Controversial gay coloring book hits store shelves
Story by 13 On Your Side Newsroom
(CBS 8) - A coloring book that has just hit store shelves is already a popular seller that definitely has people talking. According to the publisher, that's the whole point.
From fabulous gay role models to a map of same sex marriage states, the "Being Gay is Okay" coloring book is like nothing you or your children have ever seen before.
"There's nothing in the book about sex. There's no agenda in the book," said Publisher Wayne Bell.
Bell says searches on his coloring book company's website showed him there was a need for this book, which also includes sharing cards of famous gay people and a list of help organizations.
"This book is about education. It's about inclusion, it's about diversity," Bell said.
But is it appropriate for a preschooler? After all, they are the target age for most coloring books.
"Legal same sex marriage... I don't think any 5-year-old is going to talk about legal same sex marriage," Pontillo said.
Pontillo thinks most of the book will simply go over a child's head with no harm, but she also sees pages they will understand, like the one with a family with two dads, and she says that's a good thing.
"You know, we're not talking about sexuality. We're not talking about what that means to be in love. We're just talking about different kinds of families, and everyone's family is different and here's what my family looks like, and let's color it," she said.
What Pontillo really likes about the book is that it's a creative way to get people talking about an issue many find uncomfortable, but must face.
"It's a way to open up discussion. I think a lot of parents who do come to see me come to see me because they have no idea what to do," she said.
The book also includes pages on homophobia, hate mongers and bullying.
"You know, I think it's education, and I don't think there's ever a harm to education," she said.
And while some like Dr. Pontillo like the book, Bell has heard opinions from plenty of others who don't like it at all.
"That being gay is a sin, that it's a choice and somebody just decides 'I'm going to be gay,' and make no mistake about it. People do not make that choice," he said.
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