on June 2nd 2015
Genres: LGBTQIA, Non-Fiction
Lesbian. Bisexual. Queer. Transgender. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who's ever dared to wonder. This book is for YOU. There's a long-running joke that, after "coming out," a lesbian, gay guy, bisexual, or trans person should receive a membership card and instruction manual. THIS IS THAT INSTRUCTION MANUAL. You're welcome. Inside you'll find the answers to all the questions you ever wanted to ask: from sex to politics, hooking up to stereotypes, coming out and more. This candid, funny, and uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it's like to grow up LGBT also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, not to mention hilarious illustrations. You will be entertained. You will be informed. But most importantly, you will know that however you identify (or don't) and whomever you love, you are exceptional. You matter. And so does this book.
This Book Is Gay is exactly what I needed: the book to pull me out of my reading slump (which was at the beginning of June and afterwards I fell right back into said slump). It was fresh, innovative, informative, and hilarious, and I’m glad that our society is finally making place for books like this to exist. I don’t think it would’ve been as well received as, say, twenty years ago. Things are changing for the better now, and that’s awesome.
This book is great for anyone who wishes to learn more about homosexuality, whether you’re gay, bisexual, trans, or (in my case) an open-minded straight person. It handles topics such as biology, how to deal with bigotry and prejudice, where to meet like-minded people, gay sex education (even providing its own sex ed!), gay porn, and even gay icons. It was serious and funny at the same time, with the information fairly wide and comprehensive, told in such a way that makes you pay attention and keep reading.
As for it being helpful, I think young gay males would benefit most from this book. If you’re in that category, then congratulations, this book would be perfect for you. Lesbians are also pretty well featured, but less so. There’s a bit of information about trans, but I wouldn’t count on this book solely. As for other identities such as asexuals and pansexuals — no such luck. They’re mentioned once or twice without any real description or information, and further in the book, the author even says, “WE ALL WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE”, leaving asexuals out of the equation altogether.
I love that this book is not textbook-dry, chockfull with information, bent on making your eyelids droop. It’s bubbly and lively, written in a modern style that’ll appeal to young kids these days (because he RANDOMLY BURSTS OUT IN CAPS LOCK and that’s a thing nowadays). It’s serious when it needs to be, like when discussing countries who still insist on having a death penalty for homosexuality, but in other parts is playful and downright hysterical. Although I could’ve gone without the visual of SWEATY PARENT SEX, thank you very much.
At the end of the book, there was a list of gay icons, as well as movies featuring homosexuality. However, even though there were some trans people in there, I noticed no mentions of trans movies (or if there was, I missed it). I would like to recommend Different for Girls, which is a ‘90s romantic comedy about a guy falling in love with a transsexual woman. Now, I don’t know how accurate it is, but it’s a really cute and funny movie, and definitely one of my favourites.
It also has this:
Which I personally feel is very important. You can watch it on the YouTube here. (Seriously, go watch it. It’s amazing.) (Also, haha, I totally snuck a Rupert Graves gif in here. Karolina is going to regret the day she ever took me on ;))
In any case, it’s definitely a book I would recommend – whether you need help on figuring out what your identity is, or you just want to know more about homosexuality and trans. There’s also a list of helpful websites and telephone numbers at the back of the book, in case you need more support, or you want to help out but don’t know where to go, or you want answers to all your questions. This Book Is Gay is one to put on your reading list.