Several incoming freshmen at Duke
University have refused to read a summer book option due to its gay
themes and sexual imagery.
In Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic,
out author Alison Bechdel looks at her life and her relationship with
her closeted father.
According to the Duke
Chronicle, several freshmen have complained about the book's
sexual images and themes, saying they conflict with their religious
“I feel as if I would have to
compromise my personal Christian moral beliefs to read it,” wrote
Brian Grasso in the Class of 2019 Facebook page.
Freshman Jeffrey Wubbenhorst agreed,
saying in an email that the novel's format “means that content that
I might have consented to read in print now violates my conscience
due to its pornographic nature.”
In a statement given to CNN, Duke
defended the book's inclusion.
“Duke has had a summer reading for
many years to give incoming students a shared intellectual experience
with other members of the class,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice
president for public affairs and government relations.. “Fun
Home was ultimately chosen because it is a unique and moving book
that transcends genres and explores issues that students are likely