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Gender Queer: Elena Joy's Perspective

I run Pride and Joy Publishing and for months I’ve been hearing about this breakthrough novel in the LGBTQ+ community, Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe (e/em/eir). I was told it was “first of its kind” as one of the first graphic novels that was also a memoir. (another great one is Fun Home by Alison Bechdel). I was told it was a physical experience to read and that once I had, I’d never forget it.  

The leader of an LGBTQ+ networking group I belong to asked me to lead a book club discussion and I chose Gender Queer.  I decided to pick Gender Queer for the discussion as I figured the accountability would make sure it got read. Having made a very public commitment, I ordered the book. Within the first weekend I could, I sat down to read.  

By page 31, (when Maia got eir period for the first time) I was shaking. Crying by page 48 when 13-year-old Maia walks into eir school’s diversity club for the first time. The story on page 103 had...

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What Do You Mean You Don’t Believe in Gender?

What Do You Mean You Don’t Believe in Gender?

If you’ve visited my website you may have noticed that I am a transgender man who doesn’t believe in gender. How can I say that I am a transgender man and at the same time have the opinion that gender isn’t a real thing? Hmmm, that’s an excellent question and perhaps by the end of this post, I will have clarification not only for you but for myself.

You see the thing is, I have this knowing and it is strong and undeniable. I am a man. But what does that even mean? I think for me it means that I know without a shadow of a doubt that I should have been born with a penis. I wasn’t though, which is why I am transgender. Because I was born without a penis, the doctors took a look at me and said “it’s a girl”. Imagine making such a ridiculous mistake. Of course, it wasn’t ridiculous on the part of the doctor because our society says no penis=girl and penis=boy.

We all have a basic...

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Parenting Your Non-Binary Child

Alex is 14, and six months ago, they told their parents that they are bisexual and non-binary. Alex came out in the greatest way, setting up a scavenger hunt for their parents, which ended in their closet (of course) where the bisexual pride flag was hanging. Alex’s parents were so happy that they felt confident enough to come out, and especially that Alex was trusting them with this vulnerable information. Alex’s parents gave them a huge hug and said “we love you no matter what.”

  

But now it’s six months later. Alex and their parents haven’t spoken about it much since. Alex feels awkward bringing it up again, but they’re really not sure who else to talk with about what they’re experiencing. They’ve asked their teachers to use they/them pronouns and some were good about it. They got a lecture from their English teacher and that didn’t feel great. But Alex wasn’t sure their parents would want to hear about...

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