When I don’t know what to read, I check award lists. My latest read, Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, was the 2020 ALA Alex Award Winner and the 2020 Stonewall – Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award Honor Book. Maia is a gender queer author and illustrator who uses e/em/eir pronouns, an important decision e talks about in eir book. E also worked in libraries for ten years before becoming a freelance writer!
Gender Queer is not the first book e had ever written. In 2014, Maia wrote a comic of reading statistics that eir friends and colleagues loved, but felt that that would be the only autobiographical comic e would ever write. All e wanted people to know about them was those reading statistics and nothing else. Partly because e was still figuring out eir own self-identity.
This is e’s journey to self-identity, something e is clearly still working on at the end of the book. Maia discusses in sometimes graphic detail eir journey with graphic identity and sexuality, a journey that’s incredibly cathartic. E talks about everything from adolescent crushes to puberty to traditional gender rules. Maia wrote this book to help others who are struggling with gender identity to feel less alone, something that e struggled with growing up. This graphic memoir is heartfelt and painful to read at times, but a necessary read to understand what gender queer people work through on a daily basis.
This title is also available in the following format:
A Memoir Deluxe Edition was published in 2022 and you can find it through the library in the following formats: