Nothin' Like a Lesbian Sock at Bedtime

Children's book author creates a gay character, stirs controversy

By Kristin Nehls
|  Tuesday, Jul 28, 2009  |  Updated 2:18 PM EDT
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They're socks. They're gay. Get used to it.

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Ever think about Dr. SeussThing 1 and Thing 2, those asexual beings whose unwavering partnership goes unquestioned?

What about "The Cat in the Hat?"   What if Seuss decided to make his mischievous feline gay?

Chicago area author Christine Gayle made that exact decision with “Dottie the Sock: How I Found My Pair,” the first children’s book in a new 10-book series.

Gayle’s series revolves around the main character, a lesbian sock named Dottie, encountering various modern day situations. In the first book, Dottie searches for her mate – a fellow female sock.

“We’re built on the belief that you’re supposed to be with your own kind,” Gayle said. “I (approach homosexuality) in a very simple language. It’s very simple for kids to understand. It’s not vulgar or inappropriate in any way.”

Still, Gayle – a straight woman – said she’s received numerous e-mails in the week since the book’s release with parents accusing her of misrepresenting her book and dooming our country to hell.

They demand she clarify the book’s homosexual connotations by changing the title to “Dottie the Lesbian Sock.”  Obviously these parents aren't in the book marketing business.

Many angry parents want warning because they say religious restrictions forbid them from reading the book to their children.  But that, of course, begs the question -- did they read it themselves before they read it to their kids?

Gayle refuses to put a sock in it.

“I just feel that [changing the title would be] labeling her [Dottie the Sock] as if she has a disease,” Gayle said. “The story I’m trying to tell is that Dottie is just like anyone out there. It doesn’t matter if she’s black or white or Muslim or lesbian.”

Forget about homosexual rumors between The Man in the Yellow Hat and Curious – or should we say bi-curious? – George. Dottie the Sock is staying out of the closet.

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