Cover Image: A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is a simple and non-judgmental look at Queer and Trans identities.  I loved the easily understood term definitions, healthy relationship advice,  coming out advice, and straightforward talk about depression and dysphoria.  .  there is a great deal to learn within this non-threatening format using cartoons and characters.  This book is great for everyone, literally, youth, parents, friends, educators, family members etc. etc. etc  This book is great for those who don't know anything about queer or trans identifies and equally good for those who believe they know lots about these topics.   There is sooo much in this little book.  

'There's no right or wrong way to be gay, straight, male, female, of whatever you are.""

"You cannot control anybody's reactions, but you can control how you confront those reactions."

"Keep your head held high, understand that there is nothing 'wrong' with you and that you deserve love and respect, no matter the outcome of this "'Big Reveal'
Was this review helpful?
What a brilliant, clear and necessary book! I absolutely loved that the authors talk about the Queer and Trans Identities, but also devote a few chapters on how to build a good relationship, and how to recognize red flags.

I really enjoyed the colorful illustrations, and the idea of including some adventures from The World of The Sproutlings to illustrate the journey of queer characters. I didn't really like the font used in this world, as it was sometimes hard to read it, but in the end I got used to it.

I need to mention that they included at the end of the book some cool bonuses: "Design a Friendship Jacket", "Write a letter to your Dear Past or Future Self", "Create your own Sprout-Sona", and "How to make a mini zine". Those were very nice additions to the book.

I feel like so much as been explained in a matter of a 100+ pages, and I can't wait to read their other book "A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns". I would highly recommend it!
Was this review helpful?
I LOVE THIS BOOK! Someone help me decide whether it's the illustrations or the easy-to-understand information inside that's what I love best - together, they're perfect for what they're trying to do (and okay, won't lie, those illustrations tho...). This is a wonderful book for educating anyone who needs help (in a loving, and friendly way), for parents whose children are navigating a queer and/or non-binary world, and also for young people or fresh-out folks who "feel different" and are just starting to figure it out  A fun and easy-to-read book like this, especially with all its happy happiness and encouragement toward self-love, also gives them language they can use. Honestly? This book needs to be everywhere.

I think my ONLY "not girly-screamingly-excited" feedback, perhaps, would be that the title is a little bland for the rest of it. Maybe could have been a little more exciting - "quick and easy" is definitely important, so people understand it's not written for academics, but "queer and trans identities" sounds kind of "undergrad gender studies".
Was this review helpful?
Title: A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities

Author: Mady G and J.R. Zuckerberg (Illustrator)

Publication Date: 23 Apr 2019 by Limerence and Oni Press

Thanking Limerence Press, Oni Press and NetGalley for the ARC I received in exchange for an honest review. 

I know it is not easy to explain sexuality and gender in a simple way. It is very complex as there are so many terms, theories, opinions and also definitons about sex and gender. Yet, Mady G. is brilliant! She firstly tells her readers the definitions of terms between gender and sexuality. She says;

Gender is the social cultural and metal state of being male, female and combination of the two or neither. It has something to do with how somebody feel inside rather what they look like

Sex has to do with reproduction as well as physical and biological make up and can reference things like chromosomes, genitalia, hormonal, activity rather than mental and attribute. 

They later spoil the readers with the illustrations and the examples of issues that an LGBTIQ actor may face. 

" Growing up lonely, gender ambiguous with a sexuality I did not understand was difficult. Nowadays, young people have the tools available for them to learn and grow rather than hide and despair and that is amazing thing. 

It is also important to recognise that LGBTQ language overall, including these term is ever-evolving and ever-changing. Gendered words can be just as fluid as gender itself."

Despite of those issues, the book also offer some motivation to the readers

"Self-love takes a bit of time for some people especially those who have issues with their self-esteem. It will always worth it. However, stay conscious and give it your best try. even if you have some little road blocks in your daily life that can slow you down like money, family problem or grief. 

A little spark of self-love can make a world of difference not just in the context of relationship."

I cannot find any flaws in this book. It is very informative and also easy to be understood. Most of all, A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities is a book that every scholar in gender study should possess.

Some of my favourite quotes of the book are

" It is not generally good idea to be emotionally impulsive when dating. Rushing to find a relationship can cause a lot more heartbreak than it's worth although there are some scenarios where people have gotten together in some sort of whirling fairytale way- that isn't necessarily a realistic or healthy expectation."

"It is generally a bad sign if your partner acts jealous whenever you hang out with other friends or family. Your partner is not supposed to be the man focus of your life and there is no reason for them to expect you to give your attention to them and them alone."

"A good partner would show interest in your friends and hobbies rather than trying to change them or isolate you. An abusive partner will often try to gain control of as many aspects of your life as possible."

"DO NOT let a partner dictate how you dress, who you associate with or how you express yourself (unless your behaviour is clearly harmful to others). A PARTNER IS THERE TO SUPPORT YOU, NOT TO CONTROL YOU!"
Was this review helpful?
The book I wish I’d had a decade ago.

TL;DR – A cute, fun tour through the world of queerness


Ragdoll Rating: 5/5 Buttons

Recommended For: Everyone. Especially anybody questions or recently out.

About the Book…

This book is very brief, but very informative tour through the world of identities, labels and relationships. The comics focus on the wisdom of a snail, who teaches a bunch of snail buddies about all the beautiful humans.

The book is broken into sections, each dealing with a different aspect of the queer experience. Each chapter is ended with a little summary comic featuring an adorable set of creatures known as Sproutlings.

What I thought…

As I said above, I wish I had had this book a decade or more ago. Transitioning was the result of years of questioning my sexuality and gender identity, and the whole period was a very difficult time. I still – 5+ years later – struggle with some aspects, and this book would have helped me a great deal.

Obviously I can’t speak for every queer person, but I personally feel that the content of this book is brilliant. It’s really inclusive, covering a wider variety of topics (albeit very briefly in some cases).

The book starts by discussing sexual orientation, and (correctly) declares it to be distinct from gender identity. Then there is a section on gender identity itself, including non-binary identities and the differences between identity and expression. It’s a really good chapter. Then we have a section on asexuality, something I find is often ignored in by a lot of people. The book finishes itself off with sections of advice, covering healthy relationships and coming out. Mady G makes great efforts to point out the fluid nature of identity, talks a lot about spectrums and how labels and concepts can differ from person to person. I think it’s really well done, and you can definitely tell it’s been written by someone with experience of what they are writing about.

I also love the illustrations, courtesy of J.R. Zuckerberg. I admit I’m slightly biased in this regard. If you want me to love anything, make it cute and I’m basically sold – and this book is CUTE. I love the Sproutlings, they are all my best friends and I want to live in their cute little forest. But ignoring my obvious bias, the illustrations are really lovely, they make what can feel like a difficult subject feel easier.

Finally, I want to mention the very last pages. Tucked away at the end of this book are a series of little activities – I assume aimed at the younger audience. Their inclusion is a really nice touch. The activities include, among other things, a section to write a letter to your younger self (something I know a lot of queer folk have found really helpful) and an invitation to design your own Sproutling. I just thought that was really cool.

Final Thoughts…

If I ever get hold of a time machine, I’m sending this book back to my teenage self. This is definitely a must read for anybody who needs a gentle guide into our big queer world.
Was this review helpful?
This book does exactly what it says in the title. It's a brief, simple guide to understanding what it means to be queer and/or trans. It's in a graphic novel format with a talking pet snail as the narrator. The artwork and colours are fun and help make the book accessible. Every now and then there's a couple of pages with stories about characters called sproutlings. They were cute, but the way the book changed between the two styles could feel a little disjointed. The book could also have done with a clearer structure, especially for people hoping to dip in to just one section rather than read it cover to cover. Having said that though, the book is full of lots of great information, and discusses gender and sexuality in a very positive and affirming way.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and Oni Press for this DRC.

"The world is home to such a vibrant rainbow of people, so why not genders."

This is filled with wonderful, informative and easy to digest information.
I did think it was geared more to teens/adults and younger people may need help reading and understanding all the details discussed. That's not necessarily a bad thing since it would hopefully spark conversation/questions.
They really touched on a bit of everything, including signs of toxic relationships. This is something I think all people should be made more aware of in order to spot and escape these kinds of harmful dependencies. This is especially true for anyone still coming to terms with their own identity who may not feel brave enough to speak up and/or draw attention to themselves.

"Let yourself grow and change and learn- that's what being alive is all about."

I think I would have preferred if the conversations had all been delivered by humans. I found the snails and sproutlings a bit weird. The human discussions around the fire were much easier to connect to and I would have favoured more of those with less of the other critters.
Overall I found this was a warm, respectful and loving delivery that could open up fantastic dialogue toward understanding one's own personal feelings or those of a loved ones.
Was this review helpful?
Everything I know about trans people is thanks to a friend who had an angelic level of patience to explain it all to me. I cringe to think of the ignorant things I asked her back then. For this, I hold her in very high regard, especially since learning of how unfair and emotionally exhausting it is to have to explain your existence to someone. 

So I picked this book up wondering if it would have helped to educate me back then, instead of asking my friend all of those questions. The answer is: sort of. 

This book is FOR queer kids/people. It is aimed at people who are already exploring or questioning their identities, rather than at the caring but confused friend/family member who would like to learn more, or the casual reader who is passingly curious on the subject. 

For that purpose, it is lovely. I just imagine a queer kid in a library, feeling lost and not knowing who to go to for guidance or companionship, and finding exactly the warm embrace, acceptance, and confirmation they needed from this book.

The story is told through a pet snail, who is teaching the wild snails about humans. In between the snail teachings are tiny bits of this idyllic place populated by “Sproutlings”, forest creatures who will serve as examples to further explain what the snail says. The main topics are: gender identity, gender expression, dysphoria, asexuality, relationship advice, and coming out. 

The art is very soothing. The lines are very round, soft, and squiggly. The art is very soothing. The lines are very round, soft, and squiggly. The dominant color is pink, accented with purples and yellows, with the Sproutling chapters in blue-greens to set them apart.   

At points I sensed a bit of “the expert blindspot” (when someone is already an expert at their subject and they teach the material in a way that is obvious to them, while being unaware of the many questions that a novice will have). But that is why this book is aimed specifically at LGBTQ kids. They already know about some of these terms and don’t need the basics explained to them.

This subject is unfathomably broad and the book can only briefly touch on so many subjects, but it would be lovely to see sequels of this where they go more into depth for each respective topic they already introduced.  

The book ends with a handful of self-reflection activities that may help kids practice what they’ve just read/learned. 

I would recommend this to anyone who is exploring or questioning their identity, and to a mindful friend or family member who wants to learn more about what their loved ones may be experiencing (with the reservation that this won’t answer all of your questions).
Was this review helpful?
This book was adorable and super informative! I loved the characters and the diagrams and the color schemes throughout the book. The way this book answered questions I know many people who are both trans, cis and queer have or have had before is thoughtful, respectful, and easily understood. This book even talks about navigating relationships which was wonderful!! I loved the cute pages at the end after the outro as well, making this whole book feel lighthearted and fun even though it talks about and explains topics that some people may not be very familiar with.
Was this review helpful?
What I loved:
This is a quick and easy primer that would be perfect for teens and adults. I don't think any of the material is presented in an inappropriate way for younger audiences, but the vocabulary might be a little tough for younger readers, e.g. words like narcissism might not be readily understandable to middle grade readers. The drawings are delightful and don't distract. The book has a positive message of loving yourself and extra stars for discussing healthy relationships and signs of toxic relationships—things that apply to relationships and friendships across the board. I have never read a book like this that also incorporates  breaking up, good communication, and loving yourself,   I also liked the space at the end to write your own story. I think a book like this will generate a lot of ideas in the reader and having a place to joy them down makes the processing more fun and organic. 

What's missing, in my opinion:
I was surprised that there wasn't anything about STIs or safe/safer sex but since the focus of the book was not physical sex/sex ed, I assume that is a topic covered elsewhere.   I was hoping for a line in the unhealthy relationships section that said something about partners pressuring you about sex, but one book can't be everything to everyone. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone 12-13 or above, but I wouldn't mind if my 10 year old wanted to read it. There's nothing in it that's out of bounds for younger readers in my opinion. 

Thanks, Net Galley, for a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is such an amazing and adorable book. I love the snails so much. My heart, I just can't. The illustrations are wonderfully, psychedelically perfect for the content and I loved the array of topics that were covered. I wish so sincerely that this had existed for me when I was young, because there is so much incredible knowledge packed within these pages that I had to fight to learn over the last decade. I suspect the audience that would find the most enjoyment from this are folks trying to understand themselves within these pages, rather than giving it to a person who is uneducated on the subject based on the length.
Was this review helpful?
This book was incredibly cute while also being very informative. It was a quick read due to being both short and primarily graphics, but that didn't take away from the numerous messages throughout.

I'm a cisgender female, and bisexual. While a lot of the book was targeted toward transgender, the messages could be applied toward anyone - especially those in the relationships and self care sections. I understood sexuality and gender fairly well before reading the book, but how the concepts were laid out in such an easy and matter of fact way can really help those with little to no experience regarding the subject matter. Books like these are extremely important nowadays when people are coming out as things a lot of older generations can't comprehend. I enjoyed it a lot.
Was this review helpful?
This little comic was really educational and I loved the character designs of the sproutlings. It didn't teach me much more than I already know but I would definitely  put this book in the hands of someone ignorant about the subject of sexual and gender identities. This was written with such good intentions it warms my little genderqueer bisexual heart.
Was this review helpful?
This is a story, told by a snail, to explain, in simple terms, queerness and transexuality.

But, I think the most important part of this whole story is this statement the snail makes.

<blockquote>Every person is worthwhile and valuable in their own way and if you are able to make some sort of peace with yourself while on your transitional journey that will definitely ease the burden.</blockquote>

<img class="alignnone wp-image-4651 size-full" src="" alt="aevery person is wrothwhiel and avaluable in their own way and if youa re able to make some sort of peace with yourself while on your transitional journey that will defently ease the burden."  />

Because, that is what it is all about. Really. We are all worthwhile, in our own ways, and we just are trying to make peace with ourselves.

The rest of the book, yes, is important, as it explains the various aspects of sexuality and gender, but really, we are all on a journey, trying to find ourselves, with others along the way.

<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-4652" src="" alt="" />

<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-4653" src="" alt="" />

I am so glad all these books are be coming available, and to have it in cartoon form, the more the better, the easier it is for everyone to understand the struggles that trans and queer folk are going through.

I would recommend this for schools and libraries.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Love the concept of this. I am all for LGBTQ+ representation and this book does its best to teach you that. However, while I found the concept great, I didn't like the artwork.
Was this review helpful?
This is a great introduction to queer and trans identities that covers a lot of important subjects. I loved that it dedicated a whole section to asexuality since this identity is rarely talked about. The art style was cute and interesting and I liked that it didn't come across as preachy.

The only thing I didn't like were the blue/green sections. They felt somewhat disconnected from the rest and the book would have done just as well without them.
Was this review helpful?
I thought the concept was great and I would much prefer two or three shorter books than this one. It's very, very wordy and I get that. It's a complicated discussion. 30 pages in I was overwhelmed with information and I doubt patrons would continue through it considering how dense it is.
Was this review helpful?
We need so many more books like this one. It was so important, at the same time simple and educative, everyone can learn so much just by reading it. It can be for people who don't know a thing about queer stuff, or people who want to know more because it concerns them. I think every single person should read this book, everything is explained clearly with nice graphics to go along.
Was this review helpful?
An easy-to-follow, inclusive guide into a wide range of LGBTQ+ topics. I particularly enjoyed the adorable art and colouring that helped support the different concepts and ideas explored. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone wanting to learn more about the topic, and/or want to appreciate some cute art.
Was this review helpful?
A very informative and easy to understand graphic novel on a number of LGBTQ subjects. It would make a good addition to the high school library that I work at once it's published.
Was this review helpful?