Christian groups are up in arms against the release of a pro-transgender book for kids entitled "George." The book tells the story of a 10-year-old boy named George who does not really feel like a boy and prefers to be called "Melissa."
Christian faith defenders have expressed concern that the book might cause confusion among young children.
"It's challenging enough for normal children to navigate and come to terms with their gender, identity, what it means to be male or female," said Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council. "Things like this are only going to create greater confusion, add greater confusion to the struggles that in the ordinary course of things most children will have."
Dismissing the claims of book proponents that "George" was meant to teach children about compassion towards sexually-confused children, Sprigg said the book will actually have the effect of preventing children with gender issues from receiving helpful treatment.
"It may plant ideas in the minds of those who are struggling in some way. And this is completely unnecessary because what the research shows is that most children who struggle with gender identity issues actually have those issues resolved before adulthood and do not change their gender identity from their biological sex at birth," Sprigg explained.
Defending the book, children's publishing group Scholastic said "George" encourages young kids to "be who you are."
The story starts with George wanting to play Charlotte in the school play "Charlotte's Web," but the teacher bars him, saying Charlotte is supposed to be played by a female student. With help from his best friend Kelly, George came up with a plan. "Not just so she can be Charlotte—but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all," the book says.
According to Charisma News, the Alex Gino-authored book is getting extra promotional help from the taxpayer-funded National Public Radio. The group has already released 10,000 copies of the book to teachers and children's librarians. The author is also attending major book fairs to promote the transgender tale, which is targeted for children in 3rd to 7th grade.