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The ABC's of LGBT+

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,772 ratings  ·  265 reviews
Hello and welcome to the ABC’s of LGBT. Ashley Mardell, one of the most trusted voices on YouTube presents a detailed look at all things LGBT+. Along with in-depth written definitions, personal anecdotes, helpful infographics, links to online videos, and more, Mardell aims to provide a friendly voice to a community looking for information.

Beyond those searching for a label
Paperback, 190 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Mango Media
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Rachel When the book was written the Author's name was Ashley Mardell. Since then, and following their marriage, the Author changed their name to Ash Hardell…moreWhen the book was written the Author's name was Ashley Mardell. Since then, and following their marriage, the Author changed their name to Ash Hardell :)(less)
Joey My edition of the book also has 189 pages, 180 if you don't count the appendix bits.

It's possible that the ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) of the book d…more
My edition of the book also has 189 pages, 180 if you don't count the appendix bits.

It's possible that the ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) of the book didn't have the Cheat Sheet at the beginning which is exactly 10 pages long and it's mentioned in the book that it was added later on. So if the page count here is based on ARCs it's possible that this could be causing the difference in page count.

It's very common for books to change slightly from ARC to first official published edition, and often the information input on goodreads is based on ARCs, however never having seen or read an ARC of this book I can't be sure this is the case ^^''

I think the edition that's around 200 pages is the digital e-book one though, so if you have a physical copy the one with less pages should be the right one to choose!(less)

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This is one of the most important books I've found that addresses quite everything in regards to representing the LGBTQIA+ community. It begins with an introduction of a condensed version with the many terms and identities found in The ABC’s of LGBT+, which really, really helped a lot.

Going into this, I was personally looking forward to the abundance of new knowledge that would end up transforming my mind. I was also really appreciative of the personal stories “included from approximately 40 LGB
Danika at The Lesbrary
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was great! Very inclusive, accepting, and thoughtful.

Some of the things I liked:
- people explaining their own identities!
- such a huge range of identities covered!
- the colourful illustrations and colour photos of contributors throughout!
- the recognition of the complexity of the topics being discussed
- the emphasis put on having a big range of editors and proofreaders and contributors
- the inclusion of discussions of more thorny issues
- the accessibility of the text
- I got to learn about
Nicole Craswell
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was so wonderful! A fantastic crash course in LGBT+ terms, identities, and concepts. I consider myself fairly well versed in gender and sexuality but I still learned a ton about identities I had never even heard of before. I love how careful Ashley Mardell was to always make sure she was in conversation with people who identify with the terms she's defining, getting personal anecdotes as often as possible.

I also love and really respect how open she was about the information she didn't know
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great reference for anyone who wants to further their understanding of the wide variety of diverse identities in our world today. Indeed, the "cheat sheet" of terms covers ten pages at the beginning of this book! I liked the straight forward conversational writing style, colorful illustrations and personal stories. My youngest son came out as female to male transgender FTM a dozen or so years ago, and my daughter came out as bi-sexual within the last five years, so my education in this ...more
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an extremely inclusive, helpful book, with lots of room for nuance and examples. It was really heartwarming to read and I know I'll end up picking it up often just to look up specific parts. I'd be inclined to call it an essential guide if you're part of the LGBTQIA+ community or just want to read more about these topics! ...more
It is so so great that this book exists. It’s both a super helpful and accessible place to start for young people who are dipping their toes into the LGBTQIA+ waters and also an almost shockingly comprehensive overview of terms & ideas that would help a more experienced/older reader. Unless you’re a total expert (and maybe even if you are), I guarantee there will be something you haven’t heard of in here — there were a bunch of terms/identities that I didn’t know, like abrosexual, diamoric, neut ...more
Mariana Duarte
I've chosen to refer to the author as Ash Hardell in this review. I know this book was published before Ash changed their name but even though I doubt he'll ever read this I don't want to use a name she might be uncomfortable with.

This book has been on my TBR for literal YEARS. I've followed Ash's channel since I was a teenager and their ABC's of LGBT+ videos were so informative and helpful when I was struggling to figure out my identity. Even now I sometimes revisit those videos as a point of r
Jun 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very informative! I highly recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about different identities and vocabulary in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia
I feared this book to be on the boring side and I worried that it would be 'preachy' or defensive towards anyone not necessarily in the LGBTQIA community. I truly need not have feared! This a casual, open minded, informational resource geared for anyone who is or isn't part of the LGBTQIA community. I highly recommend this book to any person who is:
-Looking for a label to connect to.
-Seeking more information about what types of genders, orientations, and identities are out there.
-Attempting to
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Most of the information in this wasn't new to me, and occasionally it just felt like being bombarded with terminology, but it has an index and a quick guide making it easy to look up stuff again. Also I liked that it added personal stories from members of the queer community to the explanations, gave the whole thing a bit more of a personal touch instead of just dry theory. So, all in all definitely a good resource. ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Reads kind of like a textbook but has some awesome visuals. (Hence the 2nd star.) The 1st 10 pages were definitions & that's a bit overwhelming. It would've been nice to have them dispersed throughout the book and/or put at the end. Then you are not just bogged down right away. ...more
Stephie Williams
Jun 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book is more than a simple glossary of terms or labels used in discussing gender identity and sexual orientation. Ashley Mardell does, however, provide a glossary at the beginning called a Cheat Sheet. What she does is in the main part of the book is to bring other persons identifying with the term under discussion after an explanation of it. Before getting into specific terms for gender and sexual identities she has a section on the use of spectrums, and not just in linear fashion or even ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
this was very nice, i enjoyed this very much!
the book is basically a glossary on everything sexual and gender orientation. it's divided into different sections, explaining everything built on one another. although it's a lot of information, it's nicely illustrated with coloured drawings (v cute) and stories of individuals that explain how they experience and live the explained identity.
i feel like there was a lot of research going into this book. at the beginning, the editors are introduced, wh
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, nonfiction
This is a book about lots of LBGT* terms, gender identities, sexual identities, etc. All these terms are explained and there are examples and stories from people who identify with these terms.

It was so nice to read a book about not just the most known terms like bisexual and gay but all the other terms that aren't talked about a lot but that are just as valid.
I loved the tiny, adorable illustrations and the super interesting stories made by so many different people!

You can totally notice that a
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, listened-to
It turns out that I can find a book super insightful and informative and still think it’s pretty boring. I’ll admit, I’m a little disappointed that this book wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as the title, cover, and even book blurb led me to believe it would be. I hoped for more anecdotes from a diverse group of people. I wanted it to have more story telling and less content that felt like a textbook. But as a resource and a sort of crash course in LGBT+ terminology and identities, it was pretty great ...more
The ABC's of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell is packed with information about gender en sexuality. Perfect if you are looking to understand more about yourself or others. Personally, even though I knew a lot of the terms discussed, I still learned a lot of new terms and identities like same-gender love and graysexual.

Most identities are explained with a person who identifies with it talking about why they love that particular label or term. The book also has so nice illustrations.

It is also good to ment
Cassidy Jones
Jan 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
Full of contradictions :( I can’t imagine how confused teenagers would be if they are already in a dark place and choose to attach themselves to a community with so many labels and so many definitions. At best, this book is anti-science. At worst, it is harmful. This makes me sad.
Julie Trapp
May 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Sorry - liked nothing about this book. You are what you were born. There are 2 genders - male and female. Whole book was annoying.
Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it
A very serviceable (if not a little dry) dive into various sexual and gender identities. For anyone else who was unfortunate enough to spend formative years on Tumblr, none of the information in this book will likely be new. However, this is the sort of book that should be in counselor's offices and teacher's rooms, etc. For those less up to date on more modern terms like demisexual, agender, aromantic, etc. - giving this book a read will help introduce you to some of these concepts that don't o ...more
If you think you know all there is to know about something, you'll be proven wrong. That's just life.
This book is very informative about anything concerning the LGBTQIA+ community: the section about sex and gender is the one that helped me the most (being the one thing I never struggled with before), I felt it dismantled stereotypes and myths in a concise, but still precise way.
If you still get confused about certain labels and identities, this book is certaintly for you.
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Review originally published 23 March 2018 at Falling Letters. This book is available for (legitimate) free download here!

The ABC’s of LGBT+ introduces over 100 terms to describe gender, sexual, and romantic identities. The book consists of three sections preceded by a “cheat sheet” that briefly introduces the vocabulary: 1) spectrums and how one can use them to work out their identity, 2) gender, and 3) sexual and romantic identities. Hardell wrote this book primarily for newbies, whether they
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book came to my life at the very moment I needed it. I was familiar with the most commonly known terms (like the letters of LGTBQIA) but, lately, I've been struggling with some other new ones for me. In the end, I feel that everything is a consecuence of gender, so I'm glad that Ash has worked so hard to divulgate things like gender seen as a spectrum/gradient, or the sexual orientations that we all easily forget about. Also, 'The ABCs of LGTB+' has helped me to clarify some of the terms I ...more
Adam Webling
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, queer
This non-fiction covers EVERYTHING you need to know about all things LGBTQ+. I know I’m not the only one who gets confused by certain identities encompassed in the + and know there’s plenty I’ve never heard of before - well, this book delves into 80 of them!

Now, as someone who isn’t a massive fan of labels due to idenfying as bisexually and having to deal with society’s connotations of this, I decided to use this book as a way to become more comfortable with labels again while learning a lot. An
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As an ally trying to catch up and educate myself, I found The ABC's of LGBT+ *extremely* helpful. The book starts off with a cheat-sheet that lists the terms and the definitions that will be covered in text. Before even starting to read these terms, she reassures you that you do not need to feel discouraged if you don't know the definitions by heart or are still a little unsure about what they mean by the end of the book. This is what I appreciated the most about the book. Mardell felt very much ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt-gsd
I loved how Ash's way of educating from their youtube videod translated into his (Ash is pronoun-indifferent) writing.
Although I had read the sexual/romamtic orientation section as soon as I'd got the book I wanted to reread it to understand different ace identities better.
I'd highly recommend anyone who wants to learn more about the different LGBTQIA+ identities to read this book. It's available for free now, Ash put links under one of her last video's.
Ash has said earlier that looking back
Oct 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, lgbtqia
Definitely an important book and helpful in explaining lesser known identities and orientations! However, the book was quite a dry read and because of that it took me a long time to finish. Being familiar with Ash's creative and humorous videos on Youtube I guess I was expecting their style to shine through a bit more. That just has to do with my own expectations, this book definitely does what it sets out to do, namely explaining LGBT+ terms. I appreciated how often Ash would acknowledge that o ...more
Jun 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Book 181 of 2021

This was such a great read! My review will be really short because all that needs to be said is right there in the book. This is an entry-level book on gender and sexuality identity politics and is a definite must-read.

The book opens up with a dictionary of SO MANY terms relating to -gender, -sexual, and -romantic identities. I was already familiar with a ton of them and others I had never heard of before.

Later chapters delve into essays and expositions into these identities. Myt
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full of important information as well as personal anecdotes, this is the perfect resource for anyone who wants to have a clearer understanding of gender, sexuality, identity, and the terminology that helps individuals clarify those aspects for themselves. As it says on the back of the book, "Whether you are a questioning teen, a teacher or parent looking for advice or anyone wanting to learn the language of respect, this book is an essential guide for you." As a librarian and an ally, it is one ...more
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is mainly aimed at teens, but also at adult allies who may not understand things beyond the basics talked about in popular culture. However, this was extremely helpful to me as well. As a cis woman whose serious relationships have mostly been with cis men, I have been able to pass as straight and never really did any serious questioning, because no one was asking me to label myself. But now, at almost 40, I am feeling confused and wanting to find the labels that will let me know I'm no ...more
Jeroen van der Lely
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Always nice to find out you've been ignorant your whole life and might have insulted people in the process:) But this was a real nice and informative book, I'm glad I've read it! ...more
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Ashley Mardell, originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, blogs about her daily life on her YouTube channel. As a result of her kind heart and glowing spirit, Mardell has developed a strong bond with her viewers. She's trusted, loved and admired for her voice in the LGBTQIA+ community. Her insight and honest approach to LGBTQIA+ education has helped millions of kids and adults understand who they ar ...more

News & Interviews

Here at Goodreads World Headquarters, we're always on alert for any shifts in readerly attention that we can spot. Recently we've noticed a...
152 likes · 17 comments
“Spectrums (...) One of the reasons Im so fond of spectrums is because I believe, with fearce tenacity, that *nothing* in this world is black and white.
Spectrums embrace gray spaces, ambiguity, and fluidity. Since these are all concepts which are integral to the human experience, I find spectrums particularly helpfull in understanding and describing identity.
(...) as we learn about various identities, it's important we recognize they are not "all or nothing" concepts. Many identities can exist in various degrees and come in a range of possibilities. Remembering this is incredibly crucial as we progress.”
“Bi vs, pan: Often people find themselves confused regarding the difference between bi and pan. In the end, the difference really just comes down to personal preference. For some, there are important distinctions between the two orientations, which is why they use one word over the other.” 2 likes
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