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Gender Queer

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In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortificat In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity--what it means and how to think about it--for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.


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In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortificat In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity--what it means and how to think about it--for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

30 review for Gender Queer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maia

    I wrote this book and I am proud of it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Stiefvater

    Youthfully bright, honest, uncertain, optimistic.

  3. 5 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    "Some people are born in mountains while others are born by the sea. Some people are happy to live in the place they were born, while others must make a journey to reach the climate in which they can flourish and grow!" As being a 18 year old teen , i am still questioning my sexual orientation and gender preferences at times I feel I am bi/ace or maybe queer so I decided to spend some time reading about them ! So here's to this book! I found this book really really brave, amazing, liberating and h "Some people are born in mountains while others are born by the sea. Some people are happy to live in the place they were born, while others must make a journey to reach the climate in which they can flourish and grow!" As being a 18 year old teen , i am still questioning my sexual orientation and gender preferences at times I feel I am bi/ace or maybe queer so I decided to spend some time reading about them ! So here's to this book! I found this book really really brave, amazing, liberating and honest ! Can I say I feel connected at times? I told you I am still questioning! It's like one of the best non fiction / memoir I have read in a while and it's a graphic book or what are you guys waiting? Its a graphic book! Just grab a copy and start it! Recommended for non binary? Asexual? Queer? Or maybe someone like me just exploring? Some of the fav lines :- ✒"It was everyone else being silly, not me.” ✒“This seed put out many leaves, but I didn’t have the language to identify the plant.” ✒“Friendship is NINE THOUSAND TIMES better than romance!” ✒“I’d be constantly resenting my kid for taking up all my time. I’m way too selfish for parenting.” ✒“I wish I didn’t fear that my identity is too political for a classroom." And not to forget all the one direction references !! Larry Larry Larry !!!!! Are you like kidding me??? Wooooow www Miss Author! Welcome to one of the best fandom! Seriously this is us/hi oops/ corden angels/tattoos I am trash for you now Maia💚 Heck yesssssss! Okay enough of fangirling ! I am going byee!

  4. 4 out of 5

    s.penkevich

    I am so happy and thankful for books such as this.Gender Queer, a graphic memoir by Maia Kobabe, is such an honest and open look at the author’s own path through understanding gender and sexuality. This is a beautiful book that will be useful to anyone looking to reflect on better understand non-binary gender, particularly as the telling is so full of careful nuance that looks at all the many avenues and aspects of non-binary identity and shows how discovering the language to assess identity is I am so happy and thankful for books such as this.Gender Queer, a graphic memoir by Maia Kobabe, is such an honest and open look at the author’s own path through understanding gender and sexuality. This is a beautiful book that will be useful to anyone looking to reflect on better understand non-binary gender, particularly as the telling is so full of careful nuance that looks at all the many avenues and aspects of non-binary identity and shows how discovering the language to assess identity is key in helping process yourself. Using the Spivak pronouns e/em/eir, as in ‘ask em what’s in eir tea’, Kobabe shows how there are many ways to identify yourself in a way that feels true to yourself. The path can be confusing, with Kobabe demonstrating how e grappled with different possible identities, realizing that asexual or trans were close but not quite right. For Kobabe, performing gender was less the issue as much as wanting to reduce gender—'I don't want MORE gendered traits, I was LESS'—and e’s journey is a really valuable story to help guide others in their own struggles with gender identity. Books like this one are really important, especially as this book can be read and understood at a younger age when finding yourself in the story will be super helpful and supportive. I wish I had found books like this when I was 14 instead of not realizing I was non-binary until my late 20s. Then it all clicked. The poet Charles Simic once wrote ‘everyone wants to explain the poem except the poet’ and in that spirit I feel like I shouldn’t explain too much and just encourage you to read this. A general overview of the ideas is useful but I feel like Kobabe’s nuanced approach would be far more educational. Another book that I would recommend along with it is the graphic nonfiction, Gender: A Graphic Guide. It isn’t perfect but it gives a really useful overview and historical context. This is a really well done memoir that is very moving. Maia very tenderly examined eir life journey and interpersonal relationships, as well as really demonstrates a love for reading. I particularly enjoyed this as so much of my own journey to figuring my gender identity and sexuality came from reading. Shoutout to the poets, you gave me the words to understand myself. I really appreciate e’s approach to showing how much language can help us unpack ourselves. There are some amazing descriptions here or fresh ways to look at ideas that are helpful, such as Kobabe describing gender as less of a spectrum and more of a landscape. There are great discussions on using correct pronouns and why it is totally acceptable to ask others to identify you appropriately. 'Instead of asking people to do something to make you feel more comfortable, you'd rather just feel a little uncomfortable all the time?' someone asks Maia. While it is show how it can be difficult at first to switch pronouns (Maia included when having eir's first they/them professor), it also really shows the discomfort someone feels when being misgendered. Its a helpful and healthy lesson we can all learn. An important book that I’d love to see on the shelves of every library everywhere.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tyler J Gray

    I needed this book 20 years ago. Words can not describe how much I love this book. It's a memoir about growing up and figuring out that one is non-binary and asexual. While I am not asexual, I am non-binary...and while I can look back on my life now and realize I have always been this way, it took until age 30 to find the words. To realize, i'm not a freak. I'm not wrong. I'm not confused (anymore-and if I had had the words and someone else saying "me too" I never would have had to be). That i'm I needed this book 20 years ago. Words can not describe how much I love this book. It's a memoir about growing up and figuring out that one is non-binary and asexual. While I am not asexual, I am non-binary...and while I can look back on my life now and realize I have always been this way, it took until age 30 to find the words. To realize, i'm not a freak. I'm not wrong. I'm not confused (anymore-and if I had had the words and someone else saying "me too" I never would have had to be). That i'm not alone. So many instances of "OMG ME TOO!" "Yes, so much yes" "I feel this so hard" "Wait...there is a WORD for that? And it's not just me?" It's a memoir of someone else's life but so much of it mirrored my own. Not 100% obviously, but a lot of it. And it made me feel so incredibly seen. I am still trying not to cry while writing this...and i'm failing. I'm so glad to finally understand my struggle with gender that i've had as long as I can remember. To finally know i'm not a freak, alone, wrong for feeling this way. And that there are words. Words can mean the entire world. In some cases I did honestly say "lucky you" to privilege's e had that I did not. Like on page 150 where e mention their lack of chronic pain and health issues. I was born with vacterl association. I am a medical nightmare, have always had chronic pain (getting worse as I get older) and I always will. But e is aware of that privilege. I would highly recommend this to, well everyone. Non-binary? Asexual? Queer? Wanting to learn? It's a graphic novel. It's easy and quick to read. It was hard hitting for me because I personally related to a lot of it. I needed this. I got it from Hoopla and I will be buying a copy so I can hug it! And re-read it. Though saying how much I related to this and having others read it feels like i'm getting naked in front of everyone. But oh well. Because I am who I am. And that's ok.

  6. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    I adored this! It was so heartfelt, detailed, and very deeply honest, raw and personal. I loved the page where the author was like (when e was a teen) "I'm never writing comics about my personal life!"...lolol. But honestly overall this hit me very deeply and I'm so grateful I got to read it. Absolute recommendation with my whole heart. (It just ended too abruptly!! I was there, franticly trying to scroll further on my ecopy and I'm like !! no do not end) I adored this! It was so heartfelt, detailed, and very deeply honest, raw and personal. I loved the page where the author was like (when e was a teen) "I'm never writing comics about my personal life!"...lolol. But honestly overall this hit me very deeply and I'm so grateful I got to read it. Absolute recommendation with my whole heart. (It just ended too abruptly!! I was there, franticly trying to scroll further on my ecopy and I'm like !! no do not end)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Teal

    A memoir by someone so much like me, yet at the same time so unlike me. A few times I had to set it down and cry. Be forewarned that I can't even pretend to aspire to objectivity, and brace yourselves for a review that's going to be more about me than about the book. Or move along if that (understandably) doesn't appeal to you. The graphic novel format lends itself well to Maia Kobabe's story, perhaps because it adds a playful element that complements the sheer quirkiness of eir life experience. T A memoir by someone so much like me, yet at the same time so unlike me. A few times I had to set it down and cry. Be forewarned that I can't even pretend to aspire to objectivity, and brace yourselves for a review that's going to be more about me than about the book. Or move along if that (understandably) doesn't appeal to you. The graphic novel format lends itself well to Maia Kobabe's story, perhaps because it adds a playful element that complements the sheer quirkiness of eir life experience. This was me, too, from the time I was 11 years old. But I was born in an era when there was no way to communicate that fundamental fact about myself, because the language did not yet exist for concepts like gender identity. As I grew up I kept trying to tell people about "how I am," but after a couple of decades had to give it up as a hopeless cause. Only recently did I discover that there are now, finally, words I can use to describe myself to others -- the most general of which is genderqueer. (More specifically, I identify as agender, i.e., I have no sense of gender at all. I can't even stretch my imagination far enough to guess what it's like for people to feel they have a gender; it's all a mystery to me.) It's a vast understatement to say I was wracked with envy as I read Maia's story of growing up in a world where the right words do exist, and people like oneself can be found and befriended. Yessssssssss. Maia seems content with the general self-description of genderqueer, with no need to pin it down further. I went through mood swings as I read, resonating powerfully with some of eir experiences, and finding others utterly alien, for example eir asexuality. Sometimes I just had to laugh at the odd parallels in our lives, like this: When I was a kid, I was the one everyone called if they needed to be "saved" from a snake. Actually I still am, because I'm on-call for my local community as a rattlesnake relocator. Enough (more than enough! ugh!) about me. I'd like to say more about the book, honestly, but it put me through the wringer emotionally, and I've pretty much exhausted my ability to be coherent. I hope it finds a wide audience -- or at least finds its way to the folks who can benefit from, and rejoice at, seeing genderquirkiness embraced and explored.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    Gender Queer is a memoir comic by Maia Kobabe with a title that signals the desire to reach out to others, I think, of similar non-binary inclinations (or commitments). In this still relatively new moment of non-binary pronoun usage to signal identity, Kobabe uses the “Gayatri Spivak” system of “e, em, eir.” E also identifies as asexual, though e does have a kink or two. For part of the book Kobabe identified as bi, but really, e does not want to be either a girl or boy (so e’s, just for the sak Gender Queer is a memoir comic by Maia Kobabe with a title that signals the desire to reach out to others, I think, of similar non-binary inclinations (or commitments). In this still relatively new moment of non-binary pronoun usage to signal identity, Kobabe uses the “Gayatri Spivak” system of “e, em, eir.” E also identifies as asexual, though e does have a kink or two. For part of the book Kobabe identified as bi, but really, e does not want to be either a girl or boy (so e’s, just for the sake of identification, not trans), or have any sexual relationships with others, though we learn e tried. Eir (queer) sister at one point told em she thought Maia was genderless, and this might be something e would still agree with, not sure. Eir family and friends have all been very supportive, it seems. I had to look up the difference between the non-binary/gender queer and gender fluid, which is more about fluctuating between genders, or being flexible about it all. Kobabe is shy, secretive, non-confrontational, so it seems like a particular act of courage for someone like em to write such a book, to share her story, though probably more for others on the road to their own journies than even for em. (How’m I doing on the pronoun usage, kids?! I’m a cis-gendered dude of a certain age. . . I will admit I am still learning, and had to go over this several times. . .) Not that I think this book describes “a phase,” but I have the sense that Kobabe will think somewhat differently about all these issues ten years from now, which is not to say e will suddenly become binary. I just have this feeling that part of identity for many people seems to involve exploration, just figuring things out. Youth is a particular time for this, of course; maybe for some people it happens later. Until this book made me think hard about it, I hadn't realized how many people I know that are probably gender queer. I like the art, I like knowing eir story. I guess the only issue I have with the book is that titling it thus makes it appear less autobiographical and more like a book that defines a topic, which it does not. It is about em and eir specific identity issues/commitments, while introducing you to the idea generally of people being non-binary. But anyone who is gender queer or knows someone who is ought to read this book, I think. You’ll learn a lot. I did. I am glad it is being read by so many people already on Goodreads, people largely seeming to love it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    This memoir is so damn liberating!!! And yes, everyone deserves a family like that. Loved this one so much!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Skye Kilaen

    Mini-review: FANTASTIC. Really. Read it. This graphic novel memoir about gender and identity should make top 10 lists of various kinds for a long, long time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    chan ☆

    i enjoyed this! i rarely read memoirs, but i'm thinking that i won't be rating them since it's kind of hard to rate a real person's real experiences. i will say this was a very personal memoir that highlighted the author's journey to self acceptance and discovery. eir were constantly growing and changing and i liked that the end of this graphic novel was kind of open ended, but satisfying. i also think that despite the simple language used and minimal text, emotion was displayed very well and i fee i enjoyed this! i rarely read memoirs, but i'm thinking that i won't be rating them since it's kind of hard to rate a real person's real experiences. i will say this was a very personal memoir that highlighted the author's journey to self acceptance and discovery. eir were constantly growing and changing and i liked that the end of this graphic novel was kind of open ended, but satisfying. i also think that despite the simple language used and minimal text, emotion was displayed very well and i feel like it opened my eyes even more to what it's like being gender queer/non binary. definitely recommend this one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This graphic memoir is very well done and I truly believe that it might be helpful for a lot of people. Here the author explores eir gender identity and how e came to be and understand who e is today. It was nice seeing a nonbinary person represented and also learning about the e, em, eir pronouns. The illustrations are very good and I also really appreciated how eir family was present throughout The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This graphic memoir is very well done and I truly believe that it might be helpful for a lot of people. Here the author explores eir gender identity and how e came to be and understand who e is today. It was nice seeing a nonbinary person represented and also learning about the e, em, eir pronouns. The illustrations are very good and I also really appreciated how eir family was present throughout the whole comic. I highly recommend this one!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Krista Regester

    Perhaps one of the best ways to tell your story is through pictures. Gender Queer does a beautiful job of explaining thoughts that might seem indescribable to some. Maia completely captured me from the first word to the last.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 5 hundred stars While reading this graphic novel, my most common thought was “holy shit”, usually paired with “that’s me!”. It was like the author reached into my brain to pluck out my thoughts, memories and experiences, and turned them into drawings. Only, of course, e was doing the same with eir own memories – which happened to be hauntingly similar to mine. I firmly believe that if I had read this book before I was 18, I woul I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 5 hundred stars While reading this graphic novel, my most common thought was “holy shit”, usually paired with “that’s me!”. It was like the author reached into my brain to pluck out my thoughts, memories and experiences, and turned them into drawings. Only, of course, e was doing the same with eir own memories – which happened to be hauntingly similar to mine. I firmly believe that if I had read this book before I was 18, I would have found my identity much sooner. Gender Queer is a memoir that tells a story of a person growing up questioning both eir sexuality and gender. It addresses many issues that are described in the blurb, such as coming out to friends and family, feeling ignorant around your peers who seem to have more experience than you, relationships and being ready to be in them, listening to David Bowie, wanting to have life experiences as research for fanfiction, feelings about menstruation, having children, and much else. Maia tells the story of eir childhood with beautiful illustrations, and honest even about the uncomfortable truths. Like most teens, Maia also used to be ignorant about some issues that e now knows better about, such as the dangers of using ace bandages. The only thing I would have appreciated more critical thinking on is the erotic gay shipping that is often used to fetishize gay men. There are several scenes where Maia and eir friends write fanfiction, including about real people, and mention several popular gay ships – and again, I don’t judge em and eir friends for these, but I still would have appreciated a couple of sentences about this shipping can be toxic as well as validating. But really, what really struck me was how much I related to these experiences. Some scenes, like realising other girls shave their legs and I don’t, not being able to describe what haircut you want and then hating it, having a conversation with a mother about having children, wearing pants to graduation, and even playing a boy character in drama class brought up memories that happened to me, occasionally ones that I haven’t thought of or related to my gender journey. Overall, Gender Queer is a beautifully written and drawn, honest account of a genderqueer bi/asexual person’s life. It’s special to me because I related to it so much, but I think anyone can enjoy it, and many queer people regardless of identity can find relatable moments in it. (There were also a lot of aro-relatable moments, although I’m not sure if the author identifies as aromantic as well or not.) “It was everyone else being silly, not me.” “This seed put out many leaves, but I didn’t have the language to identify the plant.” “Friendship is NINE THOUSAND TIMES better than romance!” “I’d be constantly resenting my kid for taking up all my time. I’m way too selfish for parenting.” “I wish I didn’t fear that my identity is too political for a classroom.”

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chaity

    3.5 stars

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kitty

    I can’t imagine writing a book where I proudly talk about being super into pederasty and writing fanfiction around incest and also real people as part of my awesome gender journey but I’m also not a moneyed queer academic. Glad you work with “afabs” and not younger boys. Yikes.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Guillory

    A brilliant and raw exploration of identity and self. A much needed voice and perspective in the area of gender expression and discussion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    Definitely rereading this ASAP!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily K.

    Someone at work recently stopped me in the hallway and said, "Em, I think you might enjoy this," and pulled a comic memoir out of an amazon bubblepack titled Gender Queer. I immediately stifled a cringe. As an out and (for better or worse) "visible" trans person, I'm often subjected to casual acquaintance's gender feels and queer adjacent pop cultural recommendations. But I like the person who suggested it so I told him I'd check it out even tho I don't really like comics. Part of me thinks that Someone at work recently stopped me in the hallway and said, "Em, I think you might enjoy this," and pulled a comic memoir out of an amazon bubblepack titled Gender Queer. I immediately stifled a cringe. As an out and (for better or worse) "visible" trans person, I'm often subjected to casual acquaintance's gender feels and queer adjacent pop cultural recommendations. But I like the person who suggested it so I told him I'd check it out even tho I don't really like comics. Part of me thinks that I am this book's ideal audience: a queer and trans person who can finally be "seen" by the literature that I choose to engage with, especially a story of a trans person realizing that they are gender queer or nonbinary and finding satisfaction with that identity. Sure, I often feel invisiblized by literature or television. But as a queer and trans person my whole life could easily be spent consumed by my feelings about identity or how my coming out can be shaped into a narrative, but honestly, that's not interesting to me. I do prefer Kobabe's story to Jacob Tobia's neoliberal black hole of garbage person narcissism. I do think that the world needs stupid and annoying trans narratives as much as it needs smart and compelling ones so that people can see that we're not any better or worse than cis people, we're just as messy and annoying and compelling. Next time just give me a story with characters and a journey, make them fail and fuck up and fuck and find something that isn't just the mirror, because the journey is the mirror.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    “Will I ever feel like I’ve completely explained myself?”

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katie.dorny

    Wow wow wow. I wish I had read this years ago, loved everything about it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    l.

    I really feel frustrated with how little critical thought was in this book. Maia relays all the ways their female body was stigmatized by societal norms (not being allowed to be topless even as a child, shaving etc) and the ways having a female body is a messy business (periods, pregnancy) and how that is compounded by social expectations (all women should love children and become mothers), but cannot connect that to their own discomfort with their body, even in passing. They also fail to unders I really feel frustrated with how little critical thought was in this book. Maia relays all the ways their female body was stigmatized by societal norms (not being allowed to be topless even as a child, shaving etc) and the ways having a female body is a messy business (periods, pregnancy) and how that is compounded by social expectations (all women should love children and become mothers), but cannot connect that to their own discomfort with their body, even in passing. They also fail to understand discomfort with female puberty as a near universal experience among women despite talking about how this was discussed in one of the most popular children’s fantasy series of all time, the Lioness Quartet. Listen to other women. You are not alone in any of this. These are all common thoughts and experiences. “It’s more about NOT being female than BEING male.” I want to scream. This is exactly how so many of us feel and the reason we feel this way is not because of brain sex because brain sex doesn’t exist. It is societal. The way Maia dismisses their lesbian aunt saying this is due to misogyny but the conversation is not shown... it’s because Maia doesn’t have a rebuttal tbh. Just say, I’ve decided I’m #notlikeotherwomen and be done with it. And there are so many other little issues that are also grating: For example, someone should have told Maia that liking gay fanfiction is incredibly normal for straight/bisexual women. (Well, the thing is Maia knows this.) Also someone should have told Maia that virgins don’t really need pap smears. And that no woman “feels” “cis.” Cis is an almost totally useless and meaningless term. And there is no such thing as a female or male brain! The unbelievable misogyny of such a claim. And honestly it is not normal to be writing gay fanfiction of real, existing teenagers when you’re in grad school. Stop that.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anniek

    This was exactly what I needed today, and I'm so grateful it exists. I picked it up because of a bout of intense self doubt brought on by transphobia, and it was so relatable, affirming and validating. It helped me understand myself more than I was able to before. I especially loved how accurately this grasped the intersection between being asexual and being genderqueer, both identities I share. It left me extremely emotional and I'm going to make my family read it too, so they can hopefully und This was exactly what I needed today, and I'm so grateful it exists. I picked it up because of a bout of intense self doubt brought on by transphobia, and it was so relatable, affirming and validating. It helped me understand myself more than I was able to before. I especially loved how accurately this grasped the intersection between being asexual and being genderqueer, both identities I share. It left me extremely emotional and I'm going to make my family read it too, so they can hopefully understand me better as well. Rep: bi aspec genderqueer MC, several queer and non-binary side characters CWs: gynaecological exam, blood, sex, mention of cancer

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    It has been a real joy to see more nonbinary authors sharing their stories and expanding our ideas about gender and trans identity this year. Kobabe's graphic memoir is so effective at explaining how eir experiences with gender from childhood through adulthood were complex and hard to pin down, a slow process of discovery. E also explores asexuality as well, which can further complicate both gender and sexual identity. We are still in the beginnings of having nonbinary people tell their own stor It has been a real joy to see more nonbinary authors sharing their stories and expanding our ideas about gender and trans identity this year. Kobabe's graphic memoir is so effective at explaining how eir experiences with gender from childhood through adulthood were complex and hard to pin down, a slow process of discovery. E also explores asexuality as well, which can further complicate both gender and sexual identity. We are still in the beginnings of having nonbinary people tell their own stories, so it's not too surprising that in this wave we have a lot of memoir. I did not mind it at all, and Kobabe is adept at putting eir emotions and stories in pictures to heighten the experience. Sometimes I read a memoir and think, "This person needs more distance from their story to tell it effectively," but I never thought that about GENDER QUEER. Kobabe's strength here is keeping you in a feeling of the present, a feeling of change and discovery, and when we leave em at the end of the book, we don't have to feel like everything is now figured out and settled. We know e is on a journey that may take em to a new understanding of emself and that is a beautiful thing. If you aren't familiar with nonbinary people, who are a vast group with a spectrum of identities, there is much to learn here. Even as someone who has many nonbinary friends, I gained a new respect here for nontraditional pronouns. Most people I know use they/them and I admit I have felt somewhat reluctant to adopt more unusual pronouns even though I strongly believe you should always respect a person's identity and pronouns. After reading Kobabe's story about finding e/em/eir pronouns (also known as Spivak pronouns) I could shake off my discomfort and embrace a broader set of pronouns.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Eilonwy

    Wow. This book was amazing. Maia is so straightforward and raw as e describes eir childhood into early adulthood, and eir constant discomfort with being A.F.A.B. - assigned female at birth. But e doesn't really want to be a boy, either -- e just wants to be gender-free. And nothing in our culture really lets em, or anyone, be that way. The personal detail and unflinching honesty of Maia's journey is both really touching, and a little hard to read because some of it is so painful. This book is a Wow. This book was amazing. Maia is so straightforward and raw as e describes eir childhood into early adulthood, and eir constant discomfort with being A.F.A.B. - assigned female at birth. But e doesn't really want to be a boy, either -- e just wants to be gender-free. And nothing in our culture really lets em, or anyone, be that way. The personal detail and unflinching honesty of Maia's journey is both really touching, and a little hard to read because some of it is so painful. This book is a great resource for anyone sharing that experience -- you're not alone! It's also a great resource for everyone. Whether or not we're aware of it, all of us probably know someone who is genderqueer, or gender uncomfortable, and this book provides so much insight into what drives that person and what they might be experiencing. I know a number of genderqueer folk, and most of them probably don't really want to tell me this amount of personal and intimate detail about themselves. So reading this provides me with a deeper level of understanding and empathy without having to be intrusive or out of bounds. And it's made me extra determined to use people's chosen pronouns and identify them as they wish to be seen. Highly recommended.

  26. 4 out of 5

    clem

    4/5 Instagram | youtube trigger warnings: body dysmorphia, misgendering important graphic novel that should be in every school library. rep: gender queer, non binary, asexual 4/5 Instagram | youtube trigger warnings: body dysmorphia, misgendering important graphic novel that should be in every school library. rep: gender queer, non binary, asexual

  27. 5 out of 5

    jut

    "i dont want to be a girl. i dont want to be a boy either. i just want to be myself." what a great memoir, this story is incredible and the art too! in lots of moments i could relate to it, what made everything even more special to me! "i dont want to be a girl. i dont want to be a boy either. i just want to be myself." what a great memoir, this story is incredible and the art too! in lots of moments i could relate to it, what made everything even more special to me!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I have a lot that I want to say about this memoir, but I can’t figure out how to say any of it, so I’m probably going to end up not saying much of anything beyond the basics. And the basics of are basically that this is a memoir by nonbinary artist Maia Kobabe, who uses the pronouns e, em, and eir. Eir experience with gender has been fraught since ey were a child (is that the correct usage?). Maia has never felt like a boy or girl, and spent quite a while coming to terms with that. This book also I have a lot that I want to say about this memoir, but I can’t figure out how to say any of it, so I’m probably going to end up not saying much of anything beyond the basics. And the basics of are basically that this is a memoir by nonbinary artist Maia Kobabe, who uses the pronouns e, em, and eir. Eir experience with gender has been fraught since ey were a child (is that the correct usage?). Maia has never felt like a boy or girl, and spent quite a while coming to terms with that. This book also touches on eir sexuality, which ey explored especially in college, before coming to terms with being asexual. It’s an extremely personal memoir, only enhanced by Kobabe’s art, which is expressive and poignant. The book actually opens with Kobabe confessing that the idea came from a school assignment where the teacher asked em to list things that bothered em the most, or made em uncomfortable. Everything on Maia’s list was to do with gender. Even despite that discomfort, this memoir doesn’t really hold back, and seeing that discomfort so clearly on the page is part of what makes this memoir so powerful. I say this is personal, because there isn’t any way to honestly depict a memoir about coming to terms with your gender identity and sexuality, about living in a human body, without getting personal. Kobabe runs the gamut, from eir childhood to adolescence, through college. The memoir depicts Kobabe’s emotional journey through exploring eir attractions, eir relationship to their body (dealing with the pain and humiliation of eir first gynecological exam), and eir experiences of trying to help eir family understand eir identity. The thing that I appreciated the most about this memoir is that it portrays so painfully accurately the experience of what it’s like to have an identity outside of binary norms of any kind. There are no models for what is “normal,” and so many of Kobabe’s feelings and thoughts do not fit into any known framework. I would highly recommend this book even if reading about gender and sexuality aren’t high on your interest lists. Kobabe is certainly an artist/author to watch in the future. Read Harder Challege 2020: Read a graphic memoir.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (Kalanadi)

    4.5 stars. Ended a little abruptly but really heartfelt, such a good read. Also, let's get TMI here, but I want to say this: the part about horrible awful pap smears is what I related to. If this is your experience too: You are not required to get pap smears, period. Like, it's not a legal requirement. No doctor should put you through that. They should realize something is very wrong and talk to you about it and present you with good options, like counseling and physical therapy (pelvic floor the 4.5 stars. Ended a little abruptly but really heartfelt, such a good read. Also, let's get TMI here, but I want to say this: the part about horrible awful pap smears is what I related to. If this is your experience too: You are not required to get pap smears, period. Like, it's not a legal requirement. No doctor should put you through that. They should realize something is very wrong and talk to you about it and present you with good options, like counseling and physical therapy (pelvic floor therapy exists!). I cannot imagine how horrible this is combined with gender dysphoria. But you can say no, you can say stop, and no one else's opinion matters.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julia Sapphire

    This is a super important read and I'm really glad this exists. This is a memoir and follows Maia and their story of being non-binary and asexual. It follows their journey and discovering sexuality and gender. I really enjoyed the art style of this and the minimal text. I thought this story was super insightful. It is totally a great read for everyone especially people who want to learn or do identify as enby or ace. Some of the panels are more graphic and talk about masturbation and sex in gener This is a super important read and I'm really glad this exists. This is a memoir and follows Maia and their story of being non-binary and asexual. It follows their journey and discovering sexuality and gender. I really enjoyed the art style of this and the minimal text. I thought this story was super insightful. It is totally a great read for everyone especially people who want to learn or do identify as enby or ace. Some of the panels are more graphic and talk about masturbation and sex in general so just be aware of that before picking it up. But I would recommend this a lot!!

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