LGBT YA Fiction Under Protest in California

iamjEarlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the now-infamous California law that banned same-sex marriage more than four years ago. Whether or not they will rule the law unconstitutional remains unknown. But forget gay marriage—California’s anti-gay-rights activists have found a new LGBT thing to protest: gay books.

As in, young adult books that offer some mental perspective of what it’s like to be young and gay. Books that teach straight children empathy. Books that may be the only resource for a young person who is questioning his/her sexuality. Books like I am J, a story about a Latino transgender teenager. Or Totally Joe, which is about a brave seventh-grade boy who comes out.

Former Stock image model Randy Thomasson, the executive director of, says these kinds of books are dangerous.

“Your children are not being taught rigorous academics or critical thinking,” he told Los Angeles’ ABC 7. “They’re being taught social engineering that will hurt them physically and emotionally.”

We know from experience that reading novels like The Notebook can cause serious emotional damage (darn your chiseled good looks, Noah), but Thomasson is, in fact, correct that books can also cause physical harm. For instance, if a student is walking by a pile of precariously placed LGBT books, and happens to bump into them, they may well be bruised by the ensuing avalanche of literature. What’s that you say? Of California’s 7,800 recommend books, only 32 are LGBT-themed? Huh. OK. Well, those 32 books are probably really flammable. What if someone accidentally set them on fire? That would be super dangerous.

And we can’t rule out paper cuts. There could always be paper cuts.

What do you think of this protest?

  • Tim Barrus

    Same old same old morality police screaming the sky will fall. The people who take them seriously are the people who will take them seriously anyway no matter what they said. It’s called a culture war. The media enters into it with something they label as a sensation when, in fact, it’s the same old, tired dog shit that always comes out of their mouths, nothing new going on.