Friday, April 9, 2010

Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez, and the "Homosexual Agenda"

When you research all of these banned books, after a while everything starts to look the same, especially considering the fact that so many of them apparently promote a "homosexual agenda." Take this book, which I read sometime during high school. It deals with a trio of young men who are all struggling with their sexuality- either hiding it or embracing it. Overall, it's a pretty well-written book which succeeds at portraying the feelings of torment and confusion a gay teenager likely experiences.

Various states including (not surprisingly) Texas challenged and removed this and other books under the premise of "explicit sexual content." The Library Patrons of Texas removed 16 books with gay-positive themes, this one included, in 2005. Also, in Wisconsin, Owen-Withee Junior-Senior High School faced a challenge by citizens regarding this book- some of whom didn't even have children in the school district- for "pervasively vulgar, gay content." The book remained, with the superintendent recommending parental consent be required for seventh to ninth graders who wanted to read the book. And lastly, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Parents Protecting the Minds of Children removed this and its sequel, Rainbow High, for profane language, depictions of sexuality and promoting a "homosexual agenda."

Which prompts the question- what exactly is the "homosexual agenda"? Is it some kind of plot to overtake the innocent children of America and turn them into God-forsaken, primitive, raving sodomizers?

Group B just doesn't get it, do they? I get that for some people, the Bible tells them that people choose to be gay and all, but that's just not true. If it were, we wouldn't have such a high suicide rate for homosexuals- and it is fairly high, no matter what "Traditional Values Coalitions" and the like tell you. (P.S. The fact that someone has "thought about suicide" still reveals that something has happened in order for them to have those thoughts, TVC.) Oh, and I'm sure science tells us that hormone levels and the workings of the brain are different for homosexuals than they are for heterosexuals. Though we are slowly becoming more accepting of gays in general, there is still a long way to go, in part thanks to the people who want them to disappear and who believe that, God forbid, if someone decides to write a book or start a TV show about these people, children are going to read or watch them and want to be like them. I respect what other people believe in general, but when it comes to this topic, I just feel like screaming. Do people still really believe, even with all of the evidence that says they do not choose this lifestyle, that they do? And even if that were true, who's to say that homosexuals don't deserve the same type of representation in society and pop culture as do homosexuals? I'm sure that no one is "recruiting" children to join their "Satanist" and "unclean" lifestyle. They're simply writing what they know best about, and if that's a crime, then lock them up, I suppose. But then you would have to imprison thousands upon thousands of writers and intellectuals who have covered topics they know and feel strongly about.

Alex Sanchez has openly talked about the struggle to keep his books in school libraries, and clearly he feels that this is a case of discrimination. I'm inclined to agree with him. Although there have been plenty of books banned or challenged that contain explicit sexual content between men and women, for some reason there's always an emphasis on a homosexual agenda or viewpoint regarding books like Rainbow Boys. Among other titles that promote this "agenda" are How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez, Paula by Isabel Allende, Am I Blue? Coming Out From the Silence by Marion Diane Bauer, Family Values by Phyllis Burke, Forever... by Judy Blume, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and The Drowning of Stephan Jones by Bette Greene, all books I've read or intend to read and review soon. As for this book... just read it, and make your own decisions.

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