October 2005


Absolutely Positively…

I picked up a gay children’s novel while I was last in Amsterdam—Boekhandel Vrolijk is one of several gay bookstores in Amsterdam and it has an excellent English selection—plus Dutch and Deutsch selections, which I’m less able to judge.

Absolutely Positively Not… , by David Larochelle, is a very charming book about Steven, but not wannabeleader at Michigan. This Steven is a high school student who is absolutely, positively, not gay. To ensure that he’s not gay, he undertakes a series of steps to ensure straight-hood, including sitting with the hockey team, rubber bands, and something else I never tried when I was in high school.

The book is really sweet and presents a world view that is dramatically different from Boy Meets Boy, where being queer is normal and living in intolerant cities is not. In Absolutely Positively Not, the world is more realistic—there are consequences to coming out in high school, and many of them are not good.

I feel fortunate that this book was at the bookshop in Amsterdam—teen and children’s gay literature is still sorely lacking, as far as I can tell—and I enjoy reading it.

2 comments to Absolutely Positively…

  • Chris

    Hello Adam,
    How is Jena these days? I have enjoyed your post about Jena, as part of my heart is still there.

  • polysemica

    As I read your entry, I was reminded of an article “Banning Gay Books” by Mubarak Dahir, posted on AlterNet on September 28, 2005.

    “The children’s picture book King & King is a cute little fairy tale where a young crown prince searches for love, rejecting one suitor after another until he finds his soul mate. Like most fairy tales, this one has a happy ending, with the prince becoming king and living happily ever after with the person he loves.

    But in the real world, there isn’t such a fairy-tale ending for this book…”