Khalaf, Riyadh. “Yay! You’re Gay! Now What?: A Gay Boy’s Guide to Life”, illustrated by Melissa McFeeters, Lincoln Children’s Books,2019.
I Am Not Sure How to Feel About This Book
I am by no means a prude but I do suppose that I am something of a contradiction when it comes to talking about sex. I still believe in discretion and that there are somethings that we just should not talk about. Therefore you can imagine how I felt when I saw a copy of “Yay! You’re Gay! Now What?”. There are sections on “Awkward Boners”, “Wet Dreams”, “Circumcision”, “Doing it” and “Cumming”, to name just a few and they are illustrated. Sure, I guess my younger life would have been a good deal easier if I had had a guide such as this but then I would have missed out on learning about these topics myself.
We get the following words from the author who I understand is a journalist, a YouTuber and LGBT+ advocate who has quite a following.
“Yay! You’re gay! Or maybe you’re bi. Or maybe you just feel different… in time, that difference will become the greatest gift you could ask for. It will bring you love, a sense of identity, a new community, and eventually the freedom to be yourself. I promise!”
I read that this is meant to be a “personal, heartfelt go-to guide for young queer guys… [with] frank advice about everything from coming out to relationships, as well as interviews with inspirational queer role models, and encouragement for times when you’re feeling low.” There’s a support section for family and friends written by Riyadh’s parents and embarrassing stories from gay boys around the world. Aside from what I have already mentioned there are chapters on:
• Labels – what does it mean to be gay, bi, trans or queer?
• Coming out
• Your first crush
• Dealing with bullies
• Learning to love your body
• Sex ed for gay guys
• Coping with embarrassing moments
• Finding your tribe
There are illustrations throughout.
Of course, it could be me but this is not a book that I would want an uninformed teen to find even though I am sure that it has been edited and re-edited. I am just not sure that this is a book we are ready for.