This Book Is Gay author Juno Dawson hits back at US book ban controversy: ‘An organised attack’

Juno Dawson

Trans author Juno Dawson has hit back at the far-right for its “organised attack on books” after her work, This Book Is Gay was named in a bomb threat against New York schools and an attack on a library in Cork, Ireland.

The Sunday Times bestselling author spoke on Instagram, condemning the banning of inclusive books on Sunday (26 March).

In a video, Dawson said her book This Book Is Gay is “one of the most most banned books” in the US, and explained her intentions behind the book, which is a decade old.

“I wrote This Book Is Gay 10 years ago next year. It has a warning on the back, it’s aimed at teenagers and it says it’s honestly explicit at the back in places,” Dawson said.

“I felt as a former teacher that sex education for LGBTQ+ teenagers wasn’t very good.

“They weren’t really learning anything they needed to keep them safe and healthy when they were in adult relationships, so I wanted to address that with This Book Is Gay.

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Dawson said her book covers sex education, relationships, falling in love, dating and family, and was written to “give young LGBTQ+ people hope”.

‘Stand strong in full solidarity’

“What we’re seeing now is a really organised attack on books because the far-right is out of ideas. What else can you attack but trans healthcare, drag queens, books,” she added.

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“So I just want to say a huge thank you to all the librarians and educators who are defend ending freedom of speech and the right for young LGBTQ+ people to see themselves in books. Stand strong in full solidarity.”

Among anti-trans and anti-drag bills in the US, Republican lawmakers in the US have taken aim at LGBTQ+ literature in schools in recent months.

According to a report released last year, almost half of books banned in US schools in the past year contained LGBTQ+ themes or characters. 

Maia Kobabe’s memoir Gender Queer, about growing up as non-binary and asexual, was the most-banned book, targeted by 41 school districts between July 2021 and June 2022.

Several libraries in the US have been targeted with hate for stocking LGBTQ+ books. 

Last year, a woman protesting against queer books in a library told people they would go to hell for supporting them. 

Dawson frequently speaks out to defend LGBTQ+ rights, and in early March she criticised the UK’s Conservative government for its focus on trans “ideology” and stopping asylum seekers from arriving in Britain via small boats.

The author of This Book Is Gay told PinkNews: “After almost 15 years of Conservative government, they have no one else to blame but themselves for the state of the United Kingdom.”

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