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PFOX: Seeking shelved truths and shelved books

by Jeremy Hooper

The "ex-gay" advocates at the PFOX organization are making a novel request right in time for back-to-school season. Regina Griggs and company are encouraging their followers to get in touch with their local schools and encourage them to carry books that advocate "changing" gays:

Ask your library to order ex-gay books [PFOX]

You know, for those students and teachers who find Dr Seuss to based-in-reality for their liking!

So what books are on the list? Well in addition to the usual tomes from the "ex-gay" community's usual stable (Nicolosi, Dallas, Paulk, etc), they have also included that wacky and disturbing "children's book," Alfie's Home. For those out of the loop, that's the one written by discredited researcher (and former PFOX president) Richard Cohen, which features scenes like these:

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(image courtesy of DormItem, where you can find many more)

That is the kind of book PFOX wants to mix in with Charlotte's Web and SuperFudge?! And yet we're the ones who are constantly accused of indoctrination and sexualization?! ::sigh::

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Your thoughts

Well this is kind of a tough one -- if we want them to carry our books about gay penguins for children, from a freedom of information kind of space, it feels like we have to give them a pass on this one.

Posted by: Chris | Aug 29, 2008 11:13:48 AM

Chris: No, no -- we would never try and have these books banned or barred from libraries. We just care to give people insight into how ridiculous they are/ challenge their claims.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 29, 2008 11:20:47 AM

In response to Chris - the gay penguins story is based on fact - all gays are not pedophiles and that's what this little tome implies. I say NO pass on this one. Sorry.

Posted by: tom | Aug 29, 2008 11:30:49 AM

I have to sincerely disagree with you Chris. No pass can be given as this in know way compares to "Heather has Two Mommies" or the gay penguin book "And Tango Makes Three." These books speak of love and diversity, and does not depict sex, as a children's book never should. This book not only speaks of, but illustrates a pedophile uncle molesting his nephew. That has nothing to do with homosexuality, and such a subject should not be in children's books outside of such a specialized therapist's office lobby.

Posted by: Beau Larson | Aug 29, 2008 11:31:13 AM

Beau, Tom: Yes, but there are scores of books in public libraries that I think could fit that bill. I know there are several books on a variety of subject whose subject matter I find wrong-headed, and which I would try to keep away from my children. So for me, I'm kind of with Chris in being "of two minds" on the subject. I think we should just try our damnedest to raise awareness of these books, which hopefully we'll negate their potential damages. While I would urge any library to examine the facts and take the utmost care in how they presented the books, I too would be a little uncomfortable with forcefully raging against a library simply because they chose to stock the books.

I do agree, however, that there is no shred of connectivity between this insane "ex-gay" children's book and the fact-based pro-gay ones.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 29, 2008 11:48:32 AM

What is Cohen saying in his children's book? You might only FEEL like you're gay becuase you were ignored by your father, confided in by your mother and molested by your unlce?

What about myself and 99% of other gays for which none of these things are true? I guess we really ARE gay.

Thanks Dr. (ooops, that's right, he's not a Doctor,) I mean Mr. Cohen.

Posted by: GayMormonBoy | Aug 29, 2008 12:19:47 PM

This would be equivalent to someone demanding there be a book showing priests molesting little kids, and saying that all priests are bad. Catholics would be spitting blood. This isn't the same as a children's book that teaches Christianity - of which there are many, and are available in libraries. This is disturbingly graphic for a little kid's book, and teaches them a blatant, hateful lie - that gays = molesters. They're allowed to put some ex-gay book in the library - but not hate-filled lies about sex with little kids FOR little kids. Does the KKK have children's books in the library showing burning crosses? No pass on this one.

Posted by: Wren | Aug 29, 2008 12:35:36 PM

Yea, the Cohen one is indeed a diff story. I can't imagine even the majority of "ex-gay" proponents want that one outher there.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 29, 2008 12:39:00 PM

You are correct the Cohen book is a different story. He donated it to the first Ex-gay Educators Caucus to give away to teachers at the 2004 NEA convention. Those of us there took a look at it and said no thanks. It should not be in a library, IMO.

Posted by: Warren Throckmorton | Aug 29, 2008 2:59:19 PM

That is quite possibly the most creepy, disturbing children's book I've ever seen. But considering who the author is, I shouldn't be surprised.
I would hope libraries pass on including it, except perhaps in the bathroom, where, in the absense of toilet paper it could be of some use.

Posted by: Bill S | Aug 29, 2008 5:35:49 PM

But see, that's just the thing, Warren. Even though the book is seemingly recognized as creepy by folks on both sides, PFOX, an organization that is often touted by "mainstream" social conservatives, made a point of including it on their list. Why would they do that, would ya say?

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 29, 2008 5:51:55 PM

The John Paulk book too? As long as Wayne Besen's "Anything But Straight" is included, right next to it.

Because, you know - there's nothing like being paid to say you're a "former homosexual/drag queen", while you're weeble-wobbling through a gay bar dick-hunt. Change IS possible!

Posted by: Scott | Aug 30, 2008 4:47:24 PM

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