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29Apr

Children’s author Simon James Green: ‘I just wanted to show LGBT+ kids that it’s not all doom and gloom’

The gay writer who was banned from visiting a London school discusses why young LGBT+ people need representation more than ever

A few weeks after he was banned from visiting a London school by the Catholic church, Simon James Green was confronted with an array of protest paraphernalia. The author, whose stories for young adults have been applauded for reflecting the upside, as well as the angst, of queer teen lives, was at an awards ceremony in Bristol. Members of a local school’s LGBT+ society had made banners and leaflets proclaiming their solidarity, and denouncing “kids in Catholic school locked in the closet”.

“It was so touching, so all-round impressive,” Green says. Neatly, it also encapsulates the core message of Gay Club!, his latest novel for young adults, which follows chess geek Barney on his mission to shake up his own school’s LGBT+ society. “Pinning some rainbow flags to our club noticeboard won’t change anything,” says Barney. “We need to unite and fight. Campaign. Be visible.”

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