This Book is Gay is the instruction manual for all those who have ever wondered. Sex education in the UK rarely covers relationships or body issues outside cis heterosexual and this book is something to plug the gap, covering many aspects of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and * (to include the whole spectrum). Hopefully it will find its way into many schools and the hands of those you need something like this to help them feel that everything’s OK.

It lays out the facts and is wonderfully informative for anyone with questions or doubts or just plain nosy. And it’s all done with trademark James Dawson humour. Most importantly, it’s so inclusive and accepting. It may be aimed and LGBT* teens, their parents and teachers, but there’s nothing to make you feel like you’re not allowed to be reading it. Which is partly the whole point, people are people no matter what they do with their genitalia. As James says, you can identify as a carrot if that makes you happy.

As well as James’ own advice, there’s plenty of facts and testimonials from real people of a variety of ages and backgrounds. It explains terms, without any embarrassing internet search trail for others to find, and it also lays out stereotypes and why they’re bad but also why they exist. And yes, there’s a chapter on sex as well as some SADFACE aspects, such as discriminatory laws and HIV.

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.

It also has pictures! Not embarrassing, sex-ed style, photos of willies but fantastic and amusing illustrations (OK, sometimes with willies) by Spike Gerrell.

I loved the holy book interpretation section; what to do if someone uses the “it’s in the Bible” excuse (but also takes a look at other religions). James focuses on the two most problematic passages that generally get wheeled out and shows how they can be interpreted in different ways. And also how there’s plenty of other stuff that’s in there that no one follows today. The good news is, Buddhism and Hinduism both promote a general acceptance of all.

This Book is Gay is published by Hot Key Books and is available in paperback from 4th September 2014. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.