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Wednesday 25 April 2018

Book Review: A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni; Tristan Jimerson

The Book:

Archie, a snarky genderqueer artist, is tired of people not understanding gender neutral pronouns. Tristan, a cisgender dude, is looking for an easy way to introduce gender neutral pronouns to his increasingly diverse workplace. The longtime best friends team up in this short and fun comic guide that explains what pronouns are, why they matter, and how to use them. They also include what to do if you make a mistake, and some tips-and-tricks for those who identify outside of the binary to keep themselves safe in this binary-centric world. A quick and easy resource for people who use they/them pronouns, and people who want to learn more!

Paperback, 64 pages
Expected publication: June 12th 2018 by Limerence Press
I thank Netgalley for providing me the 
Advanced Reader's Cope in exchange for an honest review!

My Review:

Always love a balanced, teaching-without-preaching graphic book!

 "This book exists to educate and inform people on gender neutral pronouns--specifically they/them*--so that you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting yourself. We want to keep this book short and affordable, so you can give it to friends, family, co-workers, or random people on the street.Also, if education fails and folks are being jerks, you can just throw this book in their face."It’s the future, we don’t have time for that nonsense.

"...ignore your personal experience to fit into my own worldview...This is how | feel every time |’m purposely misgendered."

I have been trying to explore books that talk about gender-neutrality and gender-fluidity in a very elementary, rudimentary manner-  so this one comes as a great recommendation for that.
As a cisgender, I have wondered myself how awkward and uncomfortable conversations about one's gender identity could be, and how tricky it is to use words, and to try and use them in the right manner- I have imagined the best of intentions go to waste because of the uncertainty of 'what should I say that it doesn't offend them' or 'how should I say this without sounding mean'. If anything, I have to thank this book to address this issue. Not just by giving healthy ways of going about these apprehensive conversations, but also addressing how these can get awkward- but change is awkward and uncomfortable and if we are to be advocates for inclusion, we have to be companions in this discomfort.

At its core, the book is a practical argument in basic human decency- the fact that we need to respect other people, their choices and preferences. And that respecting differences is not to be equated with questioning your own choices. The entire idea is to have inclusive safe space - it is going to take much more unlearning of the flawed conditioning we received since childhood- but it is worth the effort to let everyone breathe in peace.

I like the fact that even when the book uses humour, it doesn't try to be sarcastic- it is rather the plain, good ol' humour and I believe that is how such issues need to be discussed (Honestly, sarcasm can often backfire in fragile situations like these!)

Find the book here:

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Kritika's bookshelf: read

Angels & Demons
The Story of My Life
The Hunger Games
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
A Tale of Two Cities
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
Sense and Sensibility
A Christmas Carol
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Time Machine
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Da Vinci Code

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