Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0

queer teens will be delighted

What I Loved:
Queer, There, and Everywhere is a quick read you’ll breeze through in one sitting thanks to simple yet engaging writing and short profiles. If one figure sparks your fancy, Prager has her sources cited at the end of the book and it might just start someone down the path to becoming a historian. More queer people to record queer history? Yes please! If we don’t safeguard our stories and experiences, no one will.

(You might be able to tell I have a deep love for history and the many ways we record, preserve, or destroy it.)

More than a few entries genuinely surprised me and you’re unlikely to have heard about some like MLK Jr.’s right-hand man Bayard Rustin and Jose Sarria, a San Francisco drag queen who fought to help fellow drag queens and even ran for public office. (The seat he lost was won sixteen years later by the more well-known Harvey Milk, so we really ought to thank Jose more.)

Entries like Eleanor Roosevelt’s (her “intimate friendship” with another woman earned her inclusion in the book; Abraham Lincoln had one too with a man) delighted me. Prager notes that Eleanor had very little to no interest in sex. If you hear something that sounds like a bell, that’s my Ace Alarm gleefully going off. We may not be able to definitively put that label on her, but we can dream and speculate that she was a biromantic asexual woman, can’t we? Or another romantic orientation, maybe. That’s up for debate and history people love to debate stuff.

What Left Me Wanting:
Sadly, if you’re looking for explicit statements of “this person was THIS specific identity,” you’re not going to get that for many entries beyond the modern ones supported by the people explicitly claiming their labels. For figures from further back in history like Kristina Vasa, we have little more than speculation based on written records. Prager herself admits we’ll never truly know about Vasa’s identity after suggesting different identities (cis woman, trans man, or genderqueer, among others) that might fit were Vasa living in the present.

Jeanne D’Arc is probably the most questionable inclusion in the book. Prager writes that Jeanne dressed in men’s clothing and took a vow of chastity, neither of which inherently make her a QUILTBAG person no matter how unprecedented women wearing men’s clothing was then. Just about everything written on her agrees that both choices were based in her religious fervor, not in anything to do with her gender or sexual identity. Chastity or celibacy =/= asexuality.

Given that Prager suggests in the glossary that the A in QUILTBAG and similar acronyms can mean both “ally” and “asexual,” that’s especially disheartening. Asexual people are regularly pushed out of the movement and the acronym because we aren’t “queer enough” to be there. See: the American Apparel incident from June 2016. When I emailed the author about this and another since-corrected issue, she said she tried to reflect how glossary terms are actually used in the world when she defined them. Understandable but still disappointing for ace readers.

Final Verdict:
Now that I think about it, I’m a bit surprised there was only one entry from Old Hollywood (writer Mercedes de Acosta) because QUILTBAG people were everywhere in that place. Prager could write a companion YA nonfiction book just on those figures! Queer teens will be delighted to see their presence in history and their effects on the world. I may have a bit of a problem with the book as an aro ace woman, but I’m used to it at this point. Not necessarily rec’d to other ace readers but definitely a must-read most QUILTBAG teens.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

Latest Book Listings Added

Brightly Burning
Stella Ainsley leaves poverty behind when she quits her engineering...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
All's Faire in Middle School
Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
No Sad Songs
Following a family tragedy, 18-year-old Gabe LoScuda suddenly finds...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Blood Magic (Abnormals Underground #1)
Turned into a vampire at the age of two,...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
The 11:11 Wish
Megan Meyers has a foolproof plan to reinvent herself...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dragonkyn
Marc used to think he was pretty ordinary, but...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fragile Facade (Blind Barriers Trilogy #1)
The Brightest Smiles Hide the Darkest Secrets.... When Raven...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
This Tiny Perfect World
The big-hearted story of a small-town girl who discovers...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Silver Mask
A generation ago, Constantine Madden came close to achieving what...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Tombs
New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Children of Exile
Rosi must decide what she’s willing to risk to save...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Teeth of the Gods
Chained to an enemy general. Determined to be free....
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Vampire Trick (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 3)
In a kingdom full of secrets, no one can...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Am Alfonso Jones
Alfonso Jones can't wait to play the role of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Unearthed
From the New York Times best-selling author duo Amie...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Boyfriend Agreement
Fake boyfriends are hard work. When 16-year-old Bella’s dream...
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Brightly Burning
 
4.0
"Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants to leave the poverty of her spaceship behind. So she applies for a governess job on..."
No Sad Songs
 
4.0
"The first thing that popped into my mind when I read No Sad Song's synopsis was: this sounds familiar. It's..."
The 11:11 Wish
 
4.0
"'The 11:11 Wish' by Kim Tomsic basks in the power of the unthinkable, yet totally imaginable. Every young person (and..."
Dragonkyn
 
4.0
"When Marc hits puberty, something inside of him starts to change. The first thing he notices is that heat doesn't..."
Children of Exile
 
3.7
"Rosi is twelve-years-old and she and the other children of Fredtown were taken from an unsafe situation with their birth..."
I Am Alfonso Jones
 
5.0
"Alfonso Jones is a bright teen who is excited to try out for Hamlet at his school. When he and..."
Believarexic
 
3.3
"BELIEVAREXIC is the fictionalized memoir of author JJ Johnson's stay in an eating disorder unit (EDU) in the 80s. The..."
This Tiny Perfect World
 
3.0
"Things that worked: The small town setting. Although it felt restrictive to the main character, a small town story often..."
The Traitor Prince
 
4.3
"An adventurous, accessible YA fantasy—with likely appeal for fans of An Ember In The Ashes. Based loosely on an..."
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
 
5.0
"You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone was one of the last books I read in 2017 and I couldn't have..."
The Stars at Oktober Bend
 
5.0
"Alice Nightingale is broken. It's been three years since the horrific act that left her under the "spell of twelveness"--a..."
Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All
 
4.7
"This is a collection of short stories told from the point of view of the wives of King Henry VIII...."
The Bone Sparrow
 
5.0
"Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention center after his mother and sister fled the violence of..."
Turtles All the Way Down
 
3.0
"This book, no matter how extremely well written, is not for me. I read fiction to escape from reality. Green..."
A Short History of the Girl Next Door
 
5.0
"I've never read something that was written as if it's for a movie screenplay! WHAT I LIKED ..."
The Traitor Prince
 
5.0
"THE TRAITOR PRINCE is the latest installment in C.J. Redwine’s series of companion novels set in the Ravenspire world, each..."
My Name is Victoria
 
3.3
"Intriguing 'what if' look into what might have happened if Sir John Conway's daughter wasn't an enemy, but dear friend..."
Caraval
 
4.7
"I had heard a lot of hype surrounding this book and was not disappointed. Can't wait for the next book,..."
Unearthed
 
3.3
"Indiana Jones meets Myst on an alien planet. There's lots of tension when scavenger Amelia meets disgraced professor's son Jules..."
The Dazzling Heights
 
4.0
"I really enjoyed The Thousandth Floor last year, it was one of the books that surprised me with how much..."