Rod Dreher: GLSEN’s toxic reading list eroticizes children

by Rod Dreher
The Dallas Morning News
Friday, December 11, 2009

If you ask me, nothing says Merry Christmas quite like a stage comedy about Santa Claus’ gay relationship with toymaker Geppetto, a descendant of Pinocchio. Alas for Santa Claus Is Coming Out, now showing to Off Broadway audiences, a play about a gay Santa tormented by his clandestine same-sex canoodling is bound to have limited appeal. But the ho-ho-homosexual comedy has been embraced by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a national gay organization dedicated to fighting anti-gay bullying in schools.

Who can be against that? Decent people are appalled by instances of gay children subjected to physical abuse or verbal torment. If stopping that were what GLSEN – a mainstream activist organization with major corporate, philanthropic and teachers union sponsors – were really about, it would be difficult to object to its work. What GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) really does, though, is to mouth slogans about the (laudable) need to stop anti-gay bullying as a pretext for sexualizing schoolchildren.

Take, for example, the recommended reading list on GLSEN’s Web site (, listing volumes that have been pre-screened by GLSEN staff. The investigative team at Breitbart TV, the crew behind the ACORN sting, ordered 11 books from GLSEN’s list for kids in grades 7 through 12 and posted scanned pages to the Web. You can see the revolting results at

The material is shockingly pornographic and cannot be discussed in much detail in a newspaper. Aaron Fricke, author of Reflections of a Rock Lobster, recalls performing oral sex on fellow first-graders. He gets lyrical reflecting on his erotic friendship with little Billy Marlen. “We were human beings who knew no social inhibitions and were willing to explore our sexuality to its fullest,” Fricke writes. He was in fourth grade; his child lover was in third. In another book, a lesbian essayist remembers making out as a tot with a girlfriend.

An essayist contributing to the Queer 13 anthology recalls his teenage introduction to lust in public lavatories (“The whole world of rest-room sex had opened itself up to me”)…

Dreher’s op-ed continues here.

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