That's the title of one of my favourite songs. The most lethal, the most essential thing is to hear your own voice. Also, keeping up with the idea of writing as catharsis, this one blog is dedicated all to myself. More solipsism would be hard to find. And I like it like that. Oh, and this is a queer (and self-proclaimed 'ADULT') blog so go ahead, make your day... mine is done.
When I was a wee gayling, I wish I would have had a book like All Boys Aren't Blue to read. Why? Because I was never in the closet and because I started having sex early. I started fooling around with boys when I was around twelve. I had my first kiss (by my best friend) when I was around fourteen (he spoiled me because he was a GREAT kisser and ever since, when a man really knows how to kiss me, tighty-whities are OFF!). I also started having relationships with men much, MUCH older than I was when I was a teen. I looked slightly innocent and geeky, always listening to music and reading books, but I was a slut.
Having younger people know about how to deal with same sex attraction, with sex and about how to avoid getting in toxic relationships is fundamental. I had no idea of any of that because nobody in the books I read talked about my world, about my experiences, about my sexuality. And maybe because of that, I was used by some men (I was using them back, natch) that I should have probably avoided like the plague, but I had no blueprint, no information about how toxic some men can be. But this book talks about that.
As a very queer, very non-closeted kid, I would have loved to have All Boys Aren't Blue, by @GeorgeMJohnson in my life when I was thirteen or fourteen. It would have been both an eye opener and a source of comfort. I'm not Black, mind you, but I was a very obviously gay, very precocious out kid who loved to read and finding someone who had had similar experiences to the ones I was having would have been invaluable. That's why conservatives want to read this and many other books:
The book is about growing up Black and queer, and always feeling different but not having the words to express it. Over the past couple of years, at least 29 school districts have banned the book because of its LGBTQ content and for being sexually explicit.
"Any time you write a book where you write about your truth, there are going to be people who want to silence that truth," Johnson, who uses they/them pronouns, tells Morning Edition's Leila Fadel.
Conservatives swear kids are not 'sexual' and that may be true of young kids, but after turning thirteen or fourteen, most teens DO have questions about sexuality and/or are sexually active. Some even question things before that age. I am proof of that. What conservatives do not want if for Queer kids to find their tribe, their equals, their peers. They want Queer kids to be isolated, in despair, and therefore, easily manipulated and convinced that they are an abomination.
All Boys Aren't Blue has been banned in many, many places (I'm looking at you, Flori-duh) and I think that it is essential that we keep this kind of book circulating where there is still possible to read them. So, if you have a library card, get thee to your nearest library and check this book out. Who knows? You may like it. Or iff you read and you have a library card (or a budget for books) get books that have LGBTQ characters. Your library card and your credit card are your weapons of choice here. Representation matters, after all. Erasing LGBTQ characters is the bigots' goal. Don't contribute to that.
So what about you, Constant Reader? Were you a late bloomer? A precocious kid like me? Never even thought about sex until you were out of high school? Go ahead, tell us. It'll be between us and the internet...
P.S. Oh, by the way, it's not about 'protecting the kids'. It's bigotry, homophobia and fascism: