A British author of teen fiction offers basic information about the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience, including terms, religious issues, coming out, and sex acts, for people of all orientations, including the merely curious. - (Baker & Taylor)
"The book every LGBT person would have killed for as a teenager, told in the voice of a wise best friend. Frank, warm, funny, USEFUL." —Patrick Ness, bestselling author
Lesbian. Bisexual. Queer. Transgender. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who's ever dared to wonder. This book is for YOU.
There's a long-running joke that, after "coming out," a lesbian, gay guy, bisexual, or trans person should receive a membership card and instruction manual. THIS IS THAT INSTRUCTION MANUAL. You're welcome.
Inside you'll find the answers to all the questions you ever wanted to ask: from sex to politics, hooking up to stereotypes, coming out and more. This candid, funny, and uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it's like to grow up LGBT also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, not to mention hilarious illustrations.
You will be entertained. You will be informed. But most importantly, you will know that however you identify (or don't) and whomever you love, you are exceptional. You matter. And so does this book.
One of The Guardian's Best Books of the Year
"This egregious gap has now been filled to a fare-thee-well by Dawson's book..." — Booklist (Starred)
- (Sourcebooks Inc.
*Starred Review* Often breezy in tone but always informative, Dawson's book is filled with facts and stories about being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or, as the author puts it, "the full and infinite spectrum of sexual and gender identities." If you think this means the book is aimed at straight readers as well as gay ones, you would be right. The need for the book is dramatically demonstrated by the results of a 2012 survey that revealed that, of the 300 kids participating, 95 percent had been taught nothing about gay sex as part of sex-education classes. This egregious gap has now been filled by Dawson's book, which is witty and wise and so packed with information it's hard to imagine a reader who won't learn something new. (Did you know a gay guy with a penchant for sportswear and man jewelry is called a scallie?) Illustrated with clever cartoon art, the book is generally upbeat while honestly acknowledging downsides of being LGBTQ, such as homophobia and bullying. Another plus is the careful and generous attention it gives to transgender people and topics. Originally published in Britain, the book is international in scope and, to its credit, evidences the universality of the LGBTQ experience. Highly recommended. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
An exuberant guide to LGBT life takes the stance that "being L or G or B or T or * is SUPER FUN." Speaking with candor, humor, and enthusiasm, Dawson addresses topics from coming out to sexually transmitted infections to sex apps. With irreverent chapter titles like "Stereotypes Are Poo" and a chatty narrative voice, the tone is largely upbeat, though the author also touches on "some MEGA-SAD FACE topics" like discrimination. Easily readable tables and humorous cartoons further liven up the presentation. To add more perspectives, segments from interviewees who represent areas of the LGBT spectrum not represented by the author himself are also included. Chapters on sex and apps like Grindr are helpfully matter-of-fact, and readers hear from people who choose casual sex as well as those who prefer emotionally intimate relationships. The book is a U.K. import, and while U.S.-based readers shouldn't have much trouble understanding Briticisms like "fancy" or "shag," some of the a nti-discrimination laws referenced won't apply. More troubling, the book's efforts to support transgender readers are undermined by persistent, thoughtless affirmations that biology really is destiny—for instance, when the author debunks the myth that "gay men are ‘girls' " with a jokey "Penis? Check! Yup, gay men are, in fact, male." Important for its frank sex talk but far less inclusive than it aims to be. (glossary, resources) (Nonfiction. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
First published in the U.K., this irreverent, informative handbook offers a wide-ranging overview of gender identity, sexual orientation, coming out, dating, and more. Adopting a humorous tone that should help set anxious readers at ease, Dawson dismantles stereotypes, such as "Gay women hate men" ("I imagine they'd hate men who said that to them, yes"); defines a range of terms from "camp" to "cubs"; and offers (very) frank information about sex ("A bit of spit, Brokeback Mountain–style, is NOT a substitute for a proper water-based lubricant"). Gerrell's playful b&w cartoons help maintain an encouraging atmosphere, even when Dawson turns to homophobia/transphobia, anti-gay legislation, and STDs. Readers will find guidance to navigating their sexual identities and more general advice about self-esteem, forming respectful relationships, and seeking personal fulfillment. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jo Williamson, Antony Harwood Ltd. Literary Agents. (June)
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School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 10 Up—This witty, no-holds-barred look at the LGBTQ experience provides information that parents or school friends often can't or won't give. The book covers dating, religious perceptions of LGBTQ people, bullying, coming out, and more. Employing occasionally snarky, informal language, Dawson provides very direct, frank guidance (among the subheadings are "Doing the Sex" and "Why Are Gay Men So Slutty?"), including sexual advice (complete with labeled anatomical cartoons). However, these are all topics about which teens are curious. Though the book has an intended audience, a variety of readers will appreciate it. VERDICT An insightful option for those with questions about what it's like to be LGBTQ.—April Sanders, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL
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