Hello everyone!

Something has really been bugging me and I wanted to address it here in public for a couple of reasons. In the first chapter of THIS BOOK IS GAY the following sentence appears:

“So why don’t we teach you about same-sex couples when we teach Sex Ed? Or that a lot of people choose their gender?”

I see now that my choice of words was wonky here. What I OF COURSE meant was:

“So why don’t we teach you about same-sex couples when we teach Sex Ed? Or that a lot of people choose to change their gender identity from the one they were assigned at birth?”

No-one chooses their gender in the same way that no-one chooses their eye colour. Many, many other sentences in the book reflect this truthI suppose some people can choose to ignore compelling feelings about their gender or sexual preference, but I’m not sure how happy they’d be.

The reasons I wanted to address this are twofold: One, some sassmongers up on social media be shady. I’m all for criticism, but I worry that demonising THIS BOOK IS GAY over a single sentence will prevent it from reaching the hands of young people who could really do with it in their lives.

Secondly, I wanted to hold my hands up and say I GOT IT WRONG. I really did. Sometimes I f*ck up. Unfortunately, on this occasion, my f*ck up is there where everyone can read it. I say in the book that we have to be allowed to make mistakes. Social media is getting so scarily reactionary right now that I worry people will just stop talking about things which absolutely HAVE to be talked about: gender, sexuality, race, feminism, politics. We ALL make mistakes. It’s in how we move on from them.

I apologise if any trans, cis, genderqueer or otherwise readers felt excluded by that wonky sentence. Rest assured I’m going to do everything I can to get it amended in future print runs.

James xxx

Updated – Both Hot Key Books in the UK and SourceBooks Fire in the US have agreed to amend in future print runs! Thanks lovely publishers!