QUEER, 2ND EDITION

THE ULTIMATE LGBTQ GUIDE FOR TEENS

Two older gays try to appeal to kids these days.

Beginning with “Am I Queer?” and ending with sex, Belge (co-author: Lipstick's and Dipstick's Essential Guide to Lesbian Relationships, 2007) and Bieschke (contributor: Dear Teen Me, 2012) broadly cover important issues in the lives of LGBTQ people, with sidebars about their own personal stories as well as a series of “On the Queer Frontier,” covering historical figures like Sappho and Harvey Milk. Some information is specifically relevant to young people, such as First Amendment rights in schools, but much of it is easily applicable to people coming out at any point in their lives. In fact, at times this book feels more appropriate for a less savvy, pre-internet generation of young queers, especially in the ways it treats asexuality and nonbinary identities as asides, the use of language that reinforces a gender binary, and an oversimplified treatment of bisexuality. The final chapter on sex is particularly conservative, making queer sex sound extremely boring and with some fairly judgmental language about STIs to boot. Similarly, the chapter on relationships argues that queer relationships are as varied as those of straight people but doesn’t go into any of the interesting relationship structures present in, or pioneered by, queer communities. There are some necessary updates in this text that distinguish it from the variety of gay guidebooks published from the ’90s onward, but it’s still quite basic.

Tepid but useful. (resources, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7858-6

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author.

CONTINUUM

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Deaf, trans artist Man meditates on his journey and identity in this brief memoir.

Growing up in conservative central Pennsylvania was tough for the 21-year-old Deaf, genderqueer, pansexual, and biracial (Chinese/White Jewish) author. He describes his gender and sexual identity, his experiences of racism and ableism, and his desire to use his visibility as a YouTube personality, model, and actor to help other young people like him. He is open and vulnerable throughout, even choosing to reveal his birth name. Man shares his experiences of becoming deaf as a small child and at times feeling ostracized from the Deaf community but not how he arrived at his current Deaf identity. His description of his gender-identity development occasionally slips into a well-worn pink-and-blue binary. The text is accompanied and transcended by the author’s own intriguing, expressionistic line drawings. However, Man ultimately falls short of truly insightful reflection or analysis, offering a mostly surface-level account of his life that will likely not be compelling to readers who are not already fans. While his visibility and success as someone whose life represents multiple marginalized identities are valuable in themselves, this heartfelt personal chronicle would have benefited from deeper introspection.

Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author. (Memoir. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-22348-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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