News and Commentary

‘Gender Queer’ Author Suggests Book Is ‘Integral’ For Kids

Says "We need to reduce the shame” about sex among teenagers
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The author of “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” a book which has triggered harsh criticism at school boards for keeping it in school libraries, told NBC News that what NBC News called its “graphic illustrations of LGBTQ sexual experiences” are “integral” and that “we need to reduce the shame” regarding sex among teenagers.

Maia Kobabe’s book “is a de facto guide on gender identity that grapples with the hardships of coming out, the confusion of adolescent crushes and the trauma of being nonbinary in a society that largely sees gender as limited to two categories: man and woman,” NBC News gushed, adding that Kobabe “uses gender-neutral pronouns e, em and eir.”

“The author said the book’s frank accounts are ‘integral’ to showing readers an experience growing up outside of cisgender and heterosexual norms,” NBC News reported.

One image from the book: Kobabe as a 14-year-old “fantasizing about an older man touching the penis of a seemingly younger man or boy,” NBC News stated.

After NBC News noted that the book was banned in Florida’s Brevard Public Schools, challenged by parents in New Jersey and removed from Wake County Public Libraries in North Carolina, NBC News vilified GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and GOP South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, saying they “piled onto the outrage last month” by asking for investigations as to how  “obscene” and “pornographic” books were in schools.

“It’s very hard to hear people say ‘This book is not appropriate to young people’ when it’s like, I was a young person for whom this book would have been not only appropriate, but so, so necessary….There are a lot of people who are questioning their gender, questioning their sexuality and having a real hard time finding honest accounts of somebody else on the same journey. There are people for whom this is vital and for whom this could maybe even be lifesaving,” Kobabe told NBC News.

Kobabe added, “I’ve been receiving almost weekly, and sometimes more than weekly, emails from readers thanking me for writing it, telling me how much it meant to them, saying it helped them understand themselves or that they gave it to a parent or a child or a friend or a partner, and that it helped their loved one understand them more, and that it opened up conversations they had not previously been able to have.”

“This has been a strange time, but in many ways I don’t think it’s about my book,” Kobabe said. “I think it’s more about the social media moment that we’re in and the divisiveness of political opinions in this country right now,” Kobabe declared, adding, “Don’t let this make you afraid. … I know it is a scary moment and the attacks definitely can be very intimidating, but I think it’s so important to stand by your truth and tell your story honestly and write what you need to write, what you feel called to write….Please don’t let the threat of censorship silence your voice before you’ve even spoken.”