inside of me.”

A video of Kennedy reading from the book in his folksy Southern drawl quickly went viral.

The American Library Association has listed Kobabe’s book, published by Lion Forge Comics in 2019, as the most challenged and banned title in the U.S. in 2021 and 2022. It is a memoir of Kobabe’s experiences growing up as a nonbinary person.

In a recent interview with PEN America, Kobabe noted, "I spent my teen years searching for queer stories .... I was so hungry for queer stories, and I was so hungry for stories that touched on gender."

Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, told the Post that e had seen the clip of Kennedy reading from eir book. “Another trans-activist friend texted it to me with a very ‘Congratulations and also I’m sorry’ attitude,” Kobabe said.

Kobabe criticized Kennedy for implying that Gender Queer is a children’s book.

“I think that’s coming from a misreading of the comic-book form,” Kobabe said. “Gender Queer is a comic, and in full color, but that doesn’t mean it’s for children. I originally wrote it for my parents, and then for older teens who were already asking these questions about themselves. I don’t recommend this book for kids!”

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.