Who Doesn't Need An Anti-Gay Children's Book?
Ex-Gay Writes Book For Kids On Why They're Gay...yeah, like he knows
The Anti-Gay Children's Book - Don't Get Me Started!
Richard A. Cohen (not the Richard Cohen I used to do theatre with and was fabulous as Gregory Gardner in A Chorus Line) is an ex-gay who is now taking his campaign to the kids with a children's book titled, Alfie's Home. The anti-gay children's book - Don't Get Me Started!
Just in case you don't get enough hate in your life or misunderstanding, the good news is that now your kids and you can experience it without those big words and it comes with pictures. But I know some of you are dying to know the storyline, right? Well here you go. Alfie is a boy whose mother spends most of her time apparently telling him about her problems with his father. Next his father is a screamer (not in an overtly gay way, boys but a yeller if you will). Then there's Uncle Pete who comes and spends the night sometimes in the same bed with Alfie and touches him in strange and exotic ways. Somehow this causes Alfie to be called, "faggot" at school as a teen. Alfie finally goes to a counselor (here's the good news - the counselor is black so at least there's someone ethnic represented in the book) and he helps Alfie see that he is not gay, gets Alfie's parents counseling and eventually gets a full confession out of Uncle Pete (who incidentally, is up for most obvious name of a character in a children's anti-gay book ever written - oooh, I do hope Uncle Pete the Pedophile who touches Alfie's penis is the winner!). It all gets summed up by saying that what Alfie needed from the start was the "time, touch and talk" of his Dad. (Which sounds a little pedophilic to me all on its own) If that doesn't bring a tear to your one good eye, I don't know what will.
As many wrote into queerty.com, I am one of the people who have a great relationship with my father, always have, we love one another and I can't hang up the phone with him or leave their house without him telling me he loves me. And while my Dad does yell (it's just the natural tone of his voice) it never made me want to get into the same bed with my uncle. Furthermore, were the parents in this book fighting so much that they never knew Uncle Pete was in the same bed with their kid? Don't you have to wonder if there's more going on here than just a pedophile uncle but also some bad parenting? And how the hell does it translate into some sort or weird validation in high school by the kids calling him a "faggot?" As someone who's face has an intimate knowledge of every locker in my high school from being slammed into them at least once a day and being called "faggot" every day at least six times, I have to say that it didn't really make me want to be gay or think that the gay lifestyle was all that glamorous. So I have to say that Mr. Cohen is a bit off base with this part of his ex-fairy tale too.
I get it that a lot of gay men don't have great relationships with their fathers and/or they were molested as a child but there are a lot that weren't and it's a bit irresponsible of this guy to be putting this book out as if it's some sort of cautionary tale or standard for being gay. For some of us who knew we were gay before we lip synced to our first Barbra Streisand record, I have to say if I had read this book as a child it wouldn't have made me not gay or given me clarity. In fact it would have confused me. And while most books are open to some interpretation (Let me hear you Bible readers hollah!) this one is not. And forget about those books like Heather Has Two Mommies, if you're looking for a sure fire gay training tool for children, you don't have to look much further than Pat The Bunny. This book teaches you how to tell if something is real or faux fur, how great a beard feels against your skin, to look at yourself in a mirror, how swell Mommy's ring looks on you, smelling flowers and playing peek a boo with a blanket (you know how the gays like to play peek a boo during sex). Come on, when you think about it this way, wouldn't Pat The Bunny make you gayer than Heather Has Two Mommies or not gay as much as Alfie's Home?
What gets me the most is that this guy is going to make a fortune on this poorly illustrated book and even more disgusting is that it will actually find its way into children's hands. The good news is that kids are smarter than their parents and in most cases I'm thinking they'll recognize it for the crap that it is and move on being gay or not gay. The anti-gay children's book - Don't Get Me Started!
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