Christian Students At THIS University Object To Reading Offensive LGBT Novel

September 08, 2015Sep 08, 2015

It can be difficult to get your kids to do their recommended reading over the summer, but for some students at Duke University, it wasn't summer work they objected to but rather what was on the recommended reading list.

According to a report by Duke University's The Chronicle, incoming freshmen were asked to read “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic", a graphic novel with strong LGBT themes.


Some students objected to the memoir that depicts the life of the author who grew up with a gay father and experienced her own "coming out" as a lesbian.  But it's not just the theme of Alison Bechdel's novel they objected to, but also, as posted by Freshman Brian Grasso, "the graphic visual depictions of sexuality." Freshman Jeffrey Wubbenhorst described the book as pornographic, and freshman Biaca D'Souza was offended by artwork depicting nudity.

In trying to defend of the controversial book, freshman Marivi Howell-Arza commented that “Reading the book will allow you to open your mind to a new perspective and examine a way of life and thinking with which you are unfamiliar.”

The controversy was made public by Grasso, who posted his thoughts on Facebook and received support from several other students.  He said he wanted to ensure that other students with similar Christian beliefs did not feel like they were alone in feeling uncomfortable about the book.

Senior Sherry Zhang, who helped select the list of summer reading material, said she found the debate following Grass's Facebook post to be “very respectful and considerate.”

Zhang said that "Fun Home" is not required reading — rather recommended reading — and she wants to students to " talk about why they chose to read it or not.”

Have your kids been asked to read something you've objected to?