This Book is Gay – James Dawson

“Lesson one 
Sometimes men fancy men 
Sometimes women fancy women 
Sometimes women fancy men and women 
Sometimes men fancy women and men 
Sometimes people don’t fancy anyone 
Sometimes a man might want to be a woman
Sometimes a woman might want to be a man
Got that? It really is that simple.”

This Book is Gay takes all the myths and prejudice surrounding the notion of gender identity and sexual orientation and tells it how it is. The Queen of Teen James Dawson shows how all human beings are confusing creatures and how not everyone wants, or needs, labels to be who they really are. This book will have you laughing out loud, cringing at the thought of sweaty parent sex, and shaking with rage at the ridiculousness that is apparent in society. However it will do all of this while providing you with a whole bunch of facts about how being LGBT doesn’t mean you should be treated any differently or be ashamed of who you are. 
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 In this book there is humour, there is honest to goodness facts that will turn your stomach and whats most important, there is zero judgement. I loved the way James was so blunt and so out there and managed to convey the fact of the matter; people are people and it should matter what gender or sexuality they are, we should accept everyone for being themselves. 
The book is split into 13 main chapters which explore being LGBT, labels, stereotypes, hate, coming out, staying in, where to meet other people similar to you, gay sex and a whole bunch of other stuff. There’s even a brilliant chapter aimed at the parents of LGBT youths and a handy guide to recognising the different ‘bits’ of the male and female body. 
I have never been a massive fan of non-fiction books. Even the textbooks of the courses that I adored during my time at uni were force red and I have a great selection of books on my shelves that honestly have never been read despite me being interested in the subject. When I found out James was going to write this book I knew straight away that it was a non-fiction book I needed to read. I enjoyed every page because it was delivered using James’ fantastic voice and a humorous undertone that helped deliver even the most serious topic. 
There were a lot of things discussed which could upset a reader but they were offered in such a way that the reader has time to digest the information. The book also goes into major facts and information about what people get into under the sheets, and sometimes in other places, but this wasn’t done in an erotic way, it was matter of fact and came with prior warning. James points out at the beginning of the sex chapter that schools teach hetro sex education at age 10 so anyone older than this should technically be able to learn about gay and trans sex without an issues too but the options are there to skip any chapter you feel uncomfortable with. 
One of my favourite aspects of the book was the addition of real peoples’ voices and their stories, I liked what that added to the facts and information that James was sharing and I also thought it gave a more rounded view of the whole topic.
I really did love this book. I want every child to read it but I know I will have trouble trying to get my stepson to read it because a) he wasn’t impressed with the title and didn’t understand it and b) doesn’t read anything unless its for school – which makes me sad. I really hope that this book is made readily available in school libraries because it would have helped me an awful lot when I was a teenager.

I think its also worth noting that this book is not just for LGBT people, its also not just for young adults. It is as accepting of all readers as it is of all genders and sexualities.  Thank you James for another incredible book! 

This book is Gay was published on September 4th by Hot Key Books. My copy was gifted to me at a blogger event at YALC. 

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