This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson explores the spectrum of queer experiences through topics such as identity, sex, relationships, policies, personal experiences, history, and theories of existence. This is a great book for those new to the lgbtqia2s+ community, those questioning, family members, and allies that are trying to grasp some of the complexities of the queer community. If you are a full member of the lgbtqia2s+ community with your “identification card,” there is still new information you can learn.
Dawson includes the perspective she has as a member in the queer community prior to and after transitioning. This is matched by personal experiences and stories of other members in the community along with facts that come from a variety of sources.
Throughout the book there are illustrations that provide visual support and appropriate level of humor to some of the heavy topics that are mentioned. Dawson also took a more informal and novelist approach when discussing these topics, making the book fun and easy to follow. With the mixed ways of providing information, fun illustrations, and creative style of writing, This Book is Gay would make an excellent addition to any public, middle, and high school library. One disclaimer is the section on sex and relationships contains illustrations of human genitals along with descriptions of sexual pleasure. Aside from the exploration of pleasurable sex and relationships, the book covers many other important topics for readers to explore. The end of the book contains a list of queer icons, movies, books, and tv shows, a glossary, and a resource list for the queer community.
I enjoyed reading this book so much, it was hard to put it down. Some moments made me laugh, others made me upset, but overall I learned very valuable information. The book covers laws and policies globally that have hindered the experience and existence of the queer community. However, I look forward to reading this book again and seeing what new information I can learn.
There were a few pieces of information I learned. For example, I learned that
lesbian originated from the Greek Island of Lesbos where a famous poet of the time would lounge about on the beach and write poetry of women she was attracted to. I learned a variety of queer subcultures including muscle mary, scallies, and lipstick lesbian to name a few. Readers also get a fun illustration of all the reason’s someone is not gay. My favorite part of this book has to be the appropriate amount of humor Dawson uses and can’t wait to see how this humor is used in other books by her.
If you are looking to explore more into the T of lgbtqia2s+ community, then Dawson has a book titled What’s the T? Which is a guide book into gender identity and expression for trans and gender diverse identities.