Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, someone who has a family member and/or friend who is, or you’re simply curious about queer & trans identities, A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities is a super useful and accessible title. It covers not just identities you may have heard of before, but more within the spectrum of queerness, a facet that is helpful not only for people seeking information out of interest, but for those that may still be questioning their own identities.
Published: 23 April 2019
Publisher: Limerence Press
Category: LGBT/Graphic Novels/Non-fiction
In this quick and easy guide to queer and trans identities, cartoonists Mady G and JR Zuckerberg guide you through the basics of the LGBT+ world! Covering essential topics like sexuality, gender identity, coming out, and navigating relationships, this guide explains the spectrum of human experience through informative comics, interviews, worksheets, and imaginative examples. A great starting point for anyone curious about queer and trans life, and helpful for those already on their own journeys!
Rating: 4 Stars
A Quick & Easy Guide is told from the perspective of snails, the lead being Iggy, a pet of a queer human who brings the snail to fireside chats with their friends. At one of these outings, wild snails stumble upon the humans and wish to know more, to which Iggy responds with the information that follows.
The book addresses romantic identities (aromantic, panromantic, etc.) as well as sexual or gender identities. There’s a good discussion on asexuality and the varying “degrees” therein. Several terms that don’t get spoken of enough (autochorissexual, etc) get attention herein, as well as important chapters that talk about the difference between sex, gender, sexuality, and romantic identities. This can be hard to grasp for those new to the terms, but this guide takes the time & is utterly patient when explaining the differences.
Not only does this book talk about labels, though, but also about respect: for oneself, for your partner(s), and others in the LGBTQIA+ community. Using the term queer isn’t for everyone. You have to respect yourself & be careful when thinking about things like coming out of the closet (is it safe? do you have a support group?). There are whole sections on what it means to be trans, gender expression, dysphoria, communication and ways to identify toxic relationships. The communication section is especially essential reading because as Iggy says at one point (paraphrasing here): just because you’re in the same community doesn’t mean getting hurt isn’t possible.
The method of telling the story primarily through the snails’ perspectives felt like a bit of an odd choice. Humans make a few appearances to talk about their experiences; there are segments detailing the life of Sproutlings, who highlight the topic of the section their segment follows. Perhaps this narrative choice was to make the information more accessible to a younger audience? Odd as I found it at first, as a thirty-something, the storytelling by a snail was not actually a detriment to the overall work.
The art was good itself, though the coloring left something to be desired as, aside from the Sproutlings segments, it was almost entirely in shades of pink with some accent colors. This reliance on what felt like a limited color palette made what was otherwise a well drawn graphic novel feel a bit one dimensional.
Would I recommend this? Heck yes. While there were sections that I would’ve liked to get more coverage (i.e. plus size trans individuals), overall this guide is a good general one for queer & trans identities. It’s one that will educate and hopefully inspire some conversations that were previously difficult to open. Whether you buy this for yourself or someone else, the person reading it is sure to find something important to them within.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.