Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Boy Meets Boy


Boy Meets Boy is an LGBT-themed young adult novel written by David Levithan. It stands out from other novels in its genre because rather than dealing with the difficulties of being an LGBT teen, it's set in a "gaytopia". It's set in a town where the Gay-Straight Alliance has more members than the PTA, the homecoming queen is also the star quarterback, and it's truly okay to be who you want to be. The conflict in the story arises from mixed signals, causing the main character Paul to be caught in a love triangle while his friend Joni is dating a guy he thinks is bad news. Boy Meets Boy is a well-written and wonderful little story about love and tolerance. I think it would be extremely beneficial and comforting to teens struggling with their sexuality and looking for a little hope.

The book is rarely challenged because there simply is no objectionable content aside from LGBT themes without condemnation. There is no coarse language, sexual content, drug use, or anything else that tends to cause controversy. There is kissing, but it is Disney-esque and completely G-rated. There is one mild sexual reference: Paul is visiting a friend of his who is gay and his parents disapprove. The friend's mother keeps coming into the room and Paul privately wonders if she thinks he'll begin "ravishing her son on the table if she doesn't come in the kitchen every ten minutes for a glass of water." That's it. David Levithan mentioned that he specifically wrote it to be as clean as possible. The only reason Boy Meets Boy would be challenged is because of the oh-so-scary "homosexual themes."

In spite of its G rating, challenges to Boy Meet Boy crop up.  It was challenged in 2009 at the West Bend (Wisconsin) public library, after the library put in on a gay-themed reading list.  The Oklahoma Library Association noted a challenge in 2003. Neither of these direct challenges was successful, although an article in Random House Inc. magazine indicates that the book is stolen from libraries with some frequency.

[This article was written in collaboration with Meghan of tolerance-megitty.blogspot.com]

5 comments:

  1. I have to see the thefts as a good sign. I imagine it is stolen more by gay teens afraid to check it out than would-be censors.

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  2. It is sad but true that there is still enough stigma attached to the gay label that some feel pressured to find covert ways to gather information about this aspect of human nature.

    It is also sad that stealing library books is a tactic sometimes used by would-be censors.

    We just have no way to know.

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  3. A friend and I are both reading this book. Whereas I'm not gay and he is, its still a good read. The authors humor jumps out and bites you from the get go. To ban a book purely on the sexuality of the main character is stupid. If such things were to be considered I would hope the same would go for alot of the non-gay, more pornagraphic by far, books we see on the shelves today. Stupid Baaah people -.-

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