A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G and J.R. Zuckerberg aims to provide information about LGBTQ+ identities and labels by explaining some of these numerous identities to readers in an accessible and visually exciting way. Knowing where to look for such information when you’re new to the topic can be a daunting task. It is useful to have a singular place to guide you through the initial stages.
Starting with discussion of the broadness of the community and how personal labels are, the book goes on to use snail characters discussing humans to place the reader into an “outsider’s” role. The premise here being that one of the snails is the pet of a human who is involved in teaching LGBTQ+ youth. Each chapter attempts to explain different aspects of identity. For example, chapter one discusses the word “queer”, placing emphasis on its past associations and reclaimed status for some individuals. It explains basic concepts such as the idea of sexuality vs. gender, as well as going into detail about gender expression vs. assigned gender.
Whilst various concepts are explained images and symbols, in a gorgeous pink and purple colour palette, are displayed alongside the text – helping to better explain more complicated terms and extend knowledge beyond literary terms and into important LGBTQ+ imagery. Using creative panel layouts to emphasise the text’s topic for example, when discussing break-ups, the panels appear fractured. It creates a connection between the visuals and the text which in a work imparting so much information to a reader makes that information clear, as well as less dense.
Alongside the main text, the reader follows the Sproutlings a group of leafy individuals who explore the concepts introduced in a more narrative manner than informative. Providing insight into how concepts fit reality for example, exploring gender expression through dressing up for an event. The colours change here to a green/blue to differentiate between the narrative styles as well as between the two creators of this book.
Mady G’s pink and purple pages (above and left) and J.R. Zuckerberg’s Sproutlings (above right) in the blue-tinged pages
This book explores a number of topics including: gender, sexuality, dysphoria, asexuality, coming out and healthy relationships; giving the reader a general understanding of these areas and the resources to gain further information, either through learning new terms to look up or going through the resources section in the back of the book.
A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities does exactly what its title claims, passing on a large amount of information to readers in an entertaining and easy-to-read format. The book is a good resource and would certainly be helpful for anyone looking to expand their knowledge on the subject of LGBTQ+ identities.
Mady G and J.R. Zuckerberg • Limerence Press/Oni Press, $9.99
Review by Holly Raidl