When I was 13 and just starting to explore my sexuality I read a book called "Everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask."

For the most part it was the usual 1960s-1970s era sex-ed book but the chapter on homosexuality was ... criminal.

It was *incredibly* homophobic. No hope, everything was terrible. It said things like queers will molest anyone they can, spend their lives masturbating in the back of porn theaters, etc etc etc.

Based on that description I *knew* that couldn't possibly be me so I must not have been gay, right?

It set me back *years* in acceptance of who I am. It wasn't like I had any counter-examples. This was the late 1970s and we had no good role models.

This is one of the reasons I'm out now, so kids can see someone who is successful and not living the way that book says. Being a counter example is very important to me.

When the book was reprinted in the early 2000s, they updated everything else but left that chapter pretty much intact.

*If* you share this book with a younger or questioning person, make damn sure you discuss the reality Vs what that book says. Better yet, don't share the book with anyone else.

@nomad same- i could have written this. agreed and cosigned

@nomad actually what it said about trans women had me so ashamed of myself i thought being just gay was preferable;

@zens I don't remember what it said about trans people but given what I do remember about that book I'm sure it was beyond horrible.

@nomad it introduced me to the concept of “autogynephilia”, telling me that many trans women are not *true* trans women, but merely have a sick fetish for having their own vagina.

also if you take hormones to transition, you’ll probably die of breast cancer

@nomad it makes me actually wuite angry, i lost decades of my life to buying into that stuff; telling myself i wasn’t real.

@nomad I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

Where Did I Come From? Is a vastly superior book as it literally only discusses the mechanics of procreation, without any kind of hyperbole that I can remember.

@nomad in a little younger, so I was wrestling with this stuff in the mid80s and luckily Our Bodies Ourselves was very open and not homophobic. But my struggle was a real life example: the only lesbian couple I knew repulsed me so badly, I cried a lot in fear that they were how I would have to be. Luckily I figured out there was no reason I should be like them, but that's a big leap for a little kid. Definitely the more of us out and visible, the better. :_gayheart2:

@compostablespork Yay for getting past the fear and being a good example!

There are some real echoes of our experience in that.

For a good book, inclusive and informative we recommend

We bought it for our own children.
(Both of which are queer)

late 20th century homophobia discussion, a book most of us have heard of but never read turns out to be horrible, importance of more people coming out, cw-boost-reply 

@nomad i'm surprised and disappointed that this book i've only ever heard of turns out to be so horrible

but in retrospect this was a book that as its very first linguistic interaction with the reader starts off with a title that

a) rudely imputes emotions onto a total stranger

b) frames the entire subject matter in terms of fear

c) has the gall to claim to literally have everything

@carcinopithecus At thirteen I was more interested in the single three-letter-word in the title than any of those issues.

@nomad that "oh that doesn't sound like me so I must not be gay" is presumably the point of the propaganda

It's indoctrination at its most basic: Good People behave a certain way. People who do things another way are the Bad People. You're not Bad People, are you? Then you must never do anything except what the Good People do.

@calcifer @nomad i just remembered that Woody Allen directed a movie adaptation of this book.
if that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.

@zens I saw it way back when and all I remember thinking was how uninteresting and unfunny it was. @calcifer

@nomad @calcifer i don’t remember much about it other than being creeped out that it seemed to be mostly about his obsession with young girls

@nomad @calcifer like, as if he’s using the title phrase as a pick up line to proposition 15 year olds

@nomad @calcifer come to think if it… i must have skipped the chapters that weren’t relevant to me, but i wonder how much of it was propaganda aimed at subjugating young girls?

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