Books and Rainbows

| Jun 2, 2014
Spread the love

The Artist D's Rainbow of Reading

The Artist D’s Rainbow of Reading

Recently we’ve heard that Levar Burton was raising a whole lot of money via Kickstarter to reboot Reading Rainbow. I have never thought very highly of Reading Rainbow. I was a rare breed of child who became bored by the books featured and it made me want to read less. It was a lot like how the D.A.R.E. Program in the United States made me want to grow up and take drugs.

It all makes me wonder why we need to raise millions of dollars in order to get kids back into reading. Reading is free after all and last I checked libraries still existed. The key to getting kids into reading isn’t supporting campaigns to do such, but instead sitting your kids down and making them read a book.

The problem with books for kids remains the same now as it was when I was growing up. The books provided are terribly boring! Who wants to read Old Man and the Sea when they’re in eighth grade surrounded by hormones and flashy distractions?

classicsI say I was a special breed but really I was just freak unique. You’ve read that phrase from me before and it is meant in the nicest way. Freak unique is anyone who does not fit in to the norm. It’s not to say that being transgender or homosexual is not normal, it just wasn’t normal to everybody else. So, the question may be who wants to read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea when they’re the wrong body wanting to have sex with someone of the wrong gender? At that time of my life I wanted to read about people like me.

Unfortunately, since I was not allowed out of the normalcy bubble I didn’t know people like me existed. Nobody told me that Quinten Crisp was fabulous or that Salvador Dali was raving on in publications regarding scatalogical elements. Had I known it would have been like a teen in 1970s Baltimore discovering John Waters. The unique creatures discovering their own personal Jesus.

I stopped trying to read books right around the fifth grade. I learned in school that all books were needed for was to do book reports. I would read the beginning and end, then revise the back cover synopsis into a book review which I would always get an A grade on. Books were boring and not about me so I dropped them like hot potatoes.

It wasn’t until my early 20s when I picked up a biography by some freakishly fabulous individual and read from cover to cover. That person mentioned other fabulous people and soon I was going from one autobiography to another discovering people who were just like me! I found a connection to history and (most importantly) to people. I suddenly wanted to read.

I feel cheated from all the empty childhood years I could have spent up in my room reading books that would build my character before adulthood. I’m bitter for the books Reading Rainbows provided to the generations and not handing them alternative views which they can connect to.  This is why I’d prefer we gather the collections of Crisp, Dali, Capote, Dawkins and LaVey for the children. Stick the teens in the corner and make them read until they feel the connection. It just might hit the spot and save the world.

  • Yum

Spread the love

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Opinion

The Artist D

About the Author ()

The Artist D is a true raconteur and provocateur! He has been performing online since the mid 1990s. A relic from the cam show age before MySpace was any space. Author of In Bed with Myself, an autobiographical tale of transgenderism and Internet celebrity. Executive Editor of Fourculture Magazine and host of the Kawfeehaus podcast.

Comments are closed.