A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

This book is necessary but hard to read. First, the visuals remind me of sitting in a Mellow Mushroom; they're mostly pink and yellow pastels that are psychedelic and trippy. I feel like it's supposed to give a peaceful, hippie feel to it, but it's mind melting. I particularly felt like the section on relationships and self-love are wonderful and useful regardless of identification.
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A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by J.R. Zuckerberg is a free NetGalley e-comicbook that I read in late December.

A comic book in whirly, curly, colorful doodles from the perspective of wild snails looking at humans and talking to a domesticated snail owned by a queer educator. They speak of sexual orientation being altogether different from gender identity with fanciful creatures called 'sproutlings' existing on a spectrum of gender identity and expression. They also describe dysphoria as being kind of AWOL in one’s own body; finding freedom through community with others; transitioning into a form of personalized expression to tell people of as you see fit; loving yourself before opening up and sharing love with others; and safety within a relationship, intercommunication, and going separate ways.
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This is exactly what is says on the tin: a quick and easy guide. Some of the information is a little simplistic, but it's a good introduction. The art is lovely and really helps what could be an information dump turn into something more engaging.
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At first glance, I wasn't sure how this book would turn out. This proves that you REALLY shouldn't judge a book by its cover! Its colorful animation is fun and engaging but then the wealth of information keeps unveiling like layers that the reader can't help but read for more. This book had an amazing use of illustrations and artistic metaphors to describe some very serious topics and issues. Besides delving into the seemingly-daunting world of queer terms and identities, there is also great advice for an individual's mental health and maintaining health relationships. I especially loved encouraging readers to make their own zines as a way to express themselves like the authors did. I definitely would love to add this to my medical library collection because this would be a fantastic reference tool for many, many people who identify with the subject themselves or for professionals who want to learn about how they can help and do more.
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This is a really cute and accessible book for those looking to understand trans and queer identities. The story is framed that a group of snails comes upon a camp circle where another snail, the pet of the queer educator Bowery, lets the other snails know all about trans and queer identities. One snail encounters a group of creatures called sproutlings, and their stories reinforce the concepts and ideas talked about in the previous chapter. The illustrations are really cute, and the text is very accessible for anyone, whether you know a lot or very little about queer and trans identities. There is also great advice about relationships and how to love and accept yourself. I think this book would fit in on most library shelves. Whether a person was questioning their gender or sexual identity, or someone was looking to be a better and more effective ally (like I was), this is a great place to start.
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A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities is a great introduction for people wanting to know more about gender, orientation, and self expression. The book provides definitions of words, histories, and encourages people to treat others with respect.

What I really loved about this book wasn’t the great illustrations or the friendly manner in which it’s written, it was the topics that were included. The book doesn’t just explore transexual and gender identities it talks about coming out, healthy relationships, and also different contexts currently at work within the world.

There are multiple ways in which these topics are framed, when talking about coming out, the book lets readers know that yes, coming out is great but not everyone can. Short discussions occur where examples are offered about why people do come out and why they can’t, but also not to judge those that don’t.

In addition to this, healthy relationships are looked at with negative and abusive behaviours being listed. The book not only lets readers know about these things but also prompts them to be aware of their own behaviour.

Throughout the book there are moments like this, moments taken to say ‘hey, not everyone is the same, don’t judge, be nice, everyone is different.’ It’s beautiful and exactly what you need in a book like this. While I may not be the target audience of this book as I have studied Queer Studies at a university level, it is an marvellous resource for any reader who is looking to learn more about the topic or themselves.

Favourite Quotes:
*picture of frame from  from page 37 of A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities. - quote 'the world has plenty of feminine men, masculine women, and everybody in between. Just be polite and respectful, it's not that hard.'

“No matter the outcome or whatever decision you make, you will grow and blossom into who you’re meant to be and that’s an amazing thing. Try new things, take some chances. You might be surprised at what you discover and what feels ‘right.'”

Recommendations: I would recommend this book for young adults, children, or parents wishing to find out more information about queer and transgender identities and issues. The book is an excellent and very positive resource for people looking for an introduction into this subject.

I cannot stress how much I would recommend this for young adults who are trying to come to terms with their body and self expression. Not only is it written in welcoming and positive language but it stresses the point that everyone is different and that is there are no rights or wrongs.

Please note: I received a copy of A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities from NetGalley.
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A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities is an absolute gem of a graphic novel. It's quirky, punchy, unique, and straightforward - wrapped up in gorgeous illustrations and interspersed with heartwarming snippets of true stories. 

Although the purpose of A Quick & Easy Guide is to unpack some of the more popular labels used in LGBTQ+ discourse, it goes beyond a simple outline of gender identities and sexual orientations. Rather, it delves into the intricacies of human relationships and by doing so undercuts the narrow perception of what constitutes "normal" in our society. Mady G and JR Zuckerberg manage to educate their readers without oversimplifying the complex and often traumatic experiences of queer identity, to debunk arguments that these issues are "too difficult to understand" through accessible explanations.

That being said, A Quick & Easy Guide is not simply targeted at soon-to-be-allies of the trans community - it's targeted at those of us who already think of ourselves as allies, too. It can be all too easy to learn a few definitions and think of ourselves as "woke", but the reality - which this novel was brilliant at exposing - is that inclusivity goes far beyond that. In this regard, A Quick & Easy Guide can be quite a challenging read, but this is what makes it so important.

Being a cishet woman, I can't attest to whether this book was extensive in its discussion, but I can say that I found it extremely helpful in gaining a more solid understanding of terms and concepts that I thought I was already familiar with. I think A Quick & Easy Guide is a brilliant starting point for anyone unfamiliar or uncomfortable with LGBTQ+ identities and labels, and an essential read for anyone whose identity has never been restricted by rigid binary classification schemes.
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A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities is a fabulous comic for all ages that both introduces and expands knowledge of LGBTQ+ identities. 

Whether you are queer or trans yourself, you have friends, family, colleagues, peers who are, you're questioning, or you just feel the need to expand your knowledge, this book offers a great knowledge base in an accessible way. It goes over different sexualities and genders, what different terms mean, advice for relationships and coming out, and more. The art style is cute, pastel, and lively in a way that makes it accessible to children, but leaves it open for all ages to enjoy. It doesn't feel watered down, it's straightforward and helpful. It is generous in information and style for all knowledge levels.

If you want a place to start for yourself, for someone you know who may be questioning their own identity, or someone you know who just isn't able to get the hang of what these identities mean, this is the book to go for. It's short, so it couldn't cover everything, but it packs a lot into a small space and serves as a great starting point for all.
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I'm going to start out this little review by saying that if you are, or you have anyone in your life that identifies as queer/trans or anywhere on the LGBTQIA+ and gender spectrums, this little guidebook is your friend. If you want to become more educated in this area, like I did when I first picked this up, just know that you'll find a little dash of something that you need - and a whole lot more you probably didn't consider.

Cute artwork as a means of storytelling aside, I believe this book is essential for people of all ages - from those beginning to learn about sex and sexuality, those suffering from gender dysphoria, and even those who may not have been as supportive to someone as they could have been when they came out. While I obviously can't speak for the representation and educational background of every gender and sexuality discussed, I found a lot of answers to questions I'd never dared ask - either out of fear of seeming stupid, or of making someone uncomfortable.

This handy wee book speaks simply, in a way that's easy to understand, and is backed up with metaphors and dialogue by the sweetest little drawings throughout. Not only does it teach the definition of each sexuality and gender, and explain the fluidity of each, but it deals with a lot of (sadly, realistically) tough topics. Coming out, as the book points out, isn't always the exciting milestone in a lot of people's lives. In fact, there are many in too much danger, or surrounded by those least likely to lend their support, and therefore coming out isn't an option at all. This book deals with weighing the pros and cons of coming out, ensuring the reader has considered every possible avenue before they're free of their secret - and also mentions the dangers and disrespect of outing others. Such delicate topics were handled firmly, and in a manner that can't be overlooked or argued with.

What surprised me about this book was the addition of relationship advice. In my experience, speaking out about gaslighting, controlling, stalking, and breaking up are rarely spoken about so openly. This book deals with each of these, and ensures the reader is aware of dangerous signs from their friends or partners - but also to remember to look inward if they recognise any of these symptoms of toxicity in themselves. Truly, the message this book is sending out is that everyone deserves to live their best lives, and it's important to educate yourself and allow people to become their true selves.. Once we educate ourselves, and intend to treat others how we, ourselves, want to be treated, the world will be a better place.

Overall, I found this to be an invaluable read. Although I was aware of much of the content before diving into this book, I still stood to gain more insight into the lives of others, and I'm sure most who pick this up will, too. This book will be released on the 23rd of April this year, and if you want something short, sweet (have you seen those cute little snails?!), and educational, I recommend you check this out.
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A wonderful way to explore and explain queer and trans identities. Would recommend for someone unfamiliar with the terminology and identities as a whole, and those exploring them themselves.
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Attractive and cute illustrations!
Would recommend to any pre-teens and teens looking for answers and support :)
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This is a book I wish I could've handed to a younger version of myself. In this beautifully illustrated graphic novel queer identities of all varieties are explored by our narrator, a snail. It is clear that this book was made to be accessible to younger readers, but I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about identities beyond their own, those trying to figure out what identity suits them, and allies trying to educate themselves.

Other reviewers have critiqued the fact that a book geared towards younger readers includes a section on relationship basics, but it was a touch that I actually loved. If you are closeted or struggling with your identity, there may never be an opportunity for you to learn about what the basis of a healthy relationship is or signs of a partner that may be controlling and/or manipulative. I think there is little harm in the way this was approached- emphasizing self love and open communication.

It is clear that the authors aimed to make this an accessible, inclusive read and I can wholeheartedly say they succeeded.

I received my copy of A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities from Oni Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a brilliant book that takes an in-depth look at the broad spectrum of queer and trans identities, and what that means to LGBTQ+ people themselves, along with allies. I think this book should be in every school library, and it would be a superb tool for teachers and parents alike. The author manages to deal with complex issues in an accessible way that makes the book an easy read, whilst still covering important topics in a way that is meaningful.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This graphic novel receives 3/5 stars. Overall, I mostly enjoyed reading this graphic novel. Although I am already a part of the LGBT community I did find this graphic novel to be informative. I especially found the section on asexuality to be insightful. I think the way that this graphic novel is formatted would be useful to someone outside of the LGBT community to gain further perspective and understand key terms as it was easy to follow along with the sections. I also like that this is in graphic novel form, as it allows for a reader to set the pace of how they read this book. I was able to read through this in under an hour the first time, however, if I was to go back and read this graphic novel again, I would appreciate that I would be able to dip into key sections that I wanted to at the time. 

There are a few things that I am confused about and did not enjoy as much. The main aspect of this being the section about relationships which I do not feel is appropriate as this book was meant to be a guide on queer and trans identities. While I agree that it is important to highlight red flags in relationships, I feel that this message is somewhat out of place in this graphic novel. I am also a bit confused about what the age demographic of this graphic novel is meant to be. In my opinion, the information provided in this graphic novel does not equate to the illustrations. What I mean by this is that the illustrations are a bit childlike and I do not feel the age demographics line up with one another. I feel this graphic novel would have been better if the information was entirely presented by the people around the campfire as it would feel more connected compared to the snails and other figures that were involved.
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*I received an ARC of this comic via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the free comic that I enjoyed a lot.*

This "Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities" reminded me of "Queer - a graphic history" (Barker & Scheele), yet it takes a less scholarly approach to the diverse topic. The drawings are pinkish and blueish, sometimes a bit over the top, but I liked it.

The guide is meant to be read by both allies and persons seeking to learn more about their identities and/or find terms that fit their own gender expression. Best quote: "Do not put yourself in another box - you have just come out of one."

Topics covered: queer(ness), trans, bi, pan, homo, hetero, cis, asexual/ARO/ACE, coming out, healthy relationsships, self-care, self-love, relationship basics, dysphoria, gender expression, assigned sex/gender, stereotypes, different ways of dressing oneself, and many more!

Parts of the comic are narrated from the point of view of snails (I'm serious) learning more about humans and their gender expressions. Really cute and interesting! The other part deals with "Sproutlings", a genderneutral species living in a forest.

While I enjoyed the snail-part of the comic, I did not particularly enjoy the "Sproutlings" part, yet I am not really sure why because the message was quite sweet. But see for yourself!

I think that this book is a well designed, easy-going and fun introduction into quite the serious topic. 4 Stars!
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Honestly, I can't give a 100% good review because this book talks mostly about being trans, which I am not. However, there is a whole chapter dedicated to asexual people, which I am. So I can honestly say that that specific chapter is great and perfectly explains what asexuality is and the differences. I definitely recommend people read this because the art is amazing as well!
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I absolutely adored this book. The colors were amazing in the illustrations and just really intrigued me even more. Overall, the written content was amazingly written. It is something that younger people need to hear, and to be honest so older people I know would do well reading this as well. I think it is super educational and helped me learn a lot. It has a lot of useful information for people who may be questioning or don't know what the next step would be, and I think it's something young LGBTQIA+ people should read. Also, the portion about red flags in relationships and self care really is important for young people to know, especially in 2019.. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I would highly recommend it to everyone I know.
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This book has a lot of important and relevant information in it and the illustrations are great! At first I thought the stuff about relationships seemed out of place in a book about identities, but actually it was helpful to be reminded of what toxic relationships look like and how to make sure your relationships are healthy. I already knew most of the stuff from this book but it would be a good resource for anyone who is questioning their identity, or friends and family members who want to learn more if a loved one has recently come out.
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This book is absolutely gorgeous! My speed-reading self just got all the way through it in about thirty minutes! I loved the art style and the writing style. I learned so much about the lgbt community that I didn’t know before! This book is far more factual than any I’ve read before. In fact, it’s one of the first of its kind that I’ve seen, let alone read. I would recommend this book to anyone questioning their identity or just wanting to be a good ally
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**Full blog review to come closer to the publication date on my blog (https://bookishr.wordpress.com) on APR 23rd**

When I saw this book, I was immediately tempted to request it. I love comics and I really like learning about perspectives that are not my own. As a straight cisgender female reader, I've been getting more interested in the experiences of transgender and queer people. And I definitely got to learn more and consolidate some of the knowledge I already had after reading this book!

The first thing I really liked was the introduction. I think it frames the work really well and I especially liked how inclusive it was. By admitting that there are different experiences and that monolithic approaches are wrong, the authors added a lot of depth to this guide.

I also really, really liked the illustrations. They were so adorable! Pink is one of my favorite colors, so it's no shocker that I think the palette used was fantastic. The blue "sproutling" passages were also very interesting and beautifully drawn. The blue/pink contrast worked great! Not to mention that all the details drawn look perfect on the page...

I could never review this book and not mention how valuable the input is. The structure works great. The fact that each chapter approaches a different identity was awesome, in my opinion. It made the information easy to digest, not overwhelming at all, and gives readers time to reflect on what they've just read before they move on to the next concept.

Introducing us to the snails was, too, a great move, as was introducing us to the sproutlings. I think this frames what can feel like very abstract and out-of-this-planet concepts to people who are not familiar with them in a tangible manner. 

That said, I was very confused throughout the comic as to what age this is aimed at. While it is clear that you don't need to know much about sexual attraction and identity to get into it, I cannot pinpoint what age group of readers I would recommend this to. On one hand, the language used and the analogies employed work great on children (pre-teens), but seem a little infantilizing to adults and even young adults. On the other, the words that were chosen and the structuring of some sentences does not seem too appropriate for children that young and would be better suited for adults... But I also think that some of these chapters (especially the one about how to be in a relationship) can be directed at both children and adults, but more so at young people, since it might be stuff they don't know about yet nor have the experience to grasp on their own.

In the end, I am giving this three starts (maybe an extra half star) because although I loved the artwork and how informative and accessible the information was, I was extremely confused about who the writer had in mind when writing this book. It even made me feel super disconnected with the writing since I felt infantilized in the way the author seemed to be putting the concepts into simplistic metaphors.

** Thank you to the publisher who gave me a review copy in exchange for an unbiased and truthful review **
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