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Kevin Sorbo doesn't want anyone to say his anti-trans children's book is anti-trans
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Washed-up actor Kevin Sorbo recently released a new children’s book called The Test of Lionhood that he hopes will teach little boys how to become “strong men [and] strong providers for families as they grow up.”
That alone might be fine, if forgettable, but the book appears to function as nothing more than a vehicle for Sorbo to trash transgender people.
Just consider how Sorbo describes the book in friendly media outlets like the Christian Post:
“[Lucas] has to build up some courage, getting past all these different obstacles to get past this fear. And it's really about letting boys become boys to hopefully become men and strong men, strong providers for families as they grow up,” Sorbo told The Christian Post.
“All the craziness that's going on with what we're doing to kids now in public schools, you know, we have to let kids be kids and let them just grow up.”
Sorbo said it's dangerous to teach children that men and women can swap sexes at will or that children can be whichever gender they choose.
“The danger is trying to make them the same. We're not the same. It's like these transgenders going in and racing against women in sports now, boxing matches. It's just crazy to me.”
And here he is in FOX News:
Sorbo expressed concern about "drag queen" story hours and other activities that he feels are "over the top" and "in our faces" today — and especially right in front of young children.
"Think about it," he said. "We give ‘pride’ an entire month in this country — yet we give our veterans one day. This is really weird to me."
Said Sorbo, "I don't care what people want to do with their lives. I really don't. I may feel sad for people if they've chosen a certain road, compared to a different road. But to sit there and try to tell young kids about [sex acts or gender changes] — that's absolutely ridiculous," he added.
And here he is in Newsmax:
But still, Sorbo said, "I want boys to become strong men who lead their families and communities. This takes nothing away from women's equality … women just have a different role in the family, and I think you need both a man and a woman raising a family."
None of those articles spend much time discussing the actual storyline in the book because, obviously, no one gives a shit. There’s no story worth talking about. Hell, Sorbo didn’t even write the damn thing himself. The book’s cover literally says it was written by Sorbo “and Brave Books.”
That would be the same publisher that released similar books by Kirk Cameron, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Jack Posobiec, and several other right-wing bigots. It’s a technique where hired (and unnamed) staffers write the books, but the conservative celebrities—whose actual input in these books is minimal—get to slap their names on it and treat it as their own.
Sorbo even admitted as much, telling FOX News, “I'm actually quite thrilled that I was asked to be part of this”… which is just not how real authors talk about their own books.
There’s nothing illegal about that system. But that’s why no one, including Sorbo, is pretending Sorbo did any heavy lifting here. The book is just a right-wing diatribe disguised as a parable. It’s a Breitbart blog post reinterpreted as a book for children but (let’s face it) intended for adults. Even FOX News Digital’s Maureen Mackey didn’t waste her time describing the contents of the book because, again, they all know it’s irrelevant:
"The Test of Lionhood," out on Tuesday, Aug. 29. 2023, from Brave Books, takes on these issues in an entertaining way for children.
But beyond the pages of his book, Sorbo said he's quite worried about what's going on in the culture.
That’s early in the article. The rest of the (very long) piece is just culture war bullshit.
So why even bother “writing” this? Because guys like Sorbo can’t talk about these issues unless they have something to promote, and the book gives him that opportunity. And then, if Brave Books has its way, whenever anyone complains about the book, they’ll pretend it’s an example of “cancel culture” or Christian persecution and generate more publicity for these books that have no lasting power on their own because there’s nothing unique or special about them.
That’s what happened on Tuesday when Joe Jervis of Joe. My. God. correctly pointed out that Sorbo’s book was anti-LGBTQ. He picked that up from these paragraphs in the Christian Post piece about Sorbo:
Christian actor and producer Kevin Sorbo has released a new faith-based children’s book that he wrote to expose the dangers of “woke” ideology and its agenda that’s blurring the lines of God’s creation and what it means to be male and female.
The 64-year-old actor, best known for his starring role in “Hercules” chronicles the journey of a lion cub named Lucas who endures numerous obstacles on a tricky route to find the cure to a deadly illness that has plagued his sister in the new children’s book, The Test of Lionhood.
At the end of the tale, a few pages are reserved for Scripture and what the Bible says about the gender roles God has designed for men and women.
They’re not even subtle about it.
The book and Sorbo’s own words make clear that boys need to accept a traditional gender role, implying that a boy who’s not sufficiently alpha is doing something wrong. Sorbo repeatedly says in interviews that it’s wrong to suggest there are transgender children (even though there are). He falsely claims that adults tell kids, “Let's change your sex” (even though they do not).
No one seems to care that their method of teaching kids to obey God’s rules for who they are involves a lion who wears flannel while speaking perfect English.
And yet after Jervis’ post went up, the right-wing grievance cycle kicked into high gear with Sorbo responding by predictably lying about his own book:
Yet another example of the left doing whatever it takes to score clicks while bashing Christian conservatives. This guy has no clue what he's talking about, and and only furthers narrative that most journalists are a joke.
My book, The Test of Lionhood, is about a lion cub who learns what it means to be courageous and BRAVE while on a dangerous adventure to save his sister cub. I guess books that don't include LGBTQ+ characters are automatically "Anti-LGBTQ."
(Jervis adds: “An earlier and now-deleted version of the above post closed with ‘Defamation suit?’”)
The book isn’t anti-trans because there are no trans characters; it’s anti-trans because Sorbo is using the book to condemn the very idea of trans children. It’s anti-trans because it suggests a boy who doesn’t become a Sorbo-esque version of a man isn’t living up to God’s Master Plan—and that’s especially true of a trans woman.
Maybe Sorbo just hasn’t read his book. That wouldn’t be surprising since he probably didn’t write any of it. But since he’s not about to get rave reviews for the book, he knows the only way he’ll get publicity is by overreacting to accurate descriptions of it.
In a follow-up post, Jervis reacted to Sorbo’s tweet by saying the responses to it only confirm the idea that the book is anti-trans:
… his tweet has sent hordes of his followers into my feed to accuse me of being a groomer and/or pedophile and to thank Sorbo for “standing up to the perverts.” Which kind of contradicts his contention.
You won’t see Sorbo pushing back on those unfair attacks because he doesn’t have the courage to stand up to his fellow right-wing bigots.
Courage, apparently, isn’t included in his vision of manhood.
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