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Gender Queer: A Memoir

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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 charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity—what it means and how to think about it—for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

240 pages, Paperback

First published May 28, 2019

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About the author

Maia Kobabe

27 books2,522 followers
Maia Kobabe is a nonbinary, queer, trans author, a voracious reader, a kpop fan, and a daydreamer. You can learn an astonishing number of intimate details about em in GENDER QUEER: A MEMOIR and in eir other short comics, published by The New Yorker, The Nib, The Washington Post and in many print anthologies. GENDER QUEER won a Stonewall Honor and an Alex Award from the American Library Association in 2020. It was also the number one most challenged book in the United States in both 2021 and 2022. Eir forthcoming books are SAACHI'S STORIES, written with Lucky Srikumar, due out from Scholastic Graphix in 2025 and BREATHE: JOURNEYS TO HEALTHY BINDING with Dr Sarah Peitzmeier, due out from Dutton in 2024.

@redgoldsparks on instagram

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,225 reviews
Profile Image for s.penkevich.
964 reviews6,815 followers
August 2, 2023
I am so happy and thankful for books such as this, protect it as it frequently faces bad-faith challanges for removal and should remain on shelves in public libraries. While 2021 set a record for most number of challenges or bans to books in the US, with 1,597 books targeted across 729 challenges (for context there were 159 in 2020 and 377 in 2019), 2022 increased substantially with 2,571 titles facing 1,269 challenges. 40% of all challenges attacked more than 100 books at a time. This book was cited by the American Library Association as the most challenged or banned book for the year (read the full list here) but don't let that turn you away. Gender Queer, a graphic memoir by Maia Kobabe, is such an honest and open look at the author’s own path through understanding gender and sexuality.

This is a beautiful book that will be useful to anyone looking to reflect on better understand non-binary gender, particularly as the telling is so full of careful nuance that looks at all the many avenues and aspects of non-binary identity and shows how discovering the language to assess identity is key in helping process yourself. Using the Spivak pronouns e/em/eir, as in ‘ask em what’s in eir tea’, Kobabe shows how there are many ways to identify yourself in a way that feels true to yourself.

The path can be confusing, with Kobabe demonstrating how e grappled with different possible identities, realizing that asexual or trans were close but not quite right. For Kobabe, performing gender was less the issue as much as wanting to reduce gender—'I don't want MORE gendered traits, I was LESS'—and e’s journey is a really valuable story to help guide others in their own struggles with gender identity. Books like this one are really important, especially as this book can be read and understood at a younger age when finding yourself in the story will be super helpful and supportive. I wish I had found books like this when I was 14 instead of not realizing I was non-binary until my late 20s. Then it all clicked.

The poet Charles Simic once wrote ‘everyone wants to explain the poem except the poet’ and in that spirit I feel like I shouldn’t explain too much and just encourage you to read this. A general overview of the ideas is useful but I feel like Kobabe’s nuanced approach would be far more educational. Another book that I would recommend along with it is the graphic nonfiction, Gender: A Graphic Guide. It isn’t perfect but it gives a really useful overview and historical context.

This is a really well done memoir that is very moving. Maia very tenderly examined eir life journey and interpersonal relationships, as well as really demonstrates a love for reading. I particularly enjoyed this as so much of my own journey to figuring my gender identity and sexuality came from reading. Shoutout to the poets, you gave me the words to understand myself. I really appreciate e’s approach to showing how much language can help us unpack ourselves. There are some amazing descriptions here or fresh ways to look at ideas that are helpful, such as Kobabe describing gender as less of a spectrum and more of a landscape.
There are great discussions on using correct pronouns and why it is totally acceptable to ask others to identify you appropriately. 'Instead of asking people to do something to make you feel more comfortable, you'd rather just feel a little uncomfortable all the time?' someone asks Maia. While it is show how it can be difficult at first to switch pronouns (Maia included when having eir's first they/them professor), it also really shows the discomfort someone feels when being misgendered. Its a helpful and healthy lesson we can all learn.

An important book that I’d love to see on the shelves of every public library everywhere. This book tends to be frequently the center of bannings, all of which being tantrums with little to no rationality behind them. Maia Kobabe put out this wonderful respose in the Washington Post about the situation and reminds us that these books can be a lifeline for teens who need it.

**Update 11/22/22**
The amount of hate that gets directed at this book is horrific. Gender Queer was the most banned and challenged book of 2021 (and will continue to be when the 2022 data is out) and the unwarranted aggression spills over into the whole realm of books and libraries. A few miles from me, the Jamestown Library was recently defunded due to a coordinated attack campaign on the library and staff over the inclusion of this book specifically in the collection, as well as Kiss Number 8 and Spinning, a book I really love by Tillie Walden. Librarian were called groomers, staff were doxxed and the library failed a millage earlier this year. After a huge GoFundMe raised money for the library, including a $50K donation from Nora Roberts, and many patrons said they didn’t realize the library would have to close because they voted no, they tried a second millage. It also failed and now the library is set to close in 2024. So because of certain people were worried about access to 3 books in the collection of 67,000 books, they decided their entire community will be banned from accessing any library. It doesn’t just close their library, without a home library to issue them a card, they lose access to using any library (they are in the same Library Collective as me). We all share books, so not only does it affect them but it also affects everyone in the collective by removing access to their collection, causing longer wait times and a smaller overall Lakeshore Collection. So the harm ripples outside the community, but also their children. Imagine deciding you were so fake outraged by three books you banned the children of your community from using libraries and their access to books, music, movies, programming and just the general awesome vibes of growing up loving a library. That is the biggest tragedy, and their own parents decided to harm them for weird edgelord cred so they can posture about on social media. It should also be noted the people who organized these protests locally, Ottawa Impact (who also won a bunch of County Commissioner seats), is astroturfed by wealthy oligarchs like Betsy Devos (who also funds groups like Moms For Liberty who have been attacking libraries and public schools nationally). The goal of these groups is the disillusion in, and destruction of, public institutions. Anyways, I am sad to see Jamestown lose their library and that those children will grow up without access and know how amazing it is to love your local library. I loved mine, now I work in one. I’m here right now. It rules. Come see me if you want a library card.
Profile Image for daph pink ♡ .
947 reviews2,710 followers
December 18, 2022
"Some people are born in mountains while others are born by the sea. Some people are happy to live in the place they were born, while others must make a journey to reach the climate in which they can flourish and grow!"

As being a 18 year old teen , i am still questioning my sexual orientation and gender preferences at times I feel I am bi/ace or maybe queer so I decided to spend some time reading about them ! So here's to this book!

I found this book really really brave, amazing, liberating and honest !

Can I say I feel connected at times? I told you I am still questioning!

It's like one of the best non fiction / memoir I have read in a while and it's a graphic book or what are you guys waiting? Its a graphic book!
Just grab a copy and start it!

Recommended for non binary? Asexual? Queer? Or maybe someone like me just exploring?

Some of the fav lines :-
✒"It was everyone else being silly, not me.”
✒“This seed put out many leaves, but I didn’t have the language to identify the plant.”
✒“Friendship is NINE THOUSAND TIMES better than romance!”
✒“I’d be constantly resenting my kid for taking up all my time. I’m way too selfish for parenting.”
✒“I wish I didn’t fear that my identity is too political for a classroom."

And not to forget all the one direction references !!

Larry Larry Larry !!!!!

Are you like kidding me??? Wooooow www

Author! Welcome to one of the best fandom!
Seriously this is us/hi oops/ corden angels/tattoos I am trash for you now Maia💚

Heck yesssssss!

Okay enough of fangirling!
I am going byee!
Profile Image for l.
1,670 reviews
December 28, 2021
I really feel frustrated with how little critical thought was in this book. Maia relays all the ways their female body was stigmatized by societal norms (not being allowed to be topless even as a child, shaving etc) and the ways having a female body is a messy business (periods, pregnancy) and how that is compounded by social expectations (all women should love children and become mothers), but cannot connect that to their own discomfort with their body, even in passing. They also fail to understand discomfort with female puberty as a near universal experience among women despite talking about how this was discussed in one of the most popular children’s fantasy series of all time, the Lioness Quartet.

Listen to other women. You are not alone in any of this. These are all common thoughts and experiences.

“It’s more about NOT being female than BEING male.” I want to scream. This is exactly how so many of us feel and the reason we feel this way is not because of brain sex because brain sex doesn’t exist. It is societal. The way Maia dismisses their lesbian aunt saying this is due to misogyny but the conversation is not shown... it’s because Maia doesn’t have a rebuttal tbh. Just say, I’ve decided I’m #notlikeotherwomen and be done with it.

And there are so many other little issues that are also grating:

For example, someone should have told Maia that liking gay fanfiction is incredibly normal for straight/bisexual women. (Well, the thing is Maia knows this.)
Also someone should have told Maia that 21 year old virgins don’t really need pap smears.
And that no woman “feels” “cis.” Cis is an almost totally useless and meaningless term.
And there is no such thing as a female or male brain! The unbelievable misogyny of such a claim.
And honestly it is not normal to be writing gay fanfiction of real, existing teenagers when you’re in grad school. Stop that.
Profile Image for Tyler Gray.
Author 2 books225 followers
August 6, 2019
I needed this book 20 years ago. Words can not describe how much I love this book. It's a memoir about growing up and figuring out that one is non-binary and asexual. While I am not asexual, I am non-binary...and while I can look back on my life now and realize I have always been this way, it took until age 30 to find the words. To realize, i'm not a freak. I'm not wrong. I'm not confused (anymore-and if I had had the words and someone else saying "me too" I never would have had to be). That i'm not alone.

So many instances of "OMG ME TOO!" "Yes, so much yes" "I feel this so hard" "Wait...there is a WORD for that? And it's not just me?" It's a memoir of someone else's life but so much of it mirrored my own. Not 100% obviously, but a lot of it. And it made me feel so incredibly seen. I am still trying not to cry while writing this...and i'm failing.

I'm so glad to finally understand my struggle with gender that i've had as long as I can remember. To finally know i'm not a freak, alone, wrong for feeling this way. And that there are words. Words can mean the entire world.

In some cases I did honestly say "lucky you" to privilege's e had that I did not. Like on page 150 where e mention their lack of chronic pain and health issues. I was born with vacterl association. I am a medical nightmare, have always had chronic pain (getting worse as I get older) and I always will. But e is aware of that privilege.

I would highly recommend this to, well everyone. Non-binary? Asexual? Queer? Wanting to learn? It's a graphic novel. It's easy and quick to read. It was hard hitting for me because I personally related to a lot of it. I needed this.

I got it from Hoopla and I will be buying a copy so I can hug it! And re-read it.

Though saying how much I related to this and having others read it feels like i'm getting naked in front of everyone. But oh well. Because I am who I am. And that's ok.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
March 29, 2023
3/29/23: Here is a link to news that this good book is the most censored book in this time of censorship and bookburning:


I say recommend and buy and share this book widely, to undermine all the people that are one-starring it just because it is about glbtq issues.

2022 comment: Today I read in the Chicago Sun-Times that this book was being banned in Downer's Grove, Illinois (west of Chicago) as "porn" by some parents in the community. Here's one article on the controversy:


Initial review: Gender Queer is a memoir comic by Maia Kobabe with a title that signals the desire to reach out to others, I think, of similar non-binary inclinations (or commitments). In this still relatively new moment of non-binary pronoun usage to signal identity, Kobabe uses the “Gayatri Spivak” system of “e, em, eir.” E (Kobabe) also identifies as asexual, though e does have a kink or two. For part of the book Kobabe identified as bi, but really, e does not want to be either a girl or boy (so e’s, just for the sake of identification, not trans), or have any sexual relationships with others, though we learn e tried. Eir (queer) sister at one point told em she thought Maia was genderless, and this might be something e might agree with, not sure. Eir family and friends have all been very supportive, it seems.

I had to look up the difference between the non-binary/gender queer and gender fluid, which is more about fluctuating between genders, or being flexible about it all, as I understand it.

Kobabe is shy, secretive, non-confrontational, so it seems like a particular act of courage for someone like em to write such a book, to share eir story, though probably more for others on the road to their own journies than even for em. (How’m I doing on the pronoun usage, kids?! I’m a cis-gendered dude of a certain age. . . I will admit I am still learning, and had to go over this several times. . .)

Not that I think this book describes “a phase,” but I have the sense that Kobabe will think somewhat differently about all these issues ten years from now, which is not to say e will suddenly become binary. I just have this feeling that part of identity for many people seems to involve exploration, just figuring things out. Youth is a particular time for this, of course; maybe for some people it happens later.

Until this book made me think hard about it, I hadn't realized how many people I know that are probably gender queer.

I like the art, I like knowing eir story. I guess the only issue I have with the book is that titling it thus makes it appear less autobiographical and more like a book that defines a topic, which it does not. It is about em and eir specific identity issues/commitments, while introducing you to the idea generally of people being non-binary. But anyone who is gender queer or knows someone who is ought to read this book, I think. You’ll learn a lot. I did. I am glad it is being read by so many people already on Goodreads, people largely seeming to love it!
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,519 reviews8,984 followers
May 4, 2023
I enjoyed reading this memoir about Maia Kobabe’s journey of navigating eir gender landscape and accepting eir genderqueerness and eir asexual and aromantic identities. I liked how e captured the messiness of the process, about how e had to try out different types of clothes, relationships, etc. until e figured out what worked best for em. E shared the difficult parts of the process *and* the joyful parts, such as finding community who loved em for em and coming to a place of self-acceptance and self-knowledge. Given the horrid transphobic garbage happening in the United States right now, having written and published this memoir is unfortunately an act of courage.

On the note of the widespread bans on this book… honestly I don’t even really want to get into it because I’m in the home stretch of my residency, planning a move, and dealing with a gay crush, but I’ll just say: how cruel do you have to be to hate people for living as their authentic selves?? The hate Maia Kobabe is receiving for living as eir authentic self in particular feels so unnecessary and bigoted. It’s interesting (and by interesting, I mean disappointing and disgusting) how wedded people can be to their own fixed, rigid notions of gender, sexual orientation, and attraction. If you want to be cisgender and romantic and allosexual, you can do that in your own life and leave trans, aro, and ace communities alone.
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 8 books33.2k followers
June 22, 2020

Si buscáis leer algo sobre género y sexualidad, este es vuestro momento. Género Queer explora de un modo crudo y realista las experiencias de Maia durante su vida, enfrentándose a sus miedos, a la disforia, a la atracción o no atracción sexual... Se tocan tantos temas y de un modo tan bueno, que es imposible no salir de esta lectura sin que te haya cambiado un poquito.

No sabía qué esperarme de esta novela gráfica autobiográfica, pero desde luego no esto. La historia me ha atrapado por la manera de narrar que tiene Maia; es amena pero también dura, graciosa pero complicada. Mantener ese balance durante tantas páginas demuestra la autenticidad de su estilo, y sobre todo, de cómo ha elegido narrar la historia de su vida. En ese sentido, en el más teórico si hablamos de narración, introducción y desarrollo de personajes y demás, un diez de diez. Redondo.

El dibujo de Maia es sencillo, pero eso no quita que te transmita. Hay momentos sorprendentes, donde su estilos se ve modificado para mostrarnos pesadillas o momentos de ensoñación, así como listas de cosas y de libros. Los que, por cierto, juegan un papel muy importante en la novela. (Y ya me he apuntado algunos títulos.)


Pero sin embargo, con lo que me quedo es con la historia de la vida de Maia. Sus problemas con la sociedad para comprender su cuerpo y sus necesidades, el entenderse con los años siempre comparándose con las demás personas, y algo que me hizo trizas el corazón fue ver cómo no solo las series o libros que leía le cambiaban la vida, sino la representación que poco a poco -según el mundo avanzaba- fue encontrándose en su camino. La escena final genera una interesante reflexión sobre los referentes, y creo que es una de las tantas enseñanzas que se pueden sacar de esta obra.

Creo que Maia también hace bien en mostrarnos de una forma muy sencilla los problemas del cambio social hacia la aceptación de, por ejemplo, los pronombres neutros, y de cómo es una lucha constante con las personas no binarias o de género fluido. También hace una muy buena introducción de ciertos elementos como la disforia, la asexualidad, los géneros y la feminidad, por ejemplo. Son temas que trata de un modo como nunca lo he visto y que considero que por su manera de hacerlo, cualquier persona que lea esta novela gráfica sería capaz de conectar con Maia, independientemente de sus creencias.

Género Queer te cambia. Si no conoces en profundidad temas de género o sexualidad, debes leerlo para comprenderlo de primera mano. Si ya lo haces, no te lo puedes perder. Es un nuevo enfoque, una nueva visión... Y está increíblemente bien narrada y representada. Un indispensable de la literatura LGTB del siglo XXI, sí lo digo.
Profile Image for Jay.
8 reviews4 followers
December 22, 2021
This book is all about a girl wanting to be a super special snowflake and expanding upon her very obvious internalized misogyny. Maia clearly has major mental health struggles and decides to fixate on a dislike of being female as a way to feel empowered. Newsflash: many girls go through this. In fact, a ton do. Puberty really sucks. Growing up sucks. Young adulthood sucks. Eventually you grow out of it if you either give it enough time or actually work with a therapist who doesn't immediately jump to gender crap. If you think about it, everyone is technically "non binary" or "gender queer". No one is 100% feminine or masculine. That doesn't make biological sex not real. You are either male, female, or intersex (and most intersex people still are more male or female) and that's the only thing limiting you. Why have we basically gone backwards and are now more sexist again? Rejecting biological reality and playing pretend is a childish thing. And medical transition is just unnecessary and often harmful cosmetic procedures.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,452 reviews2,401 followers
September 24, 2023
This memoir is so damn liberating!!! And yes, everyone deserves a family like that. Loved this one so much!
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,065 reviews1,903 followers
April 28, 2022
I remember when I realized I never had to have children. It was like walking out of a narrow alley into a wide open field. I never have to get married. I never have to date anyone. I don't even have to care about sex. These realizations were like gifts that I gave to myself. pg. 178

This is a relatable, well-written memoir by nonbinary author Maia Kobabe.

I read it because of all the kerfuffle - this is the number one in banned/challenged books in America right now and I wanted to know why. Reading hysterical accounts of it being 'pornography' online obviously did not answer any of my questions.

So I read it, and I found it delightful. Clear, helpful, and written by an author who is relatable.

Ok, sometimes I doubt these 'conservatives' are actually reading the material they are foaming at the mouth to ban.

Yes, this book is an INCREDIBLE and reassuring resource to teenagers (I would say 12 or 13+) who may be struggling with feelings about their gender or maybe worried that they are not sexual enough (Kobabe is asexual). It's SO important to see another person (in this case, Kobabe) wrestling with the same issues, questioning why e doesn't have a strong sex drive, questioning why e feels like neither a boy nor a girl.

But honestly, EVERYONE should read this book. EVERYONE. For two reasons.

1.) I think one of the big obstacles against the LGBTQIA+ community is straight, cisgendered people not really understanding what any of the letter-soup is. A lot of straight cisgender people might be a bit frightened of LGBTQIA+ people, not understanding them is a huge part of this. The fear and even disgust straight cisgender people may feel when confronted with 'scary queer folk' (especially in the narrative pushed by the right currently, about all non-straight people being pedophiles and etc. etc.) can be ameliorated. IT CAN BE AMELIORATED. It doesn't have to lead to hatred. Simply introducing queer characters into media has helped with this A LOT. Representation matters. Will & Grace. Willow Rosenberg on Buffy. I mean, stuff like the L-Word and Queer As Folk are amazing, but they are not mainstream. I'm more focusing on stuff you didn't have to pay to get. Stuff that you could get on regular, national television. Modern Family. It helps take the mystery away. It helps see a person with a queer identity in a different light for people who may not know any (out) queer people in their daily life.

Someone who is not in an urban environment, maybe doesn't personally know any queer people, can pick up this book and say, 'Huh. I read this book and I relate to Kobabe.'

Because Kobabe is very relatable. People might agree with eir for a plethora of reasons - even if the reader of this memoir is not queer. How about the fear and discomfort of getting a pap smear? Very relatable for a lot of women, especially young women reading this book who might not have gotten their first pap smear yet. How about Kobabe's amazing confidence in turning down dating/sexual partners who e knows won't work for eir? That's quite inspiring. A lot of young people lack the ability to maturely turn down people who want to date them. Seeing Kobabe practicing healthy boundary-setting and assertive self-protection is a great role model for teens.

What about females who simply do NOT want to get married? Women or girls who do NOT want to have children? Straight, cisgendered women get tons of negative feedback for not wanting to get married or have children. Seeing Kobabe come to these decisions for eirself and about eirself is powerful. Sex isn't eir thing. This takes eir a long time to figure out. Readers might be struggling with the dawning realization that they have a low sex drive (doesn't necessarily mean you are asexual, although Kobabe is). This can be scary. Thinking you are a freak because you are uninterested in sex or fantasize about growing up to be the maiden aunt can make a young person feel alone. But tons of people struggle with this stuff. And seeing Kobabe do it is helpful and reassuring.

Same thing with Kobabe refusing to shave eir legs or underarms. Or vulva, for that matter. Tons of women are interested in this, but society is BRUTAL in its enforcement of gender roles. Seeing Kobabe (and one of the women e dates) frankly discuss how they both have body hair before engaging in sex, and how that has to be a 'confession' because a female having body hair is SO SHAMEFUL is powerful and really can make teens (or any reader) think critically about how society forces gender expression.

There's about 8 more examples of 'totally relatable stuff for readers, even if you are not queer' that I could list here.

The book is not at all preachy. Kobabe speaks simply and honestly. You really understand Kobabe and where e is coming from by the end of the book. Kobabe doesn't shy away from troublesome elements. For example, e has a difficult conversation with eir lesbian, feminist aunt who thinks nonbinary and transgender is a form of misogyny. Or the part where Kobabe admits that as a young person, e fantasized about having to have eir breasts removed because of cancer - stating that since then people in eir family have had breast cancer and what a terrible fantasy that was. It's honest, it's reminiscent of a book by Judy Blume. Obviously, this book is aimed at an older audience than Judy Blume's audience. But the honest, helpful-to-youth, tackling-difficult-issues-without-being-preachy feeling is strong, just like Blume's work.

Probably not a coincidence, since Blume's books were banned and challenged frequently.

I think that

a.) depriving teenagers of this material is doing them a huge disservice. The book is EXCELLENT. I am not saying this because it is queer, I have rated plenty of queer books 1 or 2 stars. Some queer books are horrible. So, this is not a case of me praising this book 'because it's necessary.' I don't believe in that, I always review books based on the book, not out of any sense of 'as a liberal I have to support this.' I don't have to support it, and frequently don't. However, the book is amazing and should definitely be in high-school libraries and in every public library. I would recommend it to LITERALLY everyone, regardless of whether they are in the queer community or not. It's just a smart, relatable, helpful book for all humans.

b.) The idea that 'conservatives' seem to have that reading about 'gays' will 'make children/teens gay' is really bizarre to me. No matter how many books I read about lesbians, I'm not a lesbian. *shrug* If you don't like dick, reading about dicks isn't going to make you suddenly want to take a dick. I think literature is a huge gift to humanity, and that children and teens will self-censor. I was allowed to read anything I wanted to growing up. And I did. And I think it was one of the best parenting decisions my parents ever made. Children and young people read what interests them. Tons of stuff doesn't interest them, forbidding them to pick it up is only going to spark their curiosity. I think the ideas and concepts in this book are great. I think they are really helpful. I think the book is educational and interesting. That being said, a lot of young people will have absolutely no interest in reading it. Just let things take their natural course.

If you want to know what I think is very damaging to children and young people, it's Internet porn. I would worry about Internet usage much, much more than BOOKS. I guess books are ban-able, though, and the Internet isn't. All this hand-wringing is completely pointless if your kid has a smartphone and/or access to the World Wide Web. Pornography is very damaging, and it's being introduced at younger and younger ages.

Two ironic and sad things about this book is when Kobabe learns to read (at age 11!) due to Harry Potter. Must sting a lot in light of Rowling's outspoken views that we now know (this isn't discussed in the book. I'm just speculating). And TWO, Kobabe finding refuge, solace, and comfort in the library while discovering queer books and trying to figure out eir gender and sexuality. Books are so important, public libraries are so important. And now eir important, sensitive, helpful book about gender identity is being banned.


Sure. The book is NOT pornographic. However, it does tackle issues of sexuality and etc. It's definitely not meant to titillate or sexually excite people. It's not pornography.

However, it does contain sexual material. Let's go over it.

- Kobabe grows up with hippies and pees in the yard. There is a drawing of eir peeing in the yard as a 3-year-old.

- E tries to go shirtless as a child (prepubescent) and is quickly made to cover up and be ashamed.

- Discussions of periods, drawing of a bloody pad. I wouldn't even think this was 'offensive,' since it is a natural bodily function, but after the 'conservative' panic from Turning Red (Disney) about the HORROR of talking about menstruation, I'm mentioning this.

- Kobabe fantasizes about having a penis (no penis is shown in this part). E also discusses how imagining two gay men having sex is what sexually arouses eir. And fantasizing about eir (non-existent) cock getting sucked. No penises shown, it's just talked about.

- Kobabe's older sister kind of dares eir to taste eir own vaginal fluids. Kobabe is asexual and finds this 'gross.' We see this progress later as e grows up to honestly tell eir female dating partner that e won't go down on her.

- Drawings of Kobabe undressing for eir first, terrifying pap smear. Shows a naked female body but it's just normal, not sexualized at all. The pap smear is horrifying for Kobabe, and there is a picture of eir naked body being impaled on knife to illustrate the trauma e feels about being penetrated. This is one of the most relatable and heart-wrenching parts of the book IMO.

- There is a picture of a Grecian plate shown while Kobabe has a sexual fantasy in which a bearded naked man is touching the penis of a teenage boy.

- There's a scene in the book where Kobabe's girlfriend agrees to fellate a strap-on that Kobabe is wearing. As I expected, Kobabe doesn't enjoy it at all because there is no sensation in a plastic dick, obviously. E never does that again, and actually kind of gives up on sex permanently by the end of the book. The book is surprisingly unsexual for supposed, alleged 'porn.' After all, Kobabe is an asexual and even as a teen has a very low sex drive.

That's pretty much it, make your own decisions on if your kid/teen can read this (if they are even interested, which I doubt). I can easily and happily see it in any high school. Lower age than that I probably wouldn't put it in a middle-school or elementary-school library. Saying this should be banned from elementary school libraries, though, is kind of like saying 'We should ban rhinoceroses from elementary schools.' This book simply isn't going to be there, it's not an issue. And I'm completely against book banning of any sort. PERSONALLY as an individual I wouldn't hesitate to give it to any kid age 12+, but I understand I'm very loosey-goosey with what kids read because I read anything I wanted to growing up and I think kids/teens should read anything that holds their interest - especially a smart, well-written book like this which will educate them and make them think. I'm also a feminist, so that might explain why I like this book so much. After all, I read OUR BODIES, OURSELVES when I was young. It was GREAT, this is kind of akin to that.

Another huge boon in this book is that Kobabe has a loving, supportive, kind family. It can be depressing to read queer memoirs where the family is hateful and shames and humiliates the author. This book illustrates what a kind, accepting family can look like for a queer youth.

TL;DR So glad I read this. I feel sad that Kobabe's book is being banned and challenged. It's an excellent book. Very helpful for any teens/adults who might be struggling to understand why traditional gender roles aren't suiting them; why the intense sexualization of American culture is not attractive to them. Why they don't spend hours fantasizing about a crush.

But even beyond this, Kobabe is relatable to any reader. Any person who just wants to understand queer identity better should read this. Confused about what non-binary actually is? Confused about how a person can be born in a female body and not feel womanly or girlish? You don't even know what genderqueer means? Is Kobabe trans? What's going on here? Just read it. It's an excellent educational material for straight cisgender people. I think it can be a huge boon in taking away any fears or disgust people in 'mainstream' society might have regarding LGBTQIA+ people and that is super-important, especially nowadays with the right's insistence that 'queers are coming for your children.' The book clearly shows the reader a kind, relatable human being. Perhaps this is the real reason the book is being banned by the right. What if queer people are JUST LIKE YOU in a lot of ways?

Profile Image for Teal.
608 reviews201 followers
November 19, 2021
A memoir by someone so much like me, yet at the same time so unlike me.

A few times I had to set it down and cry. Be forewarned that I can't even pretend to aspire to objectivity, and brace yourselves for a review that's going to be more about me than about the book. Or move along if that (understandably) doesn't appeal to you.

The graphic novel format lends itself well to Maia Kobabe's story, perhaps because it adds a playful element that complements the sheer quirkiness of eir life experience.

This was me, too, from the time I was 11 years old. But I was born in an era when there was no way to communicate that fundamental fact about myself, because the language did not yet exist for concepts like gender identity. As I grew up I kept trying to tell people about "how I am," but after a couple of decades had to give it up as a hopeless cause.

Only recently did I discover that there are now, finally, words I can use to describe myself to others -- the most general of which is genderqueer. (More specifically, I identify as agender, i.e., I have no sense of gender at all. I can't even stretch my imagination far enough to guess what it's like for people to feel they have a gender; it's all a mystery to me.) It's a vast understatement to say I was wracked with envy as I read Maia's story of growing up in a world where the right words do exist, and people like oneself can be found and befriended.


Maia seems content with the general self-description of genderqueer, with no need to pin it down further.

I went through mood swings as I read, resonating powerfully with some of eir experiences, and finding others utterly alien, for example eir asexuality. Sometimes I just had to laugh at the odd parallels in our lives, like this:

When I was a kid, I was the one everyone called if they needed to be "saved" from a snake. Actually I still am, because I'm on-call for my local community as a rattlesnake relocator.

Enough (more than enough! ugh!) about me. I'd like to say more about the book, honestly, but it put me through the wringer emotionally, and I've pretty much exhausted my ability to be coherent. I hope it finds a wide audience -- or at least finds its way to the folks who can benefit from, and rejoice at, seeing genderquirkiness embraced and explored.
Profile Image for Michael.
13 reviews
July 20, 2022
I read this to see what the conservative outrage about this book is. A little background, I’m an elementary school music teacher who previously taught high school music and dance. I’m also a biracial gay male who grew up in a small rural town in the US and had a really tough childhood and early adolescence due to bullying and not fitting in and now teach in a very progressive big European city (where I also don’t really fit in).

I really do want to be sympathetic to this topic and whoever it affects as gender pronouns and non-binary…identity (I’m not sure how to word that) seem to be coming up more frequently every year. I appreciate that the author took the time to share her experiences, but don’t see in what way this particular book has any place in a school library or in the youth section of a public library. I found this frankly explicit and disgusting. There are things I openly discuss with friends but don’t tell my students or acquaintances or parents. I personally don’t care to read about someone’s use of a strap on to perform oral sex not do I care to see this much blood. I don’t think that’s any more appropriate to share in a school than an episode of Queer as Folk (which I very much celebrate as ADULT entertainment). Then again, I don’t feel the need to tell everyone I meet that I’m a bottom or what nsfw pictures I get on Grindr. I’m not surprised so many parents don’t want their kids reading this book as it is totally confusing and too graphic.

Besides not being appropriate for a school setting, I think this book is just poorly written. It seems as though the author is rambling about whatever enters their head and I’m still left not seeing any need to confuse the whole world about your gender when you yourself are not sure what implications that has on your life. Beyond that, I don’t feel like the author had any personality except they read a lot and wanted very badly to fit into the ever growing LGBT etc label.

I hope this was cathartic for the author and I’m giving it an A for effort, but it really was one of the worst books I’ve read in a really long time. I’m still hoping to find a book (fiction or non fiction) that explains to me why this is all suddenly such a big deal for so many people and if it’s just an antifeminist fad or if I’m missing a piece of the puzzle.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews596 followers
November 29, 2021
I felt nothing but awe and respect….a complete testament to the human spirit!

19 reviews
August 18, 2022
It’s not the topic of this book that gets it a 1-star rating from me. I was hopeful and excited to read a book that combined multiple things I love: a graphic novel storytelling format, personal memoir, and a topic related to gender studies/expansive gender identities.

I was so disappointed in this book for so many reasons.

The narrative aspect is just…bad…plus the book unknowingly perpetuates toxic ideas about gender/identity, such as presenting “autoandrophilia” as a positive and/or neutral identity as opposed to a term weaponized by bigots to invalidate and demean transgender identities. I also think the author has a poor grasp of gender studies in general. When confronted by a relative who asks “are you sure this isn’t just internalized misogyny” the author…doesn’t have an answer? And didn’t even come up with an answer during the process of writing this memoir? You could’ve just said “my gender identity isn’t about hating womanhood, I celebrate womanhood in others, but I celebrate my own gender in a different way” like this is a pretty basic thing you could’ve put in your book that would really help other people.

Also I have to say it. Referencing Supernatural incest fanfiction in a positive way in your debut memoir??? Really??? You couldn’t have left that out??? You couldn’t have picked literally any other pairing??? Why did you think this was a good idea????????

The Supernatural incest fanfiction thing is….really an apt representation of the whole memoir. The author is deeply flawed in presenting this as a resource for youths exploring their genders, because most of this book isn’t even relatable, much less a solid resource. It delves into the author’s personal experiences, but even those experiences are deeply limited. If you were a Tumblr fandom enthusiast back in the day (aka if the word “Superwholock” means anything to you), then you’ll connect to this book, but otherwise it’s not for you. I really struggle to see how Gen Z kids could relate to this book at all because of how stuck in time it is (and I say this as a Millennial who lived through the Tumblr fandom era myself, so I did catch all the references).

In general, I hate to agree with conservatives on anything, but I also do have to say this isn’t really a book for younger audiences. I absolutely think younger audiences should have access to informative materials that encourage safe sex and healthy relationships from an LGBTQ+ inclusive standpoint…but this book doesn’t offer any of those things. The sex stuff in this book doesn’t contribute anything to the greater purpose of being relatable and informative to a marginalized population, and if anything presents problems without solutions that put readers at risk of taking on the author’s ignorance.

For example, when the author has a gynecological exam, the result is mental trauma and extreme pain. But instead of opening up the topic to say “oh this could be something called vaginismus and there are things like pelvic floor physical therapy that can help with this EXTREME PHYSICAL PAIN THAT IS NOT NORMAL,” the author just leaves the topic hanging except to say “I got a second exam years later and it was just as bad!” Like, it frustrates me that the author took what could’ve been a great opportunity to address an issue that isn’t talked much about that affects a ton of people, and just…squandered that opportunity. It doesn’t help anyone! And this is just one of many instances in the book where the author is basically Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown—just pulling the topic away right when it could become the most valuable, interesting, or informative. Really frustrating.

Anyway, this book is overall just not good from start to finish, and I would recommend “Tomboy” by Ivan Coyote as a far better personal memoir examining an author’s non-binary experience.

Disclaimer: I am also non-binary I can assure you this book is just bad
Profile Image for Ashton.
155 reviews956 followers
November 11, 2021
2.5 stars? i guess I wish I’d read this earlier in life, bc reading it now all i see are the aspects i don’t love. it’s not bad, it’s just not for me. e.g. repeated use of the phrase “gender nonbinary,” harry potter refs, a few plot lines I felt were unresolved, etc. the bit on biology and gender seems outdated/misinformed at best and pathologizing at worst. also felt kinda weird about the lack of /reflection/ on some things — like how ey talked a lot about writing sexual/romantic/etc fanfic abt real people, which is kinda controversial, and the idea of autoandrophilia, which seems like it comes from Blanchard ???? anyways i liked a lot of the art, esp the single-panel pages, and I do think Kobabe is very talented! this just didn’t hit me now like I think it may have if I’d read it like 5 years ago, before it even came out. I’m glad this book is important to so many people, but I just feel pretty (shrug) about it.

edit: reread for class, noticed a few more bits I didn't love.
Profile Image for Emily K..
168 reviews18 followers
May 30, 2019
Someone at work recently stopped me in the hallway and said, "Em, I think you might enjoy this," and pulled a comic memoir out of an amazon bubblepack titled Gender Queer. I immediately stifled a cringe. As an out and (for better or worse) "visible" trans person, I'm often subjected to casual acquaintance's gender feels and queer adjacent pop cultural recommendations. But I like the person who suggested it so I told him I'd check it out even tho I don't really like comics. Part of me thinks that I am this book's ideal audience: a queer and trans person who can finally be "seen" by the literature that I choose to engage with, especially a story of a trans person realizing that they are gender queer or nonbinary and finding satisfaction with that identity. Sure, I often feel invisiblized by literature or television. But as a queer and trans person my whole life could easily be spent consumed by my feelings about identity or how my coming out can be shaped into a narrative, but honestly, that's not interesting to me. I do prefer Kobabe's story to Jacob Tobia's neoliberal black hole of garbage person narcissism. I do think that the world needs stupid and annoying trans narratives as much as it needs smart and compelling ones so that people can see that we're not any better or worse than cis people, we're just as messy and annoying and compelling. Next time just give me a story with characters and a journey, make them fail and fuck up and fuck and find something that isn't just the mirror, because the journey is the mirror.
Profile Image for Melki.
6,031 reviews2,385 followers
November 9, 2022
The same nutjobs who'd like to make the U.S. a theocracy have voted to defund a library that carries this book.



May they all burn in that HELL in which they so fervently believe!

*Yay! I finally got to read this insightful memoir, AND I borrowed it from our library!
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 14 books318 followers
August 20, 2023
No one memoir can cover all of the nonbinary experience, and no memoir is perfect, but this one is really excellent. It breaks my heart how much hate it's gotten simply for telling Kobabe's story openly and honestly from eir perspective.
Profile Image for Sara the Librarian.
774 reviews366 followers
May 4, 2022
Dear people who keep trying to ban this book,

If you're afraid to talk to your kids about things like sex and gender identity that is what I believe is known as a "you problem."

If you're afraid of things like sex and gender identity that is also a "you problem." That is also just kind of depressing because sex is amazing and gender identity is a super fascinating topic.

The problem with "you problems" is that they're, well, yours. Gender identity and sex are still things that exist, that we deal with in society, things that are a part of everyone's lives and need to be talked about and better understood even if you think they're gross, obscene, and pornographic to use a few of the words that have been applied to this very book.

What ya'll never seem to understand is you're the one making these issues gross, obscene and pornographic. You're the ones who make them evil and sinful and things never to be discussed. You're the ones who think that if you just hide all these things that scare you from your children then somehow that will make them stop existing and you'll never even have to think about them having any influence at all on your safe, nice, totally made up "normal."

Maia Kobabe had so many questions when ey were growing up. Ey wanted to understand all the weird, mixed up, crazy seeming thoughts and desires ey had roiling around inside em. Ey wanted reasons for all the weird fantasies and feelings. Ey wanted to stop feeling like ey were the only person in the world who felt that way. Ey wanted an identity that fit em even if it didn't match the ones society offered.

Fortunately for em, ey were raised in a loving and supportive environment by a family that tried very hard to be there for Maia even when they couldn't quite grasp what ey were experiencing.

Your kids don't even get that much. They get your version of support which always seems to amount to you frothing at the mouth while you yell "get this pornography out of my child's school" to an equally frothy group of "concerned parents" who are all wearing t-shirts that say something like "Parents for Freedom" unironically.

What boggles my mind most is how good of a parent you think you are. You see taking away knowledge and understanding as an act of love. You raise your kids to be terrified of anything that isn’t part of this weird little "normal" illusion. But all that ever does is tell them that if they ever feel even for a moment like they don’t fit that awful, restrictive, totally made up mold there’s something wrong with them.

You make them terrified of you. How can you even bear that? The idea that your children are terrified of you?

I wonder sometimes what might have happen if you knew how much easier it is to go the other direction. I always thought that talking to my kids about "big stuff" was going to be one of the hardest things about parenting. But its so easy. It’s only hard if you make it hard. The world is only as scary as you allow it to be for them. When you let them know that it doesn’t matter how weird the question is or why they’re asking, you’re throwing them a life line that they’ll be able to use their entire lives. Because they’ll always know that you’re there without judgment or anger to listen to them. To talk it through with them. Literally all you have to do is be present for them and listen.

That’s it.

What you do is just so much harder. I mean getting the t-shirts printed must take hours! You have to get everyone's measurements, agree on a catch phrase that strikes just the right balance between white nationalism and doting mom, decide what color you want them to be. It just sounds so exhausting.

In a backwards kind of way all this insane publicity you've managed to drum up for this book has been kind of a good thing. Banning and challenging it have probably done more to get it into the hands of the people that really need to read it than even the most sophisticated publicity junket could have. It’s inspired teenagers to start petitions and “banned book clubs” to get it back on the shelves. It’s called attention to Maia’s story and the beautiful way ey tell it.

So good job? I guess?

The first thing I did when I finished this truly excellent memoir was hand it to my thirteen year old son. I don’t necessarily think he’s non-binary, I don’t think he’s really even thinking too much about anything except how good of a season the Yankees are having right now but I read it and I wanted to share it with him because we both like graphic novels and I enjoyed it and it made me think and helped me understand things I’ve had questions about and I hoped it would do the same things for him.

To toot my own horn for just a second my son is a smart, capable teenager with questions about everything and I don’t always have the answers and I thought this book could be super helpful in his journey to becoming whoever it is he’s going to become. Or maybe it would inspire more questions he hadn’t thought of asking yet and we’d have some cool conversations about it and the world would get bigger for him.

Books are great that way.

When I drove him to school the next morning we talked about it a bit. He wanted to know if going to the gynecologist was really as scary as it seemed in Maia’s book.

Yup, we talked about the gynecologist.

He knows I go to the gynecologist.

We debated how we were supposed to pronounce eir pronouns. (Turns out you say them just like you’d say “they”, “them” and “their” just without the “th” thank you random article I found in Cosmopolitan of all places).

We talked about how important it is for people to have access to this kind of story because other people have felt like Maia and it’s important to make those connections so you don’t feel so alone in your own journey to figuring out who you are. We talked a little about the people who have banned this book and why they’re trying to keep it away from kids his age.

I tried (somewhat successfully) to stay away from answers like “because some people are assholes.”

Keep your hands off my library collection,

Profile Image for Caroline .
429 reviews593 followers
September 16, 2022
Gender Queer is the soul-baring story of author Maia Kobabe’s journey toward understanding eir gender identity through years of confusion. This graphic novel has been in the news for being banned by some American libraries because of its frank subject matter and shocking illustrations. It has these, but what’s gotten lost in the calls to ban are the ways Gender Queer is beneficial.

Starting from a young age, Kobabe, who was assigned female at birth, didn’t gravitate toward those things society arbitrarily codes as "feminine." Kobabe now understands why and feels most comfortable with the gender-neutral pronouns e/eir/em, but getting to this place was a years-long struggle. Gender Queer is about the ups and downs.

This memoir’s most significant lesson is that sex isn’t as straightforward as being born with either XX or XY chromosomes, and gender identity in general is complicated. This memoir becomes something more when Kobabe quotes parts of Patricia Churchland’s Touching a Nerve: Our Brains, Our Selves to provide a scientific explanation for why biological sex and gender identity don’t always align neatly. The science is a vital inclusion. Gender Queer shows how Kobabe’s identity as asexual and nonbinary was a recognition of these things about eirself, not a choice.

Gender Queer has many pages devoted to the author’s childhood, but it’s obvious this is adult reading, as it seems Kobabe did intend it to be. The memoir is about gender identity, but it’s also more than a little about sex--specifically Kobabe’s sexual encounters and personal turn-ons. Discussions and illustrations are always honest and sometimes explicit. In adulthood, Kobabe learned the term "autoandrophilia" and instantly saw eirself in the description.

The memoir feels imbalanced. The frank sexual sections are sometimes TMI--not because what e says seems "improper," but because they overshadow the also important, but more mundane, sections. In another kind of memoir, some overshadowing might be no big deal, but it's unfortunate in a needed book like Gender Queer; the result is that the story is memorable more for its no-holds-barred sex illustrations and sex talk than for anything else, namely its larger LGBTQ+ message. It’s fair to say that Kobabe did not intend that.

It’s in the more mundane parts that Kobabe truly furthered eir goal. These include scenes showing eir decision to use gender-neutral pronouns and choosing to wear clothing that jibed with who e really is. Kobabe’s attractions to people weren’t straightforward, so dating was complicated in unexpected ways. E was also repulsed to be the owner of breasts and a vagina, and visits to a gynecologist only worsened this repulsion; in unreserved detail, Kobabe shared how routine pap smears were frightening and painful.

Gender Queer is highly personal. I did feel like I was snooping in a diary, but it’s an illuminating read, and Kobabe is genuine and very human in eir writing. There's no way to read this and not come away with much greater understanding of eir and others like eir.

Complementary reading: Seeing Gender: An Illustrated Guide to Identity and Expression
1 review1 follower
January 20, 2020
This has illustrations of child pornograpy and should not be in the youth section of public libraries. This is pornography and should be treated as such. People displaying this should be arrested for various penal codes regarding child annoyance, sexual harrassment, PC 288.2 (I'd be curious to know if this author is a registered sex offender). There are graphic illustrations of children involved in multiple sex acts (oral, etc.). REALLY? Is this what we have come to as a society!
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.4k followers
June 20, 2019
i enjoyed this!

i rarely read memoirs, but i'm thinking that i won't be rating them since it's kind of hard to rate a real person's real experiences.

i will say this was a very personal memoir that highlighted the author's journey to self acceptance and discovery. eir were constantly growing and changing and i liked that the end of this graphic novel was kind of open ended, but satisfying.

i also think that despite the simple language used and minimal text, emotion was displayed very well and i feel like it opened my eyes even more to what it's like being gender queer/non binary. definitely recommend this one.
Profile Image for Not My High.
286 reviews832 followers
February 2, 2023
Mam z tym komiksem niejasny problem.

1) Może chodzi o to, że przez większość stron wobec osoby autorskiej używa się niepoprawnych (z obecnego punktu widzenia) końcówek? (tłumacz. polskie)

2) A może chodzi o to, jak demonizowana jest kobiecość - jeśli takie doświadczenie ma osoba autorska, to spoko, ale dla mnie było to niekomfortowe.

3) Może chodzi o to, że dysforia przedstawiona jest jako codzienność osób nie-cis i ani słowem nie wspomina się o tym, że to nie jest "normalny stan. Co więcej: jest to stan zagrażający życiu, który należy jak najszybciej "zaopiekować".

Mam kilka ale, jednak było to ciekawe doświadczenie.
Profile Image for Justine.
58 reviews
October 23, 2020
Queer is such a derogatory word. As a gay woman, I would be extremely offended if anybody ever used that word towards me. There is nothing "queer" about us; there is no "normal." To each their own, but don't go thinking it's okay to start calling people queer just because you're comfortable with the word for yourself.
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
2,078 reviews5,040 followers
November 13, 2019
This book was extremely informative. I was amazed at all of the information that I learned from Maia's experiences. The artwork was great and I liked that Maia was so open and candid about eir's experiences. There were things that I didn't know about gender identity that I was able to learn from this graphic novel. The reason why I made the decision to make it down to three stars is because the ending was extremely abrupt. I expected more than what was provided especially considering the circumstances. I hope to find more graphic novels like this because they are extremely important and definitely can provide a level of representation that is needed for those who have the same thoughts and feelings and those that simply need to learn more about gender identity.
Profile Image for Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship.
1,161 reviews1,255 followers
December 12, 2020
I’m a tough audience for this book. I’ve been skeptical of the recent rise in people claiming “nonbinary” as their gender, perhaps in part because I don’t feel at all “binary” myself. I don’t feel “like a woman,” whatever that means (how many people really do?), and in the particular time and place where I live, my personality and priorities probably would have better suited me to being a man. But ultimately, gender stereotypes are a highly variable aspect of culture, and I have better things to do than sit around navel-gazing about it. This has not left me particularly sympathetic to people who declare that their own gender-nonconformity is so special and important that we all have to learn to use clunky pronouns and broadcast information about our own relationship to gender to all our professional contacts. That said, I like to understand where people are coming from, hence picking up this graphic novel/memoir, about the author's experiences as a young person identifying as nonbinary.

And this is a perfectly fine book, which can easily be read in a sitting. The art is appealing though nothing mind-blowing, it’s easy to follow, and it does make me somewhat more sympathetic to the nonbinary thing in that the author does seem to have had significant, lifelong body dysmorphia/gender dysphoria (hating having breasts and a vagina, fantasizing about having a penis, preferring boys’ haircuts and clothes, etc.)—to the point that Kobabe often comes across as a trans man. That said, there’s also a lot in here that really boils down to observations on difficulties of being female (you aren’t not a woman because you didn’t understand why you couldn’t take off your shirt in public as a child, or because you find having a pap smear as a virgin to be really painful, or because you like the nerdy designs found on boys’ underwear only).

But, I appreciate the author’s candid sharing of experiences (perhaps sometimes too candid; there were more bodily fluids here than I’d have liked!), and found it worth the time to read. While I think everyone would be better served if we put less emphasis on gender rather than carving out new labels and identities to cling to, it’s a good reminder that what may look from the outside like a piece of vanity may well be the result of a lot of inner turmoil and not something arrived at lightly.
Profile Image for Emma.
931 reviews888 followers
March 7, 2019
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This graphic memoir is very well done and I truly believe that it might be helpful for a lot of people. Here the author explores eir gender identity and how e came to be and understand who e is today. It was nice seeing a nonbinary person represented and also learning about the e, em, eir pronouns.
The illustrations are very good and I also really appreciated how eir family was present throughout the whole comic.
I highly recommend this one!
Profile Image for Becky.
1,384 reviews1,650 followers
June 1, 2022
I read today this specifically BECAUSE so many people are trying to ban it. Not that I wouldn't have read it anyway (it's totally something I would read) but I saw it available from the library and snagged it, and once I started it, I couldn't stop reading.

I found this entirely relatable, despite my being cisgender. The graphic novel format conveyed so much in so few pages, and really illustrated the journey and the struggle and the EVERY DAY battle for self-identity and identification that so many LGBTQ+ people go through in our heteronormative society.

I can't really imagine how hard it would be not having a word to describe myself. I mean that literally. I can't imagine how I would feel, because that seems to me to be one of those things that one has to experience to really understand. But I can empathize with the feeling of being other and different, and of the joy of finding community and support and a new lexicon to help define the previously undefinable.

Anyway, I really loved this. It was vulnerable and honest and despite it only taking me an hour or so to read, packs an emotional punch. I found myself wanting answers to some questions, and needing a resolution to some things, and when the book ended, feeling a little disappointed to not get that - until I remembered that this is literally someone's real life, and none of us has all of the answers.

Definitely recommend.
Profile Image for jut.
478 reviews188 followers
June 14, 2021
"i dont want to be a girl. i dont want to be a boy either. i just want to be myself."

what a great memoir, this story is incredible and the art too! in lots of moments i could relate to it, what made everything even more special to me!
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