Trans Power // Juno Roche // Spoiler-Free Review on Owning Your Gender

trans power

So, I admit, I never read the description of this book. I saw pink, I saw “Trans Power”, and instantly clicked “request” on NetGalley. This will be published in October later on in the year, if you’re interested. If I did, though, I probably would never have read it because sex (especially penises) make me horribly uncomfortable. That was entirely my mistake, though. As a trans person myself, it still makes me happy to see queer sex being spoken about so openly from a transgender ex-sex worker.

Despite that, there are some things about this that I did really enjoy. I liked how transgender POC were spoken about, and how their race plays a part in their sexual relationships and their experiances being transgender. It speaks about certain violence that they face, and how they process being transgender in comparison to someone who is white (in that case, the comparison is against Juno herself).

I also liked how it spoke about the love that two people can share for each other when one or both is transgender. I think this is especially important for other transgender people to read about and know that being trans doesn’t mean they can’t have a loving relationship and be attractive. For the cis people who read this, it may give them a new perspective and outlook on how they percieve transgender people.

It includes others like disabled people (one had seizures, ME and uses a wheelchair, for example) and non-binary people. I’m so used to us enbies being excluded from transgender discussions that I honestly wasn’t expecting us to become a part of the book, and this was a pleasent surprise.

There were a few problems I had with this, though.

  1. I know that the whole point of this book is to explore sexual relationships between queer transgender people, but I would have liked it to mention or imply that some transgender people don’t have sex/are asexual/are monogamous and that’s okay
  2. The writing style was a drag, and it was difficult to read. It wasn’t sense, and it didn’t include information dumps, it was just boring and there’s no other way to describe it – the writing didn’t make me want to carry on reading it
  3. Most of the voices within this book come from AFAB transgender people, and maybe that’s because Juno is AMAB and wanted to experiance new voices and learn new experiances that would be different from her own, but I would have liked to have heard more about AFAB transgender people
  4. The language used was uncomfortable, but I think that’s just personal preference (and maybe the fact that I’m British). It was a bit too graphic and vulgar for me to be able to enjoy it and really get into it

 

This wasn’t a bad read. Overall, I gave it 3/5 stars, but it just wasn’t for me. It all boils down to personal preference and I do actually really enjoy reading non-fiction and I don’t read it anywhere near as often as I read fiction, but I do tend to like it. This one just wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m sorry! I think plenty of people, especially if you’re comfortable with an open discussion on queer sex, would love this.

A.W

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My Favourite Queer Books (So Far!)

gay flag

Pride Month Post three!! This is probably going to change after pride month, because by the time this post is up I’ll be working through my queer TBR, but as of the end of May 2019 this is what my favourite queer books are as of now:

Moonstruck: Vol 1
Grace Ellis

My friend Stacey bought this for me and I’d never even heard of it, so it was an amazing surprise to find a werewolf f/f relationship with fat representation AND a non-binary character! The art was really good, the comedy was great, and the plot was so fun. I adore this comic so much.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkins Reid

I know this is everyone’s favourite, but there’s nothing in this to hate. I wasn’t too keen on the plot twist at the end, but I rarely do enjoy plot twists. The proise, the writing style, the development, the plot, the themes…it was all amazing. Evelyn is bisexual and she was in love with a woman.

If I Was Your Girl
Meredith Russo

This is about a trans girl who moved from one place to another where nobody knows she’s trans, and she’s trying her hardest to make sure nobody finds out. I really loved this, and I really felt for her when she knew she was a girl and she loved how everyone saw her as a girl for once and how afraid she was that this would change. I was always rooting for her.

Leah on the Offbeat
Becky Albertalli

This features bisexuality and fat representation, as well, which is the main reason why this bumped up to the top of my favourite queer books. I also really love Leah, who is so bold and out there despite her insecurity in her body and ever since I read this I’ve made it an aim to try and have her fake confidence (it hasn’t worked out so well, so far)

Radio Silence
Alice Oseman

This book was the first time I’ve ever seen demisexuality represented in a book and back when I struggled to read books as fast as I do now, it was amazing to me that I managed to finish this book in a day. It handled friendship, sexuality and parental abuse so well – I think I need to re-read this one soon.

Queens of Geek
Jen Wilde

The main reason I love this one so much is that there’s an autistic character in this and, although she isn’t the one in a f/f relationship, I still really loved seeing myself represented in a book and I also love how this is set in a ComicCon. I’ll never be able to go to one myself so it felt like I was really there, which is something I can’t experiance.

We Are Okay
Nina LaCour

This features a f/f relationship and handles the topic of grief and depression really well. I really sympathised with the characters and it made me cry, several times. Also, the cover of this book is beautiful.

George
Alex Gino

I think this is the first book I read featuring a trans character and I really loved that about it. It was so sweet and cute with no sexualisation and, as someone who is uncomfortable with sex, I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. I’ve since lost my copy of this book, it’s probably still in the house I’ve moved from.

Kim Reaper
Sarah Graley

F/f relationship and cats!! Also, someone that assists the dead to the afterlife and I really love things about creepy dead people so extra points for that one.

 

This is my list of queer books that are in my fave queer book selections!! Do you like the same books I like? What are your favourite queer books?

A.W

 

Misconceptions About my Identities – Gay, Transgender, Demisexual

gay flag

Hello! Welcome to my second post of Pride Month. As I said in my last post, I was originally going to reccomend books on each identity in the queer community but I was insecure about my choices, so I’m doing this instead which is a bit more personal anyway! I got this idea from this post.

Identity One: Demisexual

demisexual

Demisexuality is only being able to form a sexual attraction to someone if you have a strong emotional connection to them. This is most common in romantic relationships, but it can be formed within any relationship.

A common misconception I get is “isn’t that just like every relationship?” and a short answer would be that no, it isn’t. Although if you really identify with the demisexual label, the chances are you may be demisexual yourself but that’s up to you to decide on whether or not you want to be labelled like that.

Another common misconception is that we will feel sexual attraction towards our partner. There is no gurantee of this happening. Although in my case, it did, because I’ve never had such a strong emotional connection before, this isn’t the case for every demisexual.

We can still have sex with no sexual attraction. This is common among asexuals, as well. Some of us do it just because everyone else is, or because we want to even when there is no attraction is there. Some of us don’t want to have sex which can include trauma or religious reasons.

Because demisexual can feel like we’re “in the middle” (much like I did when I identified as bisexual), we get a lot of flack from both asexual people and sexual people. This is usually for things like “not picking a side” or because it “doesn’t really count” as a sexuality, because sometimes we can have sexual relationships with sexual attraction – much like how bisexuals get flack for being bisexual and dating someone of an opposite gender

gay flag

Identity Two: Gay

I think I can just jump right in with this one and say that, whenever I’ve come out as gay to someone, they always assume that means I’m attracted to everyone. I get confused when people think this, because straight people aren’t attracted to everything that breathes so why would we?

We don’t only come out once – this is something we have to do constantly throughout our life, thanks to the assumptions people make about us in thinking we are straight without asking us and especially if we don’t show stereotypical “gay” behaviours.

Another one is that, in a relationship, one of us is “male” and the other one is “female”. In my relationship with Kai, we both play the role of being non-binary because we’re both non-binary transgender. There is no male one and no female one. I think to think otherwise would be homophobic because it lies on the assumption that straight is the default.

Also, just because same sex marriage has been legalized in some countries does not mean that homophobia doesn’t exist. We cope with it nearly everyday, in some places more severe than others.

trans flag

Identity Three: Transgender/Non-Binary

This one, I tend not to talk about much because I’m so afraid my family and real life friends won’t accept me or will say hurtful/harmful things about my identity. They’re not as into reading as I am, though, so here’s hoping they never got this far if they have found my blog – if they did, hello, and lets never mention this again

There’s a misconception that we all want surgery and, personally, I do not. I’m not happy with my apperance so plastic surgery I’d accept, but not surgery relating to my gender. I don’t want to be the “opposite gender”, but I’m not a woman, I am non-binary. I don’t want to be andronynous (or however you spell that…) either, I just want to be me and I want to do that without having to prove anything.

There’s also this misconception that if a trans person is AFAB but is into women, they’ll make themselves a transgender male/masculine non-binary as a result of that which is wrong. You’re attracted to whoever you’re attracted to, and your sexuality and gender are not intertwined with one another. They are seperate identities.

There’s a lot of assumptions that you have to be either male or female to be transgender, and a lot of people make fun of how there are genders inbetween just like me. Sometimes, I feel like I’d be slightly more accepted if I was a binary trans gender rather than a non-binary one (although I’ll never really know, because I’m not a binary trans gender)

There’s a myth that we are just snowflakes or we are wanting to follow a trend or do what everyone around us is doing. This is untrue, this is really who we are and it’s not because we are “social justice warriors” or because it’s what our close friends are doing.

There’s also that misconception that our pronouns are ridiculous. In many languages, they include pronouns other than feminine and masculine pronouns. After a little learning and incorperating it into your everyday language, it’ll become easier.

 

There’s so much more than I could add to this, but I feel like it’s already so long as it is so I’ll just leave it here for now. I may make more specific and detailed posts in the future about misconceptions of my identities but, for now, this is what I have! What are some of the misconceptions you get from your identities?

A.W

Pride Month #1 – My Identities

gay flag

Hello!! It’s Pride Month!! I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now, and originally I had planned to reccomend books on different identities (asexual, aromantic, polyam, intersex, transgender, etc…) but I felt so insecure about my decisions that I deleted them all and instead I’m doing some queer related posts throughout June. I got a lot of the ideas from this post.

The original one was to talk about coming out but either I never came out or people just found out so instead of that one, I’m going to talk about what my identities are.

asexual flag 2

First is my asexuality! More specifically, I’m demisexual. This is someone that does not experiance sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone, most commonly seen in romantic relationships but this isn’t the only type of relationship it can be found in.

I discovered this when I started dating my current partner, Kai. I’ve never experianced sexual attraction in a romantic relationship before. Kai is my whole world, and I’ve never connected to anyone like this before. When Kai didn’t exist to me (what a horrifying memory), I just thought I was asexual and I discovered this when I was sixteen. Everyone else has sexually charged relationships, and I never understood the attraction.

queer disability

My next identity would be that I’m gay. I’m using this flag because I’m also disabled, but not physically (aside from my unknown chronic illness causing fatigue). My mental disabilities are autism and being mentally ill.

I’m not attracted to cis men. I’m only really attracted to Kai but if they weren’t in my life (God forbid) then I have the potential to be attracted to anyone, really, but cis men have caused me so much trauma in my past that it would be hard to emotionally connect and trust another cis man ever again.

I called myself bisexual since I was fifteen, but for the past few months I’ve changed the label to gay because I personally think it fits more than bisexual.

trans flag

My last identity is that I’m non-binary, which I only came to understand last year. A majority of my close friends are also non-binary, and they spoke about how they came to understand their own gender. I realized that I felt the same way, and this eye opener has helped my mental health so much.

 

I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything but these are all my queer identities! And a little bit about how I discovered these identities. What are your identities?

A.W

Pride Month TBR!!!

The month that I have been waiting for is here! Finally! I’m so excited, as you can tell, as my whole TBR has been sorted out and I just…can’t hold in the excitement. I want to start early, can I start early?

Anyway, here are the books I will be planning on reading throughout the month of June:

More Happy Than Not
Adam Silvera

This is about a sixteen year old boy called Aaron discovering and learning about his sexuality when he starts to bond and become close with his new best friend, Thomas. I’ve heard really good things about this one, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ve only read one other thing by this author before, and I really enjoyed it but I read it at the wrong point in my life. I’m super excited and really curious about this one.

Daisy Jones and the Six
Taylor Jenkins Reid

I will admit I have no idea if this is queer or not, but Evelyn Hugo was super queer and one of my favourite books…ever. I’m hoping this one will be just as queer but let me know if it isn’t.. This is about a coming of age girl called Daisy in the sixties living a rock and roll life, but one day they break up and everyone has a different answer as to why. I love love love this time period and all the music in this era, as well, so I’m so excited for this one – even if it turns out not to be queer!

Under the Lights
Dahlia Adler

I really really love the trope of “I didn’t know I was gay until I met you” and a lesbian mutual on Twitter reccomended me this to fulfil my desire to read something like this. I know I’m going to adore this, and I can’t wait to get to this one.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Emily Danforth

Fun fact, the copy of this I own has the LGBT flag printed onto the side pages. It’s gorgeous. This one is probably going to be difficult to get through, due to its handling of the topic of conversion therapy, but I really want to see the movie and if I find it too difficult I can also DNF it and finish it another time. This book is going to be filled with homophobia.

Disobediance
Naomi Adlerman 

This seems to be more about the history of religion, especially being Jewish, more than the lesbians within the story but I want to see whether or not that’s true and my partner is Jewish anyway so if it’s not that queer I can learn something about my partners’ religion that I might not already know.

Not Just a Flag
Monica Helms

This is the autobiography of the trans flag who is also a trans activist. I think the history of flags can often be lost. It’s easier to keep track of it now because of social media, but I think books like this are especially important. This talks about how she discovers she is transgender and the battles she had to fight since her discovery. The trans flag was created in 1999, and she founded the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) in 2003. She served as the president for ten years. It talks about everything she’s done since creating the flag and being a trans activist.

The Inexplicable Logic of my Life
Benjamin Alire Saenz

This is about the self discovery of Sal and his Mexican family. I’m assuming it also follows the story of discovering his sexuality, but I think this is something I’m going to find out by reading it! It’s been on my shelves for ages. I can’t wait to get around to it.

I Wish You All the Best
Mason Deaver

This came out this month, actually, and is probably the first time I’ve ever bought a book the day it comes out. It’s about a person called Ben who comes out as non-binary and is thrown out of their house to live with their older sister. Ben also has an anxiety disorder, so I’m excited for that representation as well. Ben starts a friendship with a boy called Nathan, who turns out to be much more than just a friend. Both me and my partner are non-binary so I’m so excited to be represented twice in one book.

Everything Leads to You
Nina LaCour

This is about someone who is in the film industry and really enjoys film (which is exciting in itself because I really love movies!). She’s hung up on a girl that she keeps going back to, until she gets a letter and begins to develop a relationship with someone new.

Under the Udala Trees
Chinela Okparata

This is during the civil war in Nigeria where coming out as anything but straight is not acceptable, as well as dating someone/falling in love with someone from a different ethnicity. I know this is going to be a super difficult read to get through, but I think it’ll be important and I’m gearing up and preparing myself for this.

Tell me Again How a Crush Should Feel
Sara Farizan

This is another book with POC queer’s, this one is Persian. She’s scared to come out as gay because, alongside her race, she doesn’t want to stand out as different but a recent crush is making this difficult for him. It’s about how everyone has some sort of complexity to their being, and being different is okay. I’m really excited for this one, I think it’s going to be sweet and soft.

The Red Tree
Caitlin Kiernan

A queer, supernatural horror is pretty much all I know about this and that the MC is going through a breakup with her ex-girlfriend. I love love LOVE horror so if it’s queer, that is major extra points, so if you have any queer reccomendations for me I’d love to know them.

What if it’s Us

Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

I will be honest with you and say that I have no idea a) what this book is about and b) whether or not it will be queer but both of these authors write queer books and at least one of them is queer themselves, so I think that is a pretty good indication that this is going to be queer too.

So, that’s the books I plan on reading throughout June!! Have you got your June planning already done?! Let me know what books you pick!

A.W

They/Them/Their by Eris Young

they them their

Summary:

A guide to nonbinary and genderqueer identities

Review:

I recieved this from NetGalley in exchange for a review, but all opinions are as always my own.

So…wow. Where to begin on this one? I guess first of all I’d say that this was deeply informative. I, myself, am non-binary and it made me think about some of the things of my own gender. It made me feel comforted, somewhat, that other people also don’t feel dysphoria sometimes and all of these transgender feels that I could strongly relate to and it really made me feel better in myself and more comfortable. So, from that perspective, that was awesome. It mostly covers non-binary, genderqueer and genderfluid identities but it does also touch on binary transgender identites and sexualities.

It doesn’t just talk about the Western way of gender, either. Although it is very clearly written by a white person, it does include some other cultures and religions that use different, less binary languages and have more than just the two legal genders the way the UK does (which is where a majority of this book is based, specifically Scotland, and it also touches on the US as well).

I would absolutely reccomend this to other people and, despite having a copy of this on my Kindle, I would probably buy a physical copy when it’s published for note taking and to reference as well as to give to family members and friends who want to learn more about the identities as they are becoming more well known then they were. It’s full of resources for people wanting to learn about the trans identities, but also for trans people as well – including for mental health resources specifically for trans people, which I’ve been looking for and I’m sure I’ll find them useful.

It did have its bad parts, though. For example, there were trigger warnings but there were very few. I feel like every chapter and every sub-chapter should contain trigger warnings, especially since trans people are absolutely going to read this (hello!) and the author knows that trans people often go through triggering events in their life, as it’s referenced in the book. It’s also very dense and can be difficult to read if you don’t enjoy reading essays and textbooks, which is very much the format style this is written in. Being academic, and autistic, probably helped my enjoyment there but I know a lot of people who would struggle to get through this.

Overall, it was enjoyable and I’m glad I got through this even though it was super difficult to read at times. I’d reccomend it especially to people wanting to learn about transgender people, and specifically non-binary genders.

A.W

My Top Ten All-Time Favourites

I know I’ve already written a favourites po

st in the past, but my favourites change so much that I just wanted to rewrite it for what my current favourites are. In a couple of months, they might be completely different but I personally like that because that means I’m reading a lot of great, great books!! Anyway, here we go. My top favourites:

children of blood and bone

  1. Children of Blood and Bone
    Tomi Adeyemi

Like most books in this list, I’m probably going to find it difficult to explain exactly why I loved it so much, but I did. I really did. I don’t usually like long fantasy novels, and I especially don’t usually like backpack trip books because they tend to drag but this really, really didn’t. Everything in this book was amazing and fantasically well written. I believe it’s turning into a movie and you can bet I will be one of the first lining up.

radio silence

2. Radio Silence
Alice Oseman

I loved this one so much because it was about friendship, and how sometimes friendship can be just as important as a romantic relationship or even more so. One of them was a lesbian, and the other one was gay, which was even better. There was zero romantic interest in each other. They bonded over a podcast, which is even better. I’m currently reading another book by Alice Oseman and I just adore her writing style.

we are okay

3. We Are Okay
Nina LaCour

Again, I’m not entirely sure why I loved this book so much. From what I remember, there was a girl/girl relationship in here that I adored. I loved how it spoke about grief and the different ways it can affect you. How you’re not okay, but things can and will be okay. It just really touched my heart and it has a special place on my bookshelves.

under rose tainted skies

4. Under Rose Tainted Skies
Louise Gornall

This is about a girl suffering from mental illnesses while she’s falling in love with a boy. And, again, I don’t know why I love this book so much (sorry you have to read that so many times!). It’s just…so cute, and so good, and so well written. It’s beautiful and really pulls at my heart strings.

the little princed

5. The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I first saw this as a movie on Netflix, after never hearing about the book, and absolutely fell in love with it. I rewatched it so many times and still do. Luckily, the same can be said about the book. I just love the story, and how it talks about the importance of creativity and love.

george

6. George
Alex Gino

This is something that I would have loved to read as a child, that would have probably answered a lot of questions I had in my childhood. I think all young children should read this (and everyone else, too!). I had a copy of this, but I lost it somehow and I haven’t been able to find it since. It’s about a transgendered girl who is discovering her gender identity and confiding in her very accepting best friend who shares her clothes, it was an adorable friendship.

the upside of unrequited

7. The Upside of Unrequited
Becky Albertalli

This is probably one of the first and only books I’ve read that talk about being fat as something positive. She spoke about having crushes on people and nobody laughed at her claiming she shouldn’t have crushes because of her weight. She was allowed to experiance strong friendships and a beautifully adorable relationship with another fat person with no making fun of her. I’m not used to this kind of descriptions of us. I have Dumplin’ but I have yet to read it! I’m sure I’ll love that for the same reasons, too. I just love Becky Albertalli in general.

the hate u give

8. The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas

Revolution!! I love Angie Thomas, and I love the very important messages she had in this book about standing up against the prejudice and racism happening to you and people you know and fighting for the change that you want (obviously, I’m not the intended audiance for this, but I adored it all the same). I have her next book, ON THE COME UP, and I can’t wait to get around to that one.

the spiderwick chronicles

9. The Spiderwick Chronicles
Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

I think I love this just for being a childhood favourite. I love the story and I love the plot and everything that happens. I have a really pretty edition sitting on my bookshelves that I admire pretty much everyday – I should re-read this sometime.

the vegetarian

10. The Vegetarian
Kang Han

This was so…weird. And I loved that. A friend (that isn’t my friend anymore, unfortunately) gave me this. This whole thing revolved around physcholigical (sorry, I can’t spell that) issues, and (cis) female anatomy. It’s even more interesting that the whole book is about a woman who gets closer and closer to nature, but whose perspective we never actually hear from. I could relate a lot to it in parts, although this book was written to be an allegory of South Korea. I just found the whole thing fascinating and the way I thought of it was how beauty was born from violence and I just…adore this book, it has stayed with me for a really long time and probably will for even longer.

 

I hope you liked it and most importantly I hope it inspired you to pick up one of the books I’ve mentioned!! What are your favourite books?

A.W