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Queer, There and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  2,465 ratings  ·  493 reviews
World history has been made by countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals—and you’ve never heard of many of them.

Queer author and activist Sarah Prager delves deep into the lives of 23 people who fought, created, and loved on their own terms. From high-profile figures like Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to the trailblazing gender-ambiguous
Kindle Edition, 277 pages
Published May 23rd 2017 by HarperCollins
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Akemi G. Obviously, a book (a thin book at that) cannot cover ALL the wonderful LGBTQ folks in the world. You may or may not agree with the author's choice; th…moreObviously, a book (a thin book at that) cannot cover ALL the wonderful LGBTQ folks in the world. You may or may not agree with the author's choice; that is yours.

And if we are to discuss the selection, the bigger problem is that it's too Americentric. But then, I understand; until the white colonists came, the rest of the world practiced same sex relationships with little problems. In Japan, specifically, it was so common that most cases didn't get recorded--it wasn't worth noting (unless the person was famous for other reasons). Then how do we know? Because the western missionaries who came to Japan in the 1500s recorded it.

To discuss LG(B) relationships before colonization means discussing the brutality of the colonists. Japan escaped it by kicking out missionaries, but in other countries, colonists persecuted queer people. This book very briefly explains this in the intro; reading more about it wouldn't be fun for many Americans. (less)

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Emily May
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2017, nonfiction
“I understand you. I know how much you have suffered.” More beautiful words were never spoken.

Try and read this without becoming an emotional wreck. Just try.

Queer, There, and Everywhere is an interesting, accessible, wonderful history book. It offers short biographies on twenty-three queer people throughout history, and serves as a reminder that gay, bi, trans, genderqueer, nonconforming, intersex, asexual and others all have long, beautiful, difficult histories. From Ancient Rome to modern
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Today is a time when this book is just so incredibly important for some to understand that queerness has always been around before we even had words to label the acts occurring. I am approaching this from the perspective of someone who views firsthand the resistance of certain people to recognize the way a person identifies - they refuse to accept the normality..joke about the preferred pronoun, and just cannot understand. It infuriates me so much. But this book is a step to remedy such ignoranc ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
This book had some very interesting bits but ultimately had some flaws.

The narrative style was a bit juvenile. I know that's a totally weird complaint to have, because usually I love non-pretentious history books. But this was almost too casual. And the jokes were usually not funny. In general, I'd recommend this more to preteens.

The decision to write about Joan of Arc as a queer person frankly kind of annoys me. She wore men's clothing because it was freeing for her at a time when women wore
What is remarkable, and at once unsurprising, is that all twenty-three of these queer people lived with such vivd, incandescent variety. Diversity is one of the only constants that queerness has always had, and our unique individuals are connected precisely because they diverged from what society expected.

I had such a great time reading this book!

At first I was a bit worried that this book would end up being boring, but not at all. I've read this book so quickly and learned so much.
I liked the w
This could be better, but I can appreciate it for what it is. Drawbacks: majority Americans (14/23) despite claims of "world" (others are European or Mexican, no where else is represented); only 7 POC; only 6 (7?) bi people; only 7 trans people (incl. 1 non-binary person and Joan of Arc, whose inclusion seems a bit forced).

I mean, I get the difficulty of picking people to profile and the difficulty of researching places and people where there might be little information in English. But really,
kayla ♡
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was just. A lot. BUT NOT IN A BAD WAY. AT ALL! 23 stories about incredibly strong and inspiring people. I heard most of the people mentioned in the book but mostly? No clue. And that's a fault on me. After reading this book it made me want to go out and learn more about the people mentioned here.

RTC because I'm exhausted but I will say this: the only reason I'm not giving the book a five star rating is because I wish it included people outside of North America/Europe. I don't have any
Eric Smith
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is fantastic and so, so important. More non-fiction like this in YA, please.
Greyson | Use Your Words
Trigger Warnings: Homophobia, transphobia
Representation: Lesbian, gay, trans, POC
Original Rating: 5
Revised Rating: 4
I got wrapped up in the gay it happens.

“I cannot understand those so-called 'normal' people who believe that a man should love only a woman, and a woman loves only a man. If this were so, then it disregards completely the spirit, the personality, and the mind, and stresses the importance of the physical body.”

Queer, There and Everywhere is here to help the LGBTQ+ kids
*3.5 stars

full review now posted: I originally picked this up because I’m queer and there’s nothing like a good lesson on queer history, at least I think. When I picked it up originally, I was expecting to fall in love with it. But… I was disappointed. Now, to get it straight (although I’m not*), I loved the stories in this. And I found them all to be so interesting! But, the problem I had with this was the writing. It was just so… childish. It felt like it was aimed at a younger audience, which
Queer, There, and Everywhere provides a brief history of 23 lgbtq+ individuals throughout history, from Elagabalus––a Roman emperor who enjoyed dressing and acting as a woman--to George Takei--an openly gay, Japanese-American actor and social justice activist.

This book was well researched, and the short biographies were presented in an engaging manner. I wish each section would have been longer, and that we could have gone a bit more in depth about each person, but that's just personal preferen
Alexis  (TheSlothReader)
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Overall I thought this was a very informative look at 23 queer individuals from history, some well known and some unheard of. I really liked Prager's conversational and humorous tone in regards to these people's lives. I learned about a lot of people I'd never even heard of and several of these small entries made me tear up. I liked the focus more on the things these people accomplished than being an emphasis on them being queer. I just wish the entries had been longer so that I could have gotte ...more
N.N. Light
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are some amazing people that historians have forgotten or refuse to acknowledge. While many academics will say Queer, There and Everywhere just glosses over the surface on these twenty-three historical persons, I say bravo! The more people talk about these inspirational people, the better.

I grew up reading Marlo Thomas’ Free to Be You and Me and while it dealt with other themes, the similarities between Thomas' and Prater’s writing styles are very apparent. Fun, approachable vignettes all
Saruuh Kelsey
"And as we see in all of these transformative lives, and from the effect reading them has on us today, however you want to live is valid and important-because the mere fact of you, living, makes the world more radiant.

Live bravely."

Um? So I'm meant to review this now? Can my review be a recording of me sitting in a corner, crying in gratitude and understanding of these people? (And crying from anger on their behalf, too.)

Look, bottom line: read this. Queer or not, read it. Trans or NB or Cis, re
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This was a great resource, and it had a good mix of people I knew were queer and wanted to know more about, people I'd heard of but didn't know were queer, and people I'd never heard of but really should have!

A couple of ways this book lost points from me:
1) I don't think including people like Joan of Arc was the best choice. I get that the historical definition of queer is a bit bigger because there's so much room for doubt, but from everything I've read about her, it sounds like she was cisgen
What a fantastic book!! As inclusive as the US is starting to be, for much of its history, it insisted that any form of being queer was wrong and sinful, and we even had laws to forbid any queer expression. (It boggles my mind that NYC used to *require* that a person wear a minimum of three pieces of clothing that matched one's biological gender at birth.) Prager teaches us that not only were things different in other time periods and other countries, but that queer people achieved some pretty a ...more
Anna (Bananas)
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful exploration of various queer people throughout history, some known to me beforehand and many not. I had no idea, for example, that Abraham Lincoln may have been gay. It was both an educational and entertaining read.

The author starts each chapter by detailing a significant moment in the person’s life and then goes on to tell the person’s full history. These are summaries though, so there’s definitely more to learn about each person here. Every individual is handled with respec
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
I'm honestly just really happy this book exists! This is a collection of mini (micro, really, they're only like 3-5 pages each) biographies of people throughout history who likely identified as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. It's awesome that these sorts of books are being published, and I hope there are more in the future. It's not the best written thing, and it could have gone a lot more in depth, but this is a very important book nonetheless. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to learn ab ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that makes you question everything you (think you) know, that teaches you things aren't always as we've been told. ...more
So I've started applying a test to books about queer history: in the coverage of Stonewall, are Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson featured? Can I find them in the index or the table of contents? A depressing number of books fail this test.

I found Sylvia Rivera right at the beginning of this book, in the table of contents, and her brief bio did not pull any punches.

Choosing only 23 people to exemplify queer history is obviously limiting, but it also allows for a tightly structured yet accessibl
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
TW: misgendering, deadnaming (the author has given disclaimers for these in the intro), casual amisic language

This is an interesting book covering some well-known queer people in history. It was also great to read about some people that I'd never come across before. I do wish it had been a little more inclusive, considering the audience is YA. For instance I'd have much rather read about disabled queer people, and more QPOC like Marsha P. Johnson, Janet Mock, Kalki, etc. than speculate about El
Laura I.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Put this in every middle school library, every high school library. Give it to every teen.
To check out my reviews:

The only reason why I read this book was by the recommendation of Shane Bitney Cone. If you do not know who this man is then I highly recommend you to checkout his epic documentary called Bridegroom. I’ve been in a reading slump for the last few months and having the mega monstrosity of IT by my nightstand makes it difficult for me to invest in another novel. When I saw the list of his recommendations, I doubted that the library ha
Anja V
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
If you, as me, don't know too much about queer figures in history, this is a really informative read. It was a lot of fun to learn about all these amazing people and it was a real quick read.

The writing still did bother me sometimes, because it felt a bit like the author was talking down to me. I guess she wanted to keep it fun and easy, but it just was a little too much for my taste. Though I can imagine this would be a great book for rather young people, as it really isn't hard to un
Staci (stacisbookishprobs)

Oh my gosh where do I even begin with this book! I’ve had this book for a while just sitting on my shelf afraid to read it because I thought it was going to read like a history book lesson. But boy was I wrong!

This book talks about queer people in our history that have been forgotten or we didn’t really know they were queer. These people range from artists to presidents!

This quite possibly will be the best book I’ve read all year. I read it in one sitting, I couldn’t put it d
Lauren Stoolfire
Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager is a more than worthwhile collection of short biographies. I learned quite a bit about people I wasn't familiar with from the start and learned more about some figures I already knew a bit about. I hope the author in the future will focus on more queer people from other places in the world that are barely touched upon here. The conversational tone and style kept me invested from the start. ...more
Damaris Huerta
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt-picks
This book made me cry because wow I was reminded how powerful and proud the Queer community is. This book is amazing and perfect it like a fun history lesson that isn't long. Short, informative, and fun = 5 stars. This book is perfect for anyone wanting to learn whether you are queer or not. Mainstream history tries to erase the fact that alot of queer people have shaped history this book tells people the truth that we can never be erased. I recommend 10/10!!!!!!! ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-novels, nonfiction
Look, I get it. I've been in love with the same girl since high school. My dog is my best friend. I wear Chacos when there is no clear need to wear Chacos.

But as much as I love the idea of this book, I can't help but be disappointed by it. I was expecting a concise summary on the lives of some of the most established queer trailblazers in history. Instead, I found myself reading a collection of YA pseudo queer theories, and I did not enjoy them. I was looking forward to discovering more people
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Brian
Cover Story: More Like This
Drinking Buddy: Um, Hell Yes
Testosterone/Estrogen/Whatever Level: Brave
Talky Talk: Trust, But Verify
Bonus Factor: Mainstream
Bromance Status: I'll March With You

Read the full book report here.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Live bravely."
This book is different to books I usually read, as I prefer to refrain from non-fiction and biographies (I've read a few this year though). This book was really interesting and I loved learning about all these people I had and hadn't heard of, and how we never get taught about their queer side. I also loved the little illustrations of each person- it helped me imagine the people. As a cisgender straight female, I didn't relate to any of these historical figures, yet their stori
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recently, I've been on a kick where all I want to read is non-fiction. I've always loved to learn about different things, and that spark has been reawakened. I especially love learning about LGBTQ+ history and culture. I feel the more I know about it, the better equipped I am to help promote LGBTQ+ equality. I recently decided to pick up Queer, There, and Everywhere. I'm glad I did. It taught me so much that I didn't know about LGBTQ+ history.

I do have to admit, the beginning of the book was in
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