This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson is a candid, funny, uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it’s like to grow up LGBT that includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums. We spoke to Juno about her book, the bans it has faced, and why everyone should read it, whether they’re part of the LGBTQIA+ community or not.
Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book.
I wanted to write a guide that would have been helpful for me when I was 14 or 15 years old. The Sex Education I received was woeful and left me, in many ways, vulnerable and unsafe. I wanted young LGBTQ people to feel confident and prepared for adult life.
Why do you think it’s important for everyone to have access to your book and all books?
For the reasons above really. LGBTQ people exist. We have always existed. Banning books isn’t going to remove us from the world. What it will do is leave a vulnerable minority in real danger. Young LGBTQ people deserve the same education and information as anyone else.
What would you say to the people who have banned your book?
I need you to address your prejudice. Removing my book from libraries is removing information that will keep young LGBTQ safe, happy and healthy. Why would you want to leave LGBTQ youth without useful information? You are harming already vulnerable teens.
What’s your favorite banned book?
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan is incredibly beautiful.
What’s your favorite Indie bookstore?
In the US, I really love The Novel Neighbor based in St Louis. They’re very good vibes.
Photo: Eivind Hansen