A 28-year-old gay man is speaking out against his own mother’s crusade to ban books in his Texas hometown.
Weston Brown has been largely estranged from his family since coming out in 2018, but when he came across a video of his mother Monica demanding that books featuring LGBTQ themes and depictions of sexuality be banned at a school board meeting in North Texas, he decided to speak up.
“This is my mom,” Brown wrote on Twitter in early July, in response to another tweet about Monica’s remarks. “Seeing her advocate for the erasure of queer representation is crushing. Coming up on the 5 year anniversary of being effectively cut off from my family and siblings after coming out in 2018. Much love to those standing up and pushing back for representation.”
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This is my mom. Seeing her advocate for the erasure of queer representation is crushing. Coming up on the 5 year anniversary of being effectively cut off from my family and siblings after coming out in 2018. Much love to those standing up and pushing back for representation.🏳️🌈 https://t.co/TGyMelFwJd
— Weston Brown (@wstnbrwn) July 3, 2022
“It was one thing when my parents’ beliefs were causing this rift between us and it was just a family matter,” Brown told NBC News. “But seeing now that she’s applying those same views to public activism, at a time when so many basic rights are being challenged, I couldn’t stay quiet about that.”
In a long profile, Brown described how his mother, who homeschooled him and his eight siblings and is the director of a private Christian education cooperative, strictly monitored the books and films he consumed growing up. She even went so far as to bake a pan of brownies that she claimed included “a little bit of dog poo” for her son to illustrate a point about exposing yourself to harmful ideas via books, films, etc.
After Brown came out in 2018, his parents urged him to see a Christian counselor and would only allow him to see his younger siblings at church.
“You are not invited to our house for Thanksgiving or any other meal,” Monica texted him in November 2018.
Monica also attributed her son’s homosexuality to “clown demons” that “entered” him when he watched part of the Stephen King mini-series It when he was 10.
In the years since, she has become a leading figure in her hometown of Granbury, Texas, advocating for the removal of books she considers obscene. She served on her local school district’s book review committee and has spoken at school board meetings and filed more than a dozen book challenges.
She has even suggested that a local Christian pastor should decide which books should be allowed on public school shelves.
In May, she filed a police report with Hood County Constable Chad Jordan alleging that the district was making pornography available to students.
Monica has insisted that she is not specifically targeting LGBTQ books. But according to NBC News, of the nearly 80 books she has targeted, three out of five feature LGBTQ characters or themes.
Both of Brown’s parents have texted him recently insisting that they have not come out against the LGBTQ community. But Brown has continued to speak out against his mother’s book-banning efforts.
My mom's work to silence the sharing of human experience is chilling. Only abusers create an environment of silence and hiding.💔 Ironically, her work has led myself and friends to seek out these very books. So far I have only found meaningful, thoughtful, & heartfelt accounts 😞 https://t.co/Fv5eN9kR1c
— Weston Brown (@wstnbrwn) August 9, 2022
“My mom’s work to silence the sharing of human experience is chilling,” he wrote in a tweet earlier this week. “Only abusers create an environment of silence and hiding. Ironically, her work has led myself and friends to seek out these very books. So far I have only found meaningful, thoughtful, & heartfelt accounts.”