Gender Queer

By Maia Kobabe,

Book cover of Gender Queer: A Memoir

Book description

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…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked Gender Queer as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Maia Kobabe’s book is the book I wish I could’ve read growing up. I was struck so many times by the similarities Kobabe’s story shared with mine, as a kid with many of the same questions and feelings about my gender that e did.

With immersive and evocative illustrations that I couldn’t help but linger over, Kobabe’s graphic memoir took me on a refreshingly frank gender journey that was never afraid to delve into the uncomfortable.

It is also the most challenged and banned book in the country at the moment, which I think speaks volumes about the story’s capacity…

I still say, the best way to get people to read a book is to ban it. If you want to understand gender diversity, then Gender Queer is a great place to start.

If you want to understand why this book is controversial, then I can’t help you. I think maybe some people are just scared of giving the rest of us the freedom to be ourselves. What I can say is, this book explained a lot to me—about me.

Kobabe is a person who doesn’t recognize herself in any of the available identities.

Definitely one of the different ones... Lesbian? Transgender man? Nothing that’s out there and available to choose from seems to fit. This book really encapsulates what it’s like to have to weave your identity yourself instead of being able to get it ready-made. 

Loved this—it was intimate and thought-provoking, a true look inside another person's coming of age. If you took Skylar Kergil's Before I Had the Words and mixed it with Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, you’d have an idea of what this graphic memoir is like. It perfectly limns the mind of someone's journey of self-discovery, someone who’s non-binary and (possibly) asexual. Kobabe writes (and draws) with honesty, humor, and heart, not trying to speak for all nb/ace people, but just eir own experience as thoughtfully as possible. Texas wanted to ban this book— it’s a testament to how truthful and…

From James' list on the world of trans masculine teens.

Establishing personal pronouns is not always linear. In Maia’s case, discovering the Spivak pronouns e/em/eir connected the puzzle pieces and led to self-growth, beginning with a childhood love of snakes and continuing into a pursuit of an MFA in Comics. Along the way, struggles are faced and conquered, hair is cropped, and menstrual cycles come and go. This is a journey worth celebrating and worth reading about. Gender Queer is not about being male or female; it’s about having a connection to both, or to none. Paradoxically, love stories aren’t always about finding another person. Sometimes they’re about finding things…

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