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This Book Is Gay

Review

This Book Is Gay

In the past few decades, it has become much more publicly acceptable to come out as part of the LGBTQ community. However, that doesn’t mean that people don’t have questions or that the journey to coming out is always easy.  This is why author and teacher James Dawson wrote THIS BOOK IS GAY, the instruction manual for teens and young adults in the LGBTQ community.  The book is separated into different chapters, covering a variety of subjects, including bullying, stereotypes, dating, the process of coming out, sex and STIs, among others..  The book also includes testimonials Dawson gathered by surveying over 300 LGBTQ people, which adds a variety of opinions and views to each of the featured topics.
 
THIS BOOK IS GAY is an absolutely necessary book to read if you’re part of the LGBTQ community; it offers a ton of great tips and advice, along with several interesting and moving stories from other members of the community.  One of these touching stories is about the struggle one gay couple went through to become parents to twin girls.  But you don’t have to be a member of the community to enjoy the book.  It is a great read for anyone simply wondering what the community is like or for parents of young members of the LGBTQ community.  All of the chapters offer practical advice and are fun to read.  My personal favorite chapters were “Haterz gon’ hate,” which covered the history of persecution against the LGBTW community, and “A guide to recognizing your gay saints,” which lists several celebrities, authors, books and movies that are active members or advocates for the LGBTQ community --- including my personal favorite musician Kathleen Hanna.
 
THIS BOOK IS GAY is an absolutely necessary book to read if you’re part of the LGBTQ community
 
Dawson’s voice is prominent throughout the book, making the reader feel as if they’re having a conversation with someone rather than reading a nonfiction work.  His laid-back tone also makes this a great book for teenagers --- while the book covers some sensitive information, such as sex and STIs, Dawson never makes the readers feel awkward or uncomfortable.  However, this doesn’t mean Dawson lessens the importance of serious topics.  He always stresses the importance of safe, consensual sex, and he also notes that this is important not only for members of the LGBTQ community but for everybody.  
 
Dawson’s experience as a teacher specializing in Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) in the UK shines through in this book --- it is clear that he is used to communicating important life lessons to teens and young adults in a way that makes them feel comfortable.  Overall, this book does a fantastic job of showing the struggles and achievements of the LGBTQ community along with giving some great advice.

Reviewed by Cheyenne C., Teen Board member on June 5, 2015

This Book Is Gay
by James Dawson

  • Publication Date: September 4, 2014
  • Genres: Gay & Lesbian, Young Adult 12+
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hot Key Books
  • ISBN-10: 1471403955
  • ISBN-13: 9781471403958