I have a feeling I am going to be saying this for a lot for my reviews: I really wish I did not have to rate this book. (And not so often, warning: long review ahead.) And this is for #cbr11bingo #OwnVoices,
On one level, A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities is a five. There is so much going on! Everything is done in a friendly, accessible tone. Are you well on your way on your journey to knowing who you are? Are you questioning who you are because of your gender and/or sexuality? Are you someplace in the middle of your journey? Have you started to realize who you are is changing? Or are you a family member or a friend of someone who is in the GLBT+ community (either out for a while, just coming out, or starting to redefine themselves)? Then this is a practical guide for all of you. It can give you language to start understanding what you and others are going through. It can give you language to use to help others understand your journey.
On the other hand, this is a two. A personal two because I really am not a fan of Mady G’s illustrations. The colors upset my sensory issues. The colors blended together and threw off my visual reading. I thought I was on page X but had not finish page W yet. And talking snails? Beyond trippy. Sid and Marty Croft would be proud. In fact, at one point I thought the snail was getting ready to manically start going horror movie and eat everyone. It took away from the information presented.
But again, that is all my personal dislikes. The part with the Saplings (a side story to help put into images what is being said) was endearing and educational. That visual paired with text helps (literally) show the point being made. Therefore, all images will be liked or not on a very personal level.
Back to J.R. Zuckerberg’s text. It is a snail telling the story of people’s different gender identity, sexual identities and more. They cover the rainbow of different wording, facts and ways to help start you on the journey to self-discovery. Sometimes, places can get a little forceful and may not be a “friendly” as some people might light, but it is all realistic. The chapter at the end Relationship Basics was perhaps my favorite part of the whole book. While the first part is academic and descriptions, this put all of that into action, into realistic situations. This part can be used for anyone. This is just life lessons.
Two of my favorite sayings are one character is trying to be “their own role model” and the other “living your own best life can really help improve the lives of others.” While the author was saying this towards the GLBT+ community, this is beautiful advice to anyone. I wish I had the role model wording when an acquaintance of mine was struggling with her addiction and self-harm issues. The words I were using did not work, but that is what I wanted to say to her. Unfortunately, she took her own life. Therefore, knowing what the suicide rate is in the GLBT+ community, I could see saying this to anyone struggling with the issues the GLBT+ community deals with. That might seem naive (and I am willing to say that I probably am being naive), but I just like the feeling that comes from that. It speaks to me; therefore, I hope it would speak to others. Especially with the fact that there may not be a role model for you to follow; maybe you must be that first person, be that role model for others.
The only real issue I have is what age is this for? At first, I figured ages 10 to adult. But then there was a part about actual sex and terminology that not all younger kids are ready for. As an aunt, I am not sure what my nephews would have been ready for at 10. Would I want to introduce them to masturbation or asexuality or the physical acts that are mentioned (sometimes people have sex without a connection, or people sometimes have arousal without partaking in the act, but as a watcher). Therefore, parents, teachers, medical professionals, please know the child or adult. I know that what I was exposed to as a child is way different that what kids today see, but I still know that not everyone is ready for everything. Therefore, if you have a child under 10 or even a young 10 to 12-year-old, please read first. At the very least, you might be prepared for some the questions they might have.