Review Detail

queer teens will be delighted
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
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.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

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

Latest Book Listings Added

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
With Joanie Stone's colorful illustrations and Allison Crotzer Kimmel's inspirational...
Cracked Up To Be
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The high price of perfection is one 'Perfect' Parker Fadley...
Finder, Coal Mine Dog
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
An action-packed and heartwarming story of a dog in the...
Bo the Brave
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A feisty little girl learns who the real monsters are...
Double Trouble!
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Mischief is multiplied when twins are around! ...
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking returns to the...
The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team: (The Derby Daredevils Book #1)
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Ever since they can remember, fifth-graders Kenzie (aka Kenzilla) and...
Nina Soni, Former Best Friend
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first title in a new series featuring a lovable,...
Nina Soni: Sister Fixer
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The second title in a humorous series featuring a charming,...
The Alchemist's Shadow (Watch Hollow #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Having defeated the Garr, a vicious tree monster who lived...
The Lost City (The Omte Origins, #1)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Amanda Hocking, the New York Times bestselling author of The...
Helen Keller: The World at Her Fingertips
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Helen Keller was a baby, she became sick and...
King and Kayla and the Case of the Unhappy Neighbor
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lovable dog helps his human girl solve a mystery....
Doodleville
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Drew is just a regular artist. But there's nothing ordinary...
Glitch
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the critically acclaimed author of Float comes a new...
Storm Dog
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Whip-smart Ariel doesn’t fit in. Only in the winds of...

Latest Member Reviews

 
5.0
"This was an adventure from start to finish. I love Polly and her determination to not give up. Gorgeous setting..."
The Slug Queen Chronicles
 
5.0
"When Cricket finds out that the dust she's seen her whole life has magical properties and her late mother could..."
Welcome to Chanu-Con!
 
5.0
"An adorable children's story about an important subject. The story: Max and Lila are celebrating..."
The Crystal of Gaea. Aki and the Spheres of Time #5
 
5.0
"Aki and Lilith are off on another exciting adventure, this time to the world of Ancient Greek mythology. This..."
The Crystal of Gaea. Aki and the Spheres of Time #5
 
5.0
"Another amazing adventure of Aki on the Parallel Crystal"
La Petite Josette en Provence: Going to Les Baux-de-Provence (Voyage aux Baux-de-Provence)
 
4.2
"'La Petite Josette En Provence' by Ashley Davidson-Fisher, illustrated by Martinique Louise Fisher, who so happens to be the author's..."
Cloud of Witnesses
 
4.4
"The Lifters Dave Eggers, Alfred A. Knopf, 2018 Is magic enough to fix the morass of Middle America? Are..."
Ranch Hero
 
4.8
"This story deals with loss, which is usually a very sensitive and difficult subject, in an uplifting and entertaining way..."
The Black and White Ball
 
5.0
"This is a delightful story about a very vain peacock who sets about ensuring he is the most beautiful creature..."
 
5.0
"Good book for middle school kids- a true snapshot of the struggle to fit in the middle school social scene..."
The Crystal of Rea Silvia. Aki and the Spheres of Time #4
 
5.0
"The book was just simply great! Surprises, twists and stuffs! Well I just loved Aki and his amazing adventures!..."
The Crystal of Rea Silvia. Aki and the Spheres of Time #4
 
5.0
"This exciting fourth adventure begins with Aki learning about a startling family secret and having to choose between telling the..."
Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13
 
4.5
"'Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13' by Barbara Roman, illustrated by Vladimir Cebu, is a sweet..."
Sal the Seagull Stole My Lunch
 
4.2
"This one is a lot of fun. Joe and Mary are getting ready to have a picnic at..."
 
4.8
"As a mother and tutor for young children, I highly recommend this novel to add to your children's book shelves...."
The Year Santa Stubbed His Toe
 
4.0
"Santa has always been there to deliver gifts to the good boys and girls around the world, but this year,..."
Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13
 
N/A
"Have you ever noticed how people are like light bulbs? They come in many sizes and shapes, varying in their..."
Felipe Femur
 
5.0
"While this book in occupied by a cast of monsters, it is far from scary. It is also not solely..."
The Crystal Of Atum. Aki and the Spheres of Time #3
 
5.0
"I am so pleased by The Crystal of Atum. I love Aki and the Spheres of Time series. This book..."
The Crystal Of Atum. Aki and the Spheres of Time #3
 
4.8
"This is Aki’s third trip with the Sphere of Time. As usual, he ends up nowhere near the spot where..."