A children’s talking book offered at a suburban Kansas City public library seeks to teach the ABCs using words such as trans, intersex, bi(sexual), pan(sexual) and non-binary.
Some examples from the book The GayBCs by M.L. Webb, three copies of which are available through the Johnson County Library in Kansas:
- B is for BI. You can shout it out loud: “I like boys and girls, and that makes me proud!”
- D is for DRAG. You can strut and dance in clothes that you love: dresses, heels, or pants!
- G is for GAY. It’s a word that implies you’re a girl who likes girls or a guy who likes guys.
- I is for INTERSEX. Some are born with the parts of both a boy and a girl; bodies are works of art!
- L is for LESBIAN. It’s love and affection between two special girls who share a connection.
- N is for NON-BINARY. You don’t identify as just being a girl or just being a guy.
- P is for PAN. You connect with a vibe. No matter the gender, it’s about what’s inside.
- Q is for QUEER. An inclusive term. It’s used to show pride, unite, and affirm!
- T is for TRANS. It’s a brave step to take to live as the gender you know is innate.
- X is for X. You can write it down when you don’t prefer “M” or “F” as your noun.
“Pan” seems to be short for pansexual, described as “sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction towards people of all genders, or regardless of their sex or gender identity.”
The Lion, which checked out the book after being on a waiting list, asked a library spokesman if the library board believes such sexually evocative expressions are appropriate for children who may not even be old enough to read; whether the library board approved the book; and if parents being warned about the book’s sexually suggestive content, or that of other books like it.
A library spokesperson responded by defending the book’s presence in the library.
“Our collection development policy, which is reviewed and approved by our Board of Directors, supports the purchase of a wide variety of materials to support a wide variety of interests within our community,” Elissa Andre, external communication manager for the library, wrote to The Lion. “We defend the right of all people to have access to materials and information they seek, as well as free speech, and feel it is the parent’s privilege and responsibility to decide what is and what is not appropriate for their own child at any developmental stage.”
The statement did not address whether parents are, or should be, warned of such content.
Parents aren’t always aware of such books being proffered to their children by a library. The Lion talked with one young mother who was horrified to discover that her preschool son had picked it off a shelf at the Blue Valley library and began listening to it. She said she found in the book more than a dozen things she didn’t want her child exposed to.
Commentator Matt Walsh reviewed The GayBCs in a YouTube video, in which he estimated the age of its reader would range from 3 to 7. In the video, Walsh says he hadn’t previewed the book ahead of time, so his reactions were fresh and organic.
“For all the 4-year-old bisexuals out there,” Walsh joked darkly at the “B is for bi” page. “Kids at that age don’t have a sexuality.”
Perhaps that’s the point of the book – to mold a child’s sexuality before it’s formed?
“Why are we telling little kids about ‘intersex’?” which is an extremely rare biological abnormality, Walsh says. “At what point in a 4-year-old’s life do you say to yourself, ‘You know what? I’ve got to sit little Johnny down and give him the ‘intersex’ talk?”
As for a 4-year-old boy deciding he doesn’t identify as binary, “that has no meaning coming out of his mouth,” Walsh argues. And as for pansexual, Walsh again says sardonically, “that’s a concept we need to introduce to kids, of course.”
Walsh asks: “What is this book responding to? You can’t say that, ‘Oh, we needed a gay alphabet book in order to be inclusive because of all those straight, heterosexual alphabet books out there.’ There wasn’t any straight, heterosexual alphabet book for kids. There was just an alphabet book.”
Johnson County Commissioner Charlotte O’Hara, who has raised the issue of inappropriate books for teens being given out at the county library, was perhaps more appalled with this book.
“Why are our tax dollars be spent on putting such offensive material on JoCo Library shelves for 3-year-old children to innocently choose because of the colorful graphics?” she wrote to The Lion. “Because our children are in the sights of the Leftist agenda can be the only answer. We have met the enemy and the enemy is us if we do not stand against this pervasive sexualization of our children.
“Shame on all of us for funding such filth.”
After finishing his impromptu review of the book, Walsh tosses it disgustedly over his shoulder. “I have normally been opposed to book burning. But I would make an exception for that appalling mass of insanity and filth.”
Walsh notes that most things that are alleged to be offensive today aren’t. But of the book, he says “that right there, that is offensive. I am offended by the sexual indoctrination of children. I am upset by predators, like the author of that book, grooming children. That does offend me. It does.
“And that’s what this is. It’s grooming.”
Walsh compared it to a strange man walking up on a playground and offering to tell your child what a pansexual or bisexual is. You wouldn’t like it, he said.
In this case, he suggested, it’s a book.