lgbt · Non-Fiction · young adult

This Book Is Gay – James Dawson

9781471403958

Blurb: “Former PHSCE teacher and acclaimed author James Dawson gives an uncensored look at what it’s like to grow up as LGBT. Including testimonials from people ‘across the spectrum’ this inclusive book explores everything anyone who ever dared to wonder wants to know – from sex to politics, how to pull, stereotypes to come-out and more. Spike Gerrell’s hilarious illustrations combined with funny and factual text makes this a must read.”

This was a book which I stumbled across when perusing the teen fiction shelves looking for LGBT fiction. The title really stood out and I found myself drawn in by the bright rainbow coloured cover. Taking a different direction this time, this is a review of a non-fiction book, but that doesn’t make it any less important.

I am so glad that this book exists. It’s the kind of book I wish I’d had in my early teens as it would have answered all those pesky sexuality questions a lot sooner: I always knew I liked men and women, however, it wasn’t until I was fifteen that I discovered the term “bisexual.”

Whether you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, asexual etc. or even if you’re questioning/curious or firmly identify as straight, this book has a wealth of information that covers everything from sex, STIs, stereotypes, definitions and background history on the sexuality terms, what NOT to say when interacting with LGBT and even lists of websites, safe places and numbers you can contact for help.

No matter what you identify as, you will come out (pardon the pun) with so much knowledge about each aspect of LGBT and more, basically the big no-no’s such as misgendering a trans person. Seriously, don’t do it.

I expected, given the subject matter, for this to be a serious book. And it was, but it had a nice, frequent injection of humour delivered both by Dawson and Gerrell (the illustrator). It made it more enjoyable to read than just reading a textbook on a subject. Obviously, coming out is terrifying. When I came out to my parents, I had been with my boyfriend for a year, so I had the fear that they wouldn’t believe me because I was (and still) am in a monogamous, heterosexual relationship. There is a whole chapter dedicated just to how to come out.

I actively search for information on trans people and issues and this book was a learning curve for me. I came out of it with a better understanding of what trans people go for (even though I can never identify with trans issues and feelings in the way they do).

The addition of stories from various LGBT people around the world was really interesting and shows that there are in fact bisexuals out there like me who have a long-term partner but still say “yes I am bisexual.” I felt comforted by that. The quote I connected to the most was : “I identify as bisexual, thought I rather like to describe it as ‘people are beautiful. People are hot. People are attractive, and if I fall in love, I fall in love.'”

I applaud all the research and planning that went into this book, covering all the areas the silly education system fails to include.

I encourage everyone to read this book!

Bravo James Dawson, Bravo.
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