Todd Starnes

Incoming freshmen at the College of Charleston are being encouraged to discover their ‘erotic truth’ by reading a comic book memoir about a woman coming to terms with her sexual identity and her closeted gay father who had a relationship with an underage male babysitter.

“Fun home: A Family Tragicomic,” is the school’s official selection for “The College Reads!” The graphic novel written by Alison Bechdel explores gender and sexuality issues. The book is included in academic curriculum as well as other activities and all faculty and incoming students have been urged to read The New York Times bestseller.

“This book will open important conversations about identity, diversity, sexuality and finding one’s place in the world,” Provost George Hynd said in a prepared statement.”

Bechdel is the author of self-syndicated comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For” and was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award.

“The themes of Fun Home support the Diversity Strategic Plan, the creating of the Gender Resource Center on campus and speak volumes about our commitment to an open campus climate for all students,” Hynd said.

The book has outraged some parents who accuse the College of Charleston of trying to confuse students about their sexuality.

“The school has a reading guide that questions the values and morals a parent has instilled,” one parent told Fox News. “It asks the child to question their own sexual identity.”

The college spent nearly $40,000 to give the book to incoming freshman and will spend another $13,000 to bring the author to campus in the fall.

According to a reader’s guide, the college wants students to explore “erotic truth.”

“What does Bechdel suggest we risk by denying our erotic truth,” the reader’s guide asks.

But some parents called the graphic novel college-sponsored pornography.

“I was appalled,” one parent told Fox News. “This is a gay-rights coming-out book and it has some pretty strong anti-Christian themes in it.”

The parent asked not to be identified because they feared their 18-year-old son might face repercussions on campus.

“The book references pedophilia and has graphic images of women having oral sex,” the parent told Fox News. “Selecting such a book makes me wonder what kind of agenda the college has.”

The parent said they contacted the College of Charleston with their concerns but were rebuffed.

“They said they are trying to help the students find themselves,” the parent said. “My wife said she thinks they’re trying to help them lose themselves of everything we’ve taught them. This is not their business. They are overstepping their bounds.”


Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes is the host of Fox News & Commentary – heard daily on 250+ radio stations. He’s also the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America.” To check out all of his work you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter @toddstarnes. In his spare time, Todd is active in his church, plays golf, follows SEC football, and eats barbecue. He lives in New York City.