- Ash is pronoun-indifferent, meaning that they use any / all pronouns.
- I know that the book has Ash’s old name on it – but I will refer to her as Ash.
I’m so happy and proud that this book exists – I remember watching all of Ash’s ABCs of LGBT+ videos on YouTube when I was a questioning bean, so I remember watching the first LGBT+ video around 2015 / 2016 – and instantly falling in love with Ash’s personality and editing – so I felt that his personality really came across in her book. The book deals with identity because the book has several voices – so I feel as though this is the perfect resource for anyone who wants to have a clearer understanding of gender, sexuality, and the terminology that helps individuals clarify those parts of themselves. This book is definitely a textbook, but a manageable one and I did read it cover to cover, and absolutely loved it.
Now, as someone who is a massive fan of labels due to the fact that I like having a label which accurately describes how I’m feeling, I was a fan of all the lesser-known labels that exist within the LGBTQ+ community (e.g. diamoric, nomsexual, novosexual) – this is a great idea because I consider myself an LGBTQ+ label expert, but I had never heard of most of the labels in this book – and this is a massive strength of the book because simply because I got to know more I got to know about LGBTQ+ labels that I previously didn’t know about or understand to due to how easily Ash puts forward this information. Like I mentioned, I loved how Ash’s way of educating from their youtube videos translated into his writing.
Furthermore, Hardell does this by listing and educating the reader about terms within the LGBTQ+ community, but they also include personal accounts from people (who are from YouTube – which as a huge youtube fan was great) who describe what the labels they claim mean to them – this gives the book a personal feel, which is something I love about the book because people discovering their gender and/or sexuality a lot easier – so the fact you’re not alone is a great subtext to have throughout. This makes the LGBTQ+ representation, this book felt completely natural and whole because these personal accounts because the book helps the world hopefully understand LGBTQIA+ people a little better.
However, a gripe I have with this book is that if you read the cheat sheet at the beginning of the book, you’ve essentially read the book – the remaining 170 pages don’t elaborate enough on the terminology to warrant 170 more pages – but, I do understand that Ash wanted to get personal experiences for their book, so this gripe is somewhat minor.
Besides, half the book explores gender, and the other half explores sexuality by giving overviews of both a – this gives you the ability to learn from scratch or to bulk up on terms that you’ve already encountered. I definitely felt as though I was exploring different parts of my identity when reading this book – as I came across the terms ‘diamoric‘ and ‘transmasculine‘ because of this book.
I also love all of the illustrations this book has – like I mentioned, this is a textbook book, but with the addition of illustrations and photographs which makes the book visually nice to look at. Although this is a convention of many textbooks, the illustrations give the book so much added charm to the book.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book, especially if you want to learn more about LGBTQ+ identities, or just want to brush up your terminology knowledge – and I especially liked the personal accounts this book has, and the illustrations were also nice.