Claire's Reviews > A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by J.R. Zuckerberg
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it was ok
bookshelves: lgbtqia-comics, lgbtqia-nonfic, arcs

I'm a lover of all things queer (surprise I'm also queer), and tbh I'm really shocked I didn't like this book. And I really loved the first in this series about They/Them pronouns! But not this.

I'll start out by saying: when I see "queer & trans identities", I am thinking of content about transgender and genderqueer, non-binary, & gender nonconforming folks. That's what I thought this book would be about walking into reading it.

I think this is a case of the author not knowing what their focus should be. This book is like 30% gender identity content, 10% asexuality, 0.7% other sexual orientations, 50% relationship advice not related to queer stuff, and 9.3% other. The audience is unclear and the subject is unclear. The outtro dedicates it to queer readers, cishet readers, and questioning readers, but this guide was all over the place and idk who it's meant to benefit or what it's meant to be about.

- The first part about identities and queer experience seemed very 101 for cishets. Not for queers or even questioning folks cos tbh I'm pretty sure questioning folks are going to know how to look things up online and not need a guide that sounds like it's directed at cishets.
- The second part spends three entire chapters doing "how to relationship" and was so vague, it could've been for anyone. It didn't tie into queer identities at all. What's the point of putting in a whole section about general relationship advice when it does not relate to your main subject?
- The third part is about coming out, and seems entirely directed towards queer readers. Not for cishets.

In addition because I love bullet points:

- Transness and non-binary identities were mushed into one chapter. Only one example of a non-binary identity was given, which is mind boggling. A guide meant in part to educate on non-binary identity should be including multiple examples of enby identities (genderqueer, non binary, gender nonconforming, gender fluid, agender was included!!, two spirit, androgynous, bigender, gender flux, etc etc ETCETERA). What's the rush?
- The author spent maybe two entire seconds talking about sexuality in the beginning. Like, mentions gay, straight, bi, lesbian, maybe twice in the whole book. The author makes it clear this book is not meant to be about sexuality--if it was meant to comprehensively include sexuality, it would've gone deeper than "this is gay, this is straight, this is in between". Which leads to confusion over my next point:
- Asexuality has its own entire chapter and I'm confused as to why a book that has made clear it's not about sexuality has a whole entire chapter about a sexual orientation. I'm glad it is included! Asexuality is constantly excluded and constantly deemed as "not queer enough" by the lgbtq community and cishets alike. It is 1000% a queer orientation. However, it seemed out of place, especially given that other sexual orientations were given bare minimum attention earlier, indicating that this book only intended to mention sexuality, not go deep into it like the author did with asexuality. It's a sexual orientation--a queer one, yes!!!--but still a sexual orientation and it's totally different from transness & genderqueerness and it doesn't fit at all in this book. I would rather see it in a book about sexualities than a book mostly about gender, because when I read "queer & trans identities" I'm thinking trans & genderqueer/gender nonconforming. Not sexual orientations.
- it covers gender expression separately, which I love. It also has a whole chapter dedicated to dysphoria.
- It seemed like the author ran out of stuff to talk about. Only a couple chapters were about gender identity, the trans & genderqueer experience, etc. The rest were about one sexual orientation, how to date, and coming out. I think adding coming out chapters are vital so I'm not mad about those, but the author didn't really tie it into gender ID as much as I would have liked to see in a book about gender identity.


As a book that is meant to cover every queer thing under the sun, it fails miserably because it barely touched on sexual orientation (except asexuality--check this out if you want to know about asexuality). As a book that is meant to be about trans & non-binary & gender identity, it fails miserably because only a few of the chapters are about the subject (what is written isn't done poorly, though). This book is a jumbled mess of ideas and attempts to extend the word count as long as possible. What is the point of this book meant to be?????
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Reading Progress

November 21, 2018 – Started Reading
November 21, 2018 – Shelved
November 21, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqia-comics
November 21, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqia-nonfic
November 21, 2018 – Shelved as: arcs
November 21, 2018 – Finished Reading

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