Published on May 15th, 2019 | by Chris O'Connor
A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities Comic Review
Summary: A gentle introduction to the variety of genders and sexualities told via cartoon creatures.
I would like to start by stating that I may not always get terminology correct… no offense is intended and I am happy to be informed of the correct use of identifiers etc.
Many years ago (long before Drag Race) I saw the music video for RuPaul’s Supermodel… whether it was or wasn’t my first foray into gender play and sexuality I can’t quite say… but I do remember it having an impact on me. The idea of a man dressed as a woman and looking very attractive stirred feelings in me that were quite unknown. These days the art of drag is far more common and mainstream… but the concept of gender is still being developed and expanded on from what was once known. To help people understand the variety of genders, gender expression and sexualities comes A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities.
What a topic… I mean if you want to dive in the deep end of trying to explain something… Queer and Trans Identities are certainly topics that can get people thinking. It’s very easy these days to find information about being Queer or identifying as Trans… but finding good information, or information that helps explain things in an easy to understand and non confrontational way can be a bit trickier. The lovely thing about this book is that it takes a very gentle approach to the whole topic. Someone who is perhaps just starting to question where they sit on the sexuality spectrum or gender spectrum can read through the pages and start to feel more comfortable with themselves… to understand (perhaps most importantly) that they aren’t alone, they aren’t weird… that they are quite normal. Demystifying these topics is both important for someone going through them from a first hand perspective and also for those who have a loved one going who identifies as Queer or Trans.
I will start by saying I’m not entirely sure what age group this is targeted at, but I’d guess early teen (given I would have been about 14 when I first saw RuPaul and started questioning myself… I guess that would be about the right age). I’m guessing by the cartoon style characters throughout that it is both aimed at the younger audience but also to the more mature readers who need a soft edge on their learning about queer and trans identities… to that end I think the art style may well help. There are no graphic images or concepts, everything is spoken of in a clear manner but not in any way that is likely to shock or offend anyone (the main characters are snails after all).
A lot of bigotry stems from a lack of understanding, we naturally fear the unknown. If this book can help at least one Queer or Trans identifying person have a safer happier life… then it’s done an amazing job. If it can help the wider community better understand and accept those of us who fall into the Queer or Trans identifying category then that’s brilliant. I would imagine A quick and easy guide to queer and trans identities would do well in public and school libraries… places that people who are starting to learn about themselves can easily access so that they can learn about the variety of life out there in a non confrontational and non shameful way.
Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: Mady G, J.R. Zuckerberg
Artist: Mady G, J.R. Zuckerberg
Format: 114pgs FC, Softcover
Release Date: 24th April, 2019