Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far)” as Want to Read:
First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  14 reviews

In this amazing, wide-ranging anthology of nonfiction essays, contributors write intimate and honest first-person accounts of queer experience, from coming out to “passing” as straight to growing old to living proud. These are the stories of contemporary gay and lesbian life—and by definition, are funny, sad, hopeful, and truthful. Representing a diversity of genders, a

Paperback, 1st Edition, 224 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Arsenal Pulp Press (first published 2007)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about First Person Queer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about First Person Queer

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  113 ratings  ·  14 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far)
Just A. Bean
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, lgbt
This is a collection of about forty first person essays/stories/rants/raves/musings about queer life. A couple of things really rocked about it.
1) while the majority voice was white, able, cis-gendered North American, the editors made sure to promote a wide variety of viewpoints in terms of race, culture, ability and gender identity. This was really nice as a lot of queer lit tends to be either young cis-gendered white dudes or middle-aged cis-gendered white lesbians. This wasn't as diverse as i
George K. Ilsley
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: anthology, gay
A startling, vivid, memorable collection. Diverse and inspirational. Like any anthology, there is a range of material. The difference here is the honesty— these are non-fiction stories, gifts from our friends and neighbours sharing insights into their lives, their histories, hopes, and dreams. All that and more.
Plus, a story from me about finding a bird in Paris, and giving him to a French lifeguard.
Kind of put off by the fact that two of the first three essays are by a cis woman who only dates queer men and calls herself a "queer heterosexual" (it's not like queer is a reclaimed slur or anything, nooo) and a cis woman who only dates trans and gender variant people and casually throws around a lot of slurs. I'm sticking this out for Ivan E. Coyote, but I'm not as excited about it as I was. :/

ETA: Okay, it turns out that those two essays were the most iffy in the book. Lots of interesting st
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gender-sexuality
This is an easy, enjoyable read. It's full of essays that reflect the ever-changing definition of queer, and how one can be socially ostracized from the heterosexual scene for being queer and from one's own queer group for not being queer enough. One essay that I particularly enjoyed, written by Karen Taylor, discussed how, for her, being a lesbian and a strong woman was linked to her Jewish faith. This anthology is also filled with blatant truths that left me smiling and chuckling to myself. A ...more
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The absolutely most inspiring thing about this book is seeing the thousands of ways that you can be queer and happy. This collection of essays serves to show the power of human beings to make their lives beautiful in spite of an unkind world. I strongly recommend this book and especially to anyone who is just coming to terms with their own sexuality.
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays, gay-interest

First Person Queer- Ed. By Richard Labonte & Lawrence Schimel

“Nowadays, when I sneak a sidelong glance at my reflection in some shop window, I see someone rapidly approaching “just this side of elderly.” Wild Nights- Simon Sheppard.

This is from the opening of my favorite essay in the book. Approaching seventy, I’m not sure if I’ve crossed over the line to “elderly;” I’m not sure I know what elderly is. Maybe it’s more than a number. I don’t feel elderly, most days.

I don’t think there is a

Zaynab Shahar
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
A solid anthology filled with disperate stories written in first-person perspective. I think the only thing that would have made this stronger is some subvisions so there is slightly more continuinty thematically. I understand that anti-continuity can be seen as the apex of queer or radical, the disruption from traversing the liminal space of one story to the next and they are not related in form and content. However, I do wonder once you get past the use of first person and the mention of gende ...more
Joe Buchoff
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was my first foray into a collection of essays so the first part of the book I was perfecting my reading ears to appreciate the full brunt of the content.

But I enjoyed it. It's was great to see through a window into lives usually unheard and unseen in mainstream America. Plus the sheer volume of different experiences, both related to being queer and just part of the human experience was invigorating. There were a variety of cultures represented and even a slam poetry piece written by a self
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed this collection of essays from a variety of queer authors. All were well written (which is sometimes rare). There were also a good representation of men, women and transgendered writers. An interesting look at a cross-section of the queer community.
Carrie Rolph
Dec 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbt-queer, z-2011
This was a solid essay collection (I think I only skimmed two) with a little bit of everything. In addition to gay and lesbian representation, there were trans essays, plus several that fell under gender-queer or other not as easily defined experiences.
Sep 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most amazing anthologies out there about being Queer! Sure it includes what feel like the obligatory coming out stories but it offers up so much more! Read it! And order it from Charis if you aren't in Atlanta!
Jayne Furlong
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
I love collections of short, personal narratives, so this book was right up my alley. I loved going through this book with my pencil, underlining all the parts that felt relevant to my journey. Truly a great addition to my bookshelf :)
David Sparks
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
A ground breaking anthology in which my essay, "Hecklers and Christians", appeared!
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
rated it liked it
Feb 12, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2012
Brodie Metcalfe
rated it really liked it
Jul 06, 2020
rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2013
rated it liked it
Mar 16, 2009
Hungry Changeling Syr
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Nov 09, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2020
Shawn Syms
rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2011
Jay S
rated it really liked it
May 06, 2013
Frankie K
rated it it was amazing
Jul 09, 2014
rated it it was amazing
May 27, 2012
rated it liked it
Jul 22, 2011
rated it liked it
Dec 13, 2008
rated it really liked it
Jul 02, 2009
rated it it was ok
Jul 24, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Stone Butch Blues
  • The Price of Salt
  • To the Lighthouse
  • Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
  • The Stonewall Reader
  • Mrs. Dalloway
  • The Kite Runner: A Portrait of the Marc Forster Film
  • Saving Francesca
  • Hate List
  • This Accident of Being Lost: Songs and Stories
  • The Lesser Blessed
  • Islands of Decolonial Love: Stories & Songs
  • A Life Less Convenient: Letters To My Ex
  • Valencia
  • Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
  • Six Metres of Pavement
  • Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch Femme Erotica
  • Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
See similar books…
i read a lot of books. i review many of them. i edit many anthologies. i edit technical writing so it reads more like real english. i live on a small island with a man and a dog (tiger-lily, r.i.p). once upon a time, i was a bookseller.

News & Interviews

They’re baaaaaaack! Young adult vampires, that is. Fifteen years after Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight took the world by storm, we’re seeing a brand...
46 likes · 24 comments
“I've had more difficulty accepting myself as bisexual than I ever did accepting that I was a lesbian. It felt traitorous. A few years ago, I admitted to myself that I was still interested in men in more than a "Brad Pitt is slick hot sexy" kind of way. But I worried whatmy friends, exes, and the Community would think. I never even broached the subject with my parents. Because what bothered me the most was that people would think that being a lesbian had been a phase for me, when that was so very not the case. What I feared was that I would no longer be part of a community, that I might be seen with my boyfriend and not be recognized as something not the same. ” 66 likes
“My first female lover was a Jewish woman. She was butch, but not in a swaggering macho way- she could pass as a yeshiva boy, pale and intense. Small, almost fragile, she exuded a powerful sense of herself. She had not been to a synagogue in years, but kept the law of kashrut, and taught me my first prayers in Hebrew. She cooked, she read, she ironed her dress shirts and polished her boots meticulously, and admired femme women enormously. She was also the first person ever- including myself- to bring me to multiple orgasms. She taught me to ask for what I wanted in bed, then encouraged me to expect it from her and future lovers. She taught me to get her off with fingers, tongue, lips, sex toys, and my voice. She showed me how to masturbate in different positions, and fisted me during my menstrual cramps to provide an internal massage- and to demonstrate that a sexual act without orgasm was also an acceptable, intimate act. She never separated sexuality from the rest of her life; it was as integral to her as her Judaism.

This was how I wanted to be. Not just sexually, although certainly that way too. This is how I wanted to move through the world.

-- Karen Taylor (from "Daughters of Zelophehad")
More quotes…