Me and My Dysphoria Monster: An Empowering Story to Help Children Cope with Gender Dysphoria by Laura Kate Dale and Hui Qing Ang Book Review

I wish i’d had this as a child. I would’ve had the words and known I wasn’t alone so much sooner.

There are some draft errors (like on one page it says missing words and later some sentences just stop in the middle) but I got this from Netgalley and it is an e-arc draft so i’m not holding that against it.

Nisha is a trans girl. She has a dysphoria monster that keeps getting bigger as she’s misgendered but then she comes out and has support and her monster gets smaller. At first she wanted her monster to just go away but with the help of an adult trans man learns what her monster was trying to tell her, and living as who she is makes her so much happier and confident. It’s a beautiful story and has information for adults wanting to support trans kids after the story. I highly recommend this book!

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the e-arc.

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10 Books that define my reading taste Part 5

The last part!

The Haunting by Ruby Jean Jensen

A wonderful horror novel! Tackles grief and sexism. Loved the characters and depth and creepy atmosphere.

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

A F/F historical fiction romance. My initial review …

I freaking loved this! I adored the characters, especially Lucy. A very strong woman who knows what she wants and doesn’t take crap. Don’t get me wrong, she has her insecurities for sure, but she still has a strength within her than shines. Catherine has been hurt in the past and is very insecure in the beginning despite having the countess act down in public. She hides it well but she’s hurting. I loved her character arc and seeing her grow stronger. Both women have their own interests and personalities that I really enjoyed getting to see. Both are interesting characters that I loved in their own rights. I also felt for Catherine with what she had been through and some stuff rang quite true for me too.

A beautiful sapphic historical romance.

Bodymap by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Poetry about being a queer disabled femme of color. Raw, emotional, heart-breaking, thought-provoking, beautiful. I related to some of it, being queer, afab, and disabled myself.

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft & Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon

Wonderful biography on Mary Shelley and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft! Told in alternating chapters it came together really well and I learned so much about them. Amazing women! Amazing, and humanized.

To Touch the Light by E.M. Lindsey

A latino gay trans man (also a chef) and a undocumented immigrant from Russia (forced out of Russia) who is half-blind, Jewish and gay. Age gap. M/M Chanukah HEA romance.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Hard-hitting, fantasy, packs a powerful punch, educational to boot. It has themes of being oneself, of being a part of a group and having a group history, of kinship, trauma, climate change. I’m sure there is even stuff I missed. It has powerful messages wrapped in a fantasy story with merfolk

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

A ghost story that’s not quite a ghost story. Very creepy, the writing flows, strong atmosphere, loved the characters. Easy to read while being complex.

Rare and Resilient – ONE in 5000 Anthology by Greg Ryan

Here is my entire review because I can’t figure out how to shorten it.

I was born with imperforate anus (IA) AKA no butt hole. Like one in 5000 people around the world. Yes, it’s real. There is no cure as it causes other life long issues, even after surgery. I have always been and always will be incontinent. I used to do enemas/malone, currently have a colostomy (again, had one as a baby). I also have other issues related to VACteRL Association (used to be called VAteR Syndrome) as many of us born with IA/ARM do (but not all. And ARM stands for anorectal malformation). It’s not laziness. It’s an invisible disability that causes pain, trauma, medical procedures, doctor visits, surgeries etc. Each person with IA can have a different story. Some have more issues, some have less. What works for one person, might not work for the next.

It also causes a lot of shame. And growing up when I did, the internet barely existed and as a teen I had internet but it was dial up and certainly not like it is now. Now we have facebook groups and ways to talk to others in the same boat, which is amazing, but I and many others didn’t have that growing up (and some still don’t depending on where they live/their situation) so we literally felt completely alone, like no one understood, because it’s so rare. I’m in my 30s and to my knowledge , i’ve never met anyone else with vacterl or IA/ARM. Though it is an invisible disability, so who knows, I might have.

The shame and stigma need to end, but it’s going to be hard getting there as these issues are so taboo. There needs to be more awareness and understanding. Something Greg Ryan and the one in 5000 foundation are working towards.

It is so wonderful, on one hand, to read these stories, to see myself in so much of them, to know there are others out there who understand, going through the same things. Feeling all alone is the absolute worst. But on the other, it’s a double edged sword, as I would NEVER wish these issues on anyone. No, not even my worst enemy. After that though I must mention there is also plenty of hope in these pages. Also plenty of emotion and it is heart-wrenching.

I’m beginning to see just how strong I am. But … can I please get a break?

Btw, it’s also on KU.

The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me by Keah Brown

This book is a memoir/essays by a black disabled woman with so much honesty, truth and power in the pages! Honestly I wish I knew how to describe it, but all I can say is the affect it had on me, an afab (nonbinary) disabled person. I don’t know what it’s like to be black, i’m white. I learned a lot from this book, from where I didn’t relate personally but also from where I did, with being disabled (though with different medical issues) as well as the talk about depression and suicidal ideation.

It showed me that though i’ve already been working on having disability pride and unlearning internalized ableism, as someone who has also been disabled my entire life and always will be, I still have a lot more to learn/unlearn. Some of it felt like a much needed punch to the gut! It wasn’t easy to hear some of it, but I know I needed it.

This was incredibly emotional for me, and some of it i’m just like “how do I get there?”. I’m still working on a lot of things, but life is a journey and as long as i’m working on it, that’s what matters.

Transmuted by Eve Harms

As a deformed trans person myself this hit so many feels! The feelings of dysphoria, of being fetishized, of being looked at like a freak, of feeling like a freak. The way people treat you. I loved Isa. I want to gush about this book but i’m at a loss for words. I read it on KU and had to buy myself a physical copy.

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18 More Queer Books I Really Want to Read

These are 18 more queer books that I really want to read, am pretty sure I have not mentioned already this month and am unlikely to get to this month of June but one can read queer books all year round and we always need more queer books.

To avoid this post being extremely long i’ve linked the titles to the Goodreads pages so you can check them out if you wish.

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Melissa by Alex Gino

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

Werecockroach by Polenth Blake

QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology edited by Raymond Luczak

Dark Rainbow: Anthology of Queer Erotic Horror by Andrew Robertson

Common Bonds by Claudie Arseneault

Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Identity, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Bliss by Fiona Zedde

In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado

Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood

Have you read any of these? I haven’t yet, so no spoilers please. Of course these are a tiny tiny drop in the bucket of the queer books I want to read! What are some queer books you really wanna get to?

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My nonbinary trans journey

I grew up not feeling like a girl, but I also grew up hearing anything queer was a sin. I also grew up only knowing about trans women, trans men simply weren’t a thing i’d ever heard of until my late teens and I was in my mid-20s before I heard about nonbinary. So as a kid I knew I didn’t feel like a girl but I also knew I didn’t 100% feel like a boy, though it was much closer and comfortable, so I had to assume I just couldn’t “girl” properly. Which makes absolutely no sense.

That “not like other girls” trope? Yea, I loved that. I know now it’s problematic, but also, i’m actually not a girl, but back then I didn’t know any other options existed. But girls, like another other gender or lack there of, come in many varieties. There is no right or wrong way to be any gender. It’s just what feels right and true to you.

I hated long hair (and was forced into having long hair growing up) and many girly things. And there was some girly things I actually did like and man I felt embarrassed by that, but I tried to ignore it and just liked what I liked (and you should just like what you like). Like, I loved Lisa Frank for example. I said I hated the color pink on principle. I never hated the color pink. Though my favorite colors are blue and green but that’s because they remind me of the ocean and nature. However as a kid I couldn’t pick a favorite color so I said mine was purple because my favorite Backstreet Boy, Howie, said it’s his. I’ve since learned doing stuff like that is actually pretty autistic of me lol. I am autistic, always have been, but was nearly 32 when I learned that.

I always wanted to BE a boy, even pre-puberty. Then puberty came, and I hated it. And yes, I know, everyone hates puberty, but it was also a factor of “this is wrong, so very wrong, this isn’t what i’m supposed to look like”. I don’t know how else to put it. I was hoping i’d grow out of it, get used to it. I never did. I’m 33 now. I want to transition but currently am not able to. Hopefully one day. So for now I still “look like a woman” (you know what I mean) and I know this doesn’t invalidate me but hello dysphoria!

And yes, I realize now you are whatever gender you know you are, regardless of what you look like or what you were assigned at birth. But i’m just learning that in my 30s. So when I say I wanted to BE a boy, I also mean I wish I was born amab, instead of afab.

I was always jealous of guys, of how they looked, wished I looked like that. Jealous of girls with small boobs and could not for the life of me understand why they were jealous of my huge ones.

Of course i’m also bisexual so i’ve had that thought “Do I want to look like him or fuck him?” when looking at a cis guy and the answer has been

I’m multiply physically disabled, known i’m bi since 13 (still am), and knew I was “weird” before I knew i’m autistic, and have multiple mental health issues on top of it … so when I heard about nonbinary in my late 20s, already married to a man (who I loved and always will have a place in my heart, he died Feb 16th, 2021), I was scared.

I was scared because I was already “too much”. I can’t be any more strange, please no for the love of God NO!! That was my thought. I refused to look into it.

I had a breakdown at 30 and realized, i’m nonbinary. I came out and told my husband, he was supportive (even when I told him I want to transition). First I figured i’m agender, then demiguy (which for me is part agender part man). Gender had always been a source of pain and confusion so I just wanted to say “fuck it” but also had to realize, some gender i’m happy with and agender wasn’t my whole story. At first I said “any pronouns” but it became obvious she irked me.

Oh, that reminds me, when I still thought I was cis i’d have instances of people thinking I was a guy, say online or before they saw boobs, and I would never correct them and I realized it made me happy when they did that and very annoyed when they “realized” and corrected themselves and I couldn’t understand why it annoyed me for them to correct themselves, I mean, I was a woman, right? (no, and that shoulda been a friggin’ neon sign for me! But alas, the brain can refuse to realize things it doesn’t want to/isn’t ready for).

So eventually I changed my pronouns to they/them then they/he. They/He are my pronouns. I also go by Tyler now.

Other things that shoulda been neon signs: I’d daydream about being a guy, masturbating imagining I have a penis and am the guy I wish I was, wish I could chop off my chest, straighten out my curves, have a deeper voice, like the facial hair aspect I got of what appears to be pcos (though I could do without the pain thank you) and wish I had more facial hair. I have a lot for an afab person not on T but no where near a beard or “male-level” facial hair. I know there’s others i’ve realized but can’t think of them off the top of my head. Look up trans guy memes or something, you’ll probably find them.

I haven’t legally or physically transitioned at all yet, but i’d like to. Unfortunately things stand in my way, but hopefully i’ll get there. I’ve heard of trans people coming out in their 40s, 50s, 60s, even older, so I get hope from that, knowing there is no such thing as too late. And regardless, I know who I am, and the right people will respect me for who I am.

And now i’m starting to cry. This is my nonbinary trans journey so far.

And you know what? I hated dresses as a kid (though i’ve always liked skirts, certain ones like skater skirts that weren’t too girly to me) and even now being too feminine (in terms of looks) would make me very uncomfortable. I already have a huge chest and people constantly see me as a woman, it’s just … I don’t know how else to put it. But I can see myself if I get to a point of physically transitioning and looking more like I want, who I know myself to be, then feeling more comfortable dressing and being feminine. I’ve heard other transmasc people say the same thing so I know i’m not alone!

Who knows, maybe i’ll transition, and then wear a dress. I could see me doing that, when i’ve said countless times growing up “you won’t catch me dead in a dress” and shit like that. But sadly, I also know, i’d be terrified to go out in public as a man in a dress. I know there’s nothing wrong with being a man in a dress, but it can be unsafe to say the least. Who knows, I might get the opportunity to be who I am, but still be too afraid to be 100% me, because of the way society is. But I have to hope.

By the way, I also say i’m a nonbinary man. Nonbinary means not 100% either binary gender, some people, like myself, have a connection to a binary gender (or both), some have no connection to either. Of course gender fluid people also fall under nonbinary and they might go from one binary gender to the next. I hope i’ve explained that well enough, apologies if I have not.

I don’t need to make sense to anyone else. I love Jeffrey Marsh and what they’ve said at one point (look up Jeffrey Marsh on Twitter or Youtube, please, they are awesome); that respect has to come before understanding, it doesn’t work the other way around. Understanding can come after respect, but also, it’s ok if it doesn’t. I know people have this desire to understand everything, but it’s ok to not understand everything, just respect people for who they are even if you don’t get it. I don’t understand why that’s hard for people. I am sorry if it’s hard for you, but I believe everyone has the capacity for kindness and love. I’m not saying it’s always easy, i’m saying I believe everyone has the capacity.

When I refused to look into nonbinary and said “I don’t get it” (because I didn’t want to, as explained) I still respected people when they said they were nonbinary and did my best to use the correct pronouns. It wasn’t hard, despite me pushing away my own nonbinary-ness out of intense fear. It was years, like 4 or 5, of me knowing about nonbinary people before I would admit to myself that I am one.

I hope this makes sense, sorry it’s all over the place, but this is my story so far and I know who I am. Life is a journey and it’s never too late to learn more about yourself.

Edit before posting (good thing I write things up ahead of time) to add, not having the words for how I felt growing up and thinking how I felt wasn’t real and I was all alone, is why labels are so important to me. Also for thinking anything not cishet is a sin growing up. You can understand why labels are important to me, I finally have the words to describe how I feel, and I also didn’t make them up myself, meaning others feel the same way and i’m not alone! (Also, to certain people: all words are made up, language is a living thing). Labels don’t need to be important to everyone, but for some people they are, and both are ok.

Also, representation is important. I read Gender Queer and in a lot of ways, it was like reading my own story, so again, finally, seeing that i’m not alone. And I learned more words for things I had no idea had words! Feelings I didn’t know had words to describe them, that other people put into words before me. Words and representation are powerful.

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LGBTQ+ Book Recs Part 4

The last part for right now!

Satan, Are you there? It’s me, Laura by Aisling Fae

This is hilarious!

Black Queer Hoe by Britteney Black Rose Kapri

This poetry hits hard! I know it wasn’t made with me in mind, but certain things I did relate to (being queer, afab, deformed and feeling ugly) but even though I didn’t personally relate to a lot of it, it still hit hard and made me stop. Stop and think, take the poems in. I also appreciated that it remembers trans women are women! I’m a nonbinary trans guy but of course i’m still going to appreciate anytime trans people are remembered and seen as who they are.

I highly recommend this book, and don’t read it too fast.

My Rainbow by Trinity Neal and Deshanna Neal

This is a beautiful children’s book about an autistic black trans girl who needs long hair, but her mama can’t find what she needs in a store, after all she’s a beautiful black girl with curly hair and the wigs in store are so straight, so she makes Trinity her own rainbow wig and she loves it!

This brought tears to my eyes. It’s so wholesome and loving.

Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon

This is a wonderful book! It talks in easy to understand language as well as personal things. It talks about how the gender binary hurts everyone, yes even masculine men and feminine women, and how we could be more inclusive and kind. Words aren’t doing this justice. This is a book I wish everyone would read and I think everyone can get something out of. It’s also not long, yet packs a punch.

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib

My review right after I read it

My nose is sore from all my crying/nose blowing thanks to this book. Sadness, Happiness, Hope. I loved hearing Samra’s story of their life! I looked them up on twitter and it lists their pronouns as they/them. I listened to it on audio book through the library. This will be on my top favorites of the year!

I needed this in some ways. I don’t know what to say otherwise.

Capable Monsters by Marlin M. Jenkins

Pokemon. Poetry. Talks about racism and being queer and mental health and the darker side of pokemon. I mean think about it, a small child is let loose in the world by themselves to battle beasts and just read some of the pokedex entries about the pokemon, some of them are really dark! I loved this book.

Masquerade by Parker Lee

My review from when I read it last year

I loved this book of poetry! Some of the poems did hurt though and I feel bad for hurting because they were poems about them and their wife and I lost my husband early this year, and just stuff I don’t have anymore but i’m happy for them. I won’t go into all of it because it’s personal.

This book has quite a range imo. I felt these poems deep in my soul. The author is nonbinary (as am I) and that’s explored but so are other things. Some of them I literally went “I know this isn’t about autism but my nonbinary and autistic ass felt that in both ways”. I think a lot of people could relate to at least some of it. There’s also themes of abandonment and more. And it’s so very accessible. I highly recommend it!

When Aidan Became A Brother by Kyle Lukoff

A wonderful children’s book about a trans boy who gets a little sibling!

Transmuted by Eve Harms

As a deformed trans person myself this hit so many feels! The feelings of dysphoria, of being fetishized, of being looked at like a freak, of feeling like a freak. The way people treat you. I loved Isa. I want to gush about this book but i’m at a loss for words. I read it on KU and loved it so much I had to buy myself a physical copy. Highly recommend!

Growing Up Trans: In Our Own Words edited by Lindsay Herriot and Kate Fry

This book is so very much needed! Trans youth in their OWN words! Tips, book recommendations for further reading … I highly recommend this.

Golem Girl by Riva Lehrer

This is one of those books I wish everyone would read! I loved listening to her and learning her story. I need more memoirs like this, by disabled people. She is Jewish, disabled and queer.

The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz

Such a sweet romance! I wanted to hug Sal so badly, and i’m scared of robots. I cried at the end. I want more. I read it via Libby and had to buy myself a physical copy. It’s a romance between an F/F romance between an asexual human and a very human robot.

Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly

Initially it did take me a little bit to get into it because the characters annoyed me but i’m so glad I stuck with it because I fell in love with them and understood them! I love the nonbinary rep with London! A female/nonbinary romance is what i’ve wanted for so long! Seriously, my queer nonbinary heart is so happy! I need MORE female/nonbinary romances please! Pleeeeeease.

Now with all 4 parts that’s a lot of LGBTQ+ Rec’s! Remember, you can read LGBTQ+ books all year round, as LGBTQ+ people exist all year round. 🙂

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LGBTQ+ Respectability Politics

I’m tired of it. I’m tired of seeing all the puriteens and such saying LGBTQ+ people need to look “respectable” or some shit and pure uwu to the cishets to be better accepted. Google “respectability politics lgbtq+” and you’ll see it doesn’t matter what you do, it doesn’t change the queerphobe’s opinion of LGBTQ+ people. You can try and be as “pure” and “uwu” as you want, it will not change their opinion. Also, all this purity culture crap, hurts people. Seriously, you could go down a rabbit hole of purity culture and it’s fucking terrifying.

Queer sex is often seen as shameful by the lgbtq+ purity police for some reason. We aren’t allowed to be sexual? You don’t need to be sexual to be lgbtq+ but a lot of us in the lgbtq+ community, are sexual people, like cishet people are. Most people don’t bat an eye at cishet sexuality. It’s “normal”. But queer sexuality? The purity respectability politics police start screaming. Queer sexuality is normal to it’s just not normalized. If cishet’s can do something and be seen as “normal” and ok, why can’t it be the same for lgbtq+ people? Cishets can be sexual, can be kinky, can be polyamorous. So can lgbtq+ people.

Cishets can have their “problematic” media and stories and art. Why can’t queer people? I honestly have come to hate the word problematic. Can things be problematic? Sure. But it’s so over-used. Also, sometimes people use “problematic” things to cope. Sometimes they don’t but people can separate fiction from reality. Just because you like reading/watching something fictional doesn’t mean you want it to happen in real life. Fiction is fiction. People need to learn how to separate fiction from reality! And i’d like to believe most people can.

I’m not saying this can’t be complicated and nuanced, i’m sure it can be. But not everyone wants to just read/watch wholesome uwu stuff, and that’s ok, we should have all different kinds of rep. Cishets are allowed, why aren’t we?

The purity police also yell at any lgbtq+ person doing something they don’t think is respectable enough. In a polyamorous or open relationship? Kinky? Transgender? Not being transgender correctly? Not in a heteronormative type of relationship? They will attack you. It doesn’t matter to them if everything is 100% consensual (as it should be of course).

Being queer has often been about pushing boundaries, not trying to shove ourselves into the cishet-normative box or the closest to it box we can find anyway. Fuck the damn boxes!

Read and watch and create the stories you want. Fiction is not reality. And be whoever you are. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone (unless you’re being kinky and all parties involved want it but you know what I meant) that’s all that matters. People can choose to stay away from the media they don’t want engage with. That’s what trigger and content warnings are supposed to be for.

I am not listening to respectability politics. It’s fucking toxic.

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LGBTQ+ Book Rec’s Part 2

Into the Gray by Margaret Killjoy

Trans girl thief lures men, but only the bad ones, to her man eating mermaid girlfriend, who if you ask me doesn’t really love her. Laria deserves so much better. The Lady (the mermaid) was so emotionless, so cruel in her lack of any emotion. The story made me want to cry. Love how it talks about obsession and respecting yourself.

I know what it’s like to need to advertise to the world what you are, so that people don’t just assume you are what they think you are.

The Backstagers, Vol. 1: Rebels Without Applause by James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh

Queer, funny, emotional and supernatural. Shows guys experiencing a range of emotions, healthy communication and conflict resolution between friends. I’m already obsessed! Super cute. Super weird. Loving it <3. All boys school, has a trans guy in it!

Stake Sauce, Arc 1: The Secret Ingredient Is Love. No, Really by RoAnna Sylver

Has transgender and M/M rep.

I love how the writing is accessible and flows easily, yet manages to deal sensitively with hard topics. I was in a house fire years ago. And while I was saved by my neighbor and physically made it out ok (barely) I have PTSD from it. This book deals a lot with fire, and ptsd. And I loved every bit of it. It’s not something that’s easy for me to get through. But I absolutely love RoAnna’s stories! Well this is the third book of theirs i’ve read so far (i’ve also read Chameleon Moon and Moon-Bright Tides-loved both of those as well!).

Just like Chameleon Moon and Moon-Bright Tides it has characters i’ve fallen in love with and deals with real life issues in a sensitive and healthy way. All without being too long (though i’d gladly spend more time with the characters). And of course it’s all with a dash or 2 of fantasy (like vampires in this case).

I don’t think i’ll ever make it through one of RoAnna’s books without at least getting teary.

Alone and Palely Loitering by Julian Stuart

My initial review.

This short story managed to rip out my heart, give me all the feels, have me relating to the MC SO HARD (MC is ungendered and I am agender, also depression feels), crying tears of sadness and happiness.

Like I WANT TO SAY MORE but it’s a short story and anything else I say WILL SPOIL IT. ASSUME NOTHING. I repeat, assume nothing. I has a new favorite. Now leave me be in my bucket of feels. ❤ And I highly recommend this short story.

I have since realized I am a demiboy, which for me is part agender so …

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson

This is a comic series. I’ve read the first 3 volumes. There is 20 right now. I have no idea if it’s done yet or not. Queer, camping, friendship. Cute.

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

Part of my review for this book

So onto all the love I have for this book! For years I refused to look into “this non-binary business”. I mean sure i’d respect people, it’s not that hard and nothing good comes from being an asshat. But I refused to look into it/research it at all because I was already in my mid 20s before I heard the term and was afraid at what i’d find, for multiple reasons. I grew up not feeling like a girl, or boy, so I figured “well I must just be awful at being a girl because those are the only choices”. I didn’t know there was anything else. By the time I heard the word non-binary I figured it was too late, after all…you have to know everything about yourself by the time you’re 20 right? WRONG. But that’s what I was telling myself out of fear.

Almost 2 months ago I got slapped in the face so to speak and realized…I’m non-binary. Not only can I not “pick a side” in terms of attraction (i’m bi), I can’t “pick a side” to be. And that’s ok. This is me.

I wish this book existed when I was a teen and that somehow i’d have been able to read it. I’m so glad it exists now. And that, if you are still alive, it’s never too late.

Full review Here.

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe

Part of my review

I needed this book 20 years ago. Words can not describe how much I love this book. It’s a memoir about growing up and figuring out that one is non-binary and asexual. While I am not asexual, I am non-binary…and while I can look back on my life now and realize I have always been this way, it took until age 30 to find the words. To realize, i’m not a freak. I’m not wrong. I’m not confused (anymore-and if I had had the words and someone else saying “me too” I never would have had to be). That i’m not alone.

So many instances of “OMG ME TOO!” “Yes, so much yes” “I feel this so hard” “Wait…there is a WORD for that? And it’s not just me?” It’s a memoir of someone else’s life but so much of it mirrored my own. Not 100% obviously, but a lot of it. And it made me feel so incredibly seen. I am still trying not to cry while writing this…and i’m failing.

I’m so glad to finally understand my struggle with gender that i’ve had as long as I can remember. To finally know i’m not a freak, alone, wrong for feeling this way. And that there are words. Words can mean the entire world.

Full review Here. And FUCK YOU to the assholes that keep trying to ban this book!

A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni

My review from 3 years go

Exactly what the title suggests. A quick and easy guide to they/them pronouns, which are increasingly being used (though have been used for literally centuries). I’m non-binary and, having just came out this year, am still getting used to they/them pronouns for myself and it even mentions misgendering yourself. Which I have done. It’s awkward. But it’s normal. I mean i’ve used she/her pronouns for 30 years, of course it takes getting used to.

I then gave it to my cis male husband who has been wonderfully supportive of me coming out as non-binary. His exact words when he was done “Everyone needs to read this”. It took both of us less than half an hour each to read. It’s quick. It’s easy. And it’s seriously helpful. 🙂

This review hurts because my husband has since died, but I believe this is important still and he was a wonderful man. My pronouns are also They/He now (and were before died, he was completely supportive).

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

Part of my review

The MC’s are both Chinese-American and queer. Nova is a witch who is hard of hearing and has hearing aids and Tam is an enby werewolf. Nova also has 2 grandma’s in a relationship with each other. I squeaked out loud when I saw that! SO. MUCH. CUTENESS.

Good witches protecting and interacting with nature. When I saw the nature creatures my first thought was I WANT TO PAINT THEM. I don’t even paint (yet-but I do want to get more into art). THEY ARE SO CUTE.

Tam’s ears are pointy. Loved that quiet detail.

Tam also uses they/them pronouns and does correct other characters, who end up being so wonderfully respectful of them.

Full review Here.

How to Understand Your Gender: A Practical Guide for Exploring Who You Are by Alex Iantaffi and Meg-John Barker

My review from 3 years ago

Words do not describe how I have fallen in love with this book! It took me on a journey of reflecting on gender and sexuality, in myself and society. It is accessible and very kind. There are pages that remind you to stop and breathe. To take a break if you need it. Of course you can ignore them if you want but I found that I needed them and was so glad they were there.

I truly believe anyone can get a lot out of this book. Cis, Trans, Non-binary.

There is stuff in here that I wish everyone would hear.

It also talks a lot about intersections and how they interact with each other. Class, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Religion. For example I’m White, Middle-Class, Physically Disabled, Neurodivergent, an afab Non-binary person, bisexual, and Wiccan. All of these things interact with each other and matter.

It talks about how gender is complex in that it’s a mix of biological, psychological and social. Even though it’s a complex topic, it was never confusing. Always accessible.

I highly recommend this!

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin

Second chance romance between 2 black women later in life. Made my bisexual heart so happy!

Bodymap by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Poetry about being a queer disabled femme of color. Raw, emotional, heart-breaking, thought-provoking, beautiful. I related to some of it, being queer and disabled myself. I am not femme (though I am AFAB) or a poc. What I couldn’t relate to still moved me to tears. I don’t have words for how amazing this book of poetry is. Poetry for me seems to be either hit or miss and this was one hell of a hit!

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

I freaking loved this! I adored the characters, especially Lucy. A very strong woman who knows what she wants and doesn’t take crap. Don’t get me wrong, she has her insecurities for sure, but she still has a strength within her than shines. Catherine has been hurt in the past and is very insecure in the beginning despite having the countess act down in public. She hides it well but she’s hurting. I loved her character arc and seeing her grow stronger. Both women have their own interests and personalities that I really enjoyed getting to see. Both are interesting characters that I loved in their own rights. I also felt for Catherine with what she had been through and some stuff rang quite true for me too.

A beautiful sapphic historical romance.

Full review Here.

How to Be You: Stop Trying to Be Someone Else and Start Living Your Life by Jeffrey Marsh

I can not express my love for this book! Nor do I have a clue what to say other than wanting to recommend it to absolutely everyone! There is so much love and truth within these pages. Gentle and caring words even as it made me cry, in a good way. Things I needed to hear. That I think everyone could use. Self-care, true deep self-care, is so hard for most people. And yet it’s so important.

I took my time with this book because I wanted to sit with what I read, to truly absorb it. The best books are like that for me, I take them slow.

I will take this book to heart going forward and hopefully, every so often, re-read it to remind myself. I highly recommend this book!

That’s my review from over 2 years ago. I really should reread this book.

Defining Myself: Transmasculine Experience Through Poetry by Michael Eric Brown

Part of my review from over 2 years ago.

This book is divided into 3 sections. Section 1: Beginnings, Pronouns, Therapy, Hormones, Surgery. Section 2: Fears, Anger, Loss, Dysphoria, Discrimination. Section 3: Changes, Living Authentically, Peace/Joy/Acceptance. Each sections starts out with a few pages talking about the sections within that section as each of those mini-sections gets some poetry. In the introduction to the entire book it does explain that they choose to keep 18+ content out because then they’d have to rate the book 18+ which would keep a lot of transmasculine teens who could really use this book from accessing it. So it is PG-13. That said though it goes into a lot of deep and emotional stuff.

I am transmasculine. I am a demiguy and I happen to be afab (assigned female at birth). This book contains poetry by binary trans men as well as non-binary transmasculine individuals. A wonderful spectrum of transmasc people. I had to take this book slow because it hit so hard with me. I just came out as trans this year. I had to take it slow because I related so much to the words in this book and it spoke to fears as well as joys…to so much. I could not handle reading this book in one sitting even though time-wise i’m sure I could have, if I had been able. It was that powerful for me.

Full review Here.

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens by Marieke Nijkamp

My initial “review” before reading it:

I only read the dedication and i’m already crying. It says

“To every disabled reader, dreamer, storyteller-
We can be heroes.
This one’s for us.”

I have been disabled my entire life, born with vacterl association (and then some) I’m a medical nightmare. vacterl is rare so i’m not expecting to see it in a book but even with that difference, many disabled people end up facing the same stigmas, ableism and feelings from it all.

I am so glad something like this finally exists ❤

After Reading it:

13 stories, and many tears. I found quite a bit to relate to in these pages as a disabled person. My updates mention all the stories, my ratings and some feelings. There were a couple of “???” stories, a few stories that while they didn’t really resonate with me personally I did like them enough and could see them being perfect for someone else, and just over half of them I really loved! The ones I loved I found stuff I related to in the pages even when I didn’t share the exact disability, I cared about the characters, cried or at least got teary, they spoke to me in some way.

There is a diverse range of disabilities, both physical and mental, in the pages as well as poc and queer characters. If you are disabled, in any way, I imagine you’ll find some stories to love in these pages, even if not every single one hits home. I am really glad this book exists and that I read it. My average ended up being 3.7 over-all.

Review Here. I don’t remember how many of the stories have lgbtq+ rep but some of them do. All have disabled rep.

Links to all my socials

My June POP (Pile of Possibilities)

My June TBR/POP. I go with POP because I don’t do a strict tbr anymore. Pop gives me more room and I don’t have to feel bad about not getting to something, it’s just a huge list of possibilities.

On my 30th birthday (i’m 33 now) I made a “40 before 40 list” that i’m still working on. I should be done years before I actually turn 40 lol. I am hoping to get to

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

for my 40 before 40 list.

For my “Creatures, Creatures Everywhere!” Goodreads Group I am hoping to get to

Joyland by Stephen King

Other things I would like to get to for one reason or another include:

The Mist by Stephen King
Why I’m Afraid of Bees by R.L. Stine
Archaeology – March/April 2022 by Archaeological Institute Of America
Philosophy Now – issue 149 by Anja Publications
BBC Wildlife Magazine – Spring 2022 by Immediate Media Company London Ltd
Archaeology – May/June 2022 by Archaeological Institute Of America
BBC Science Focus Magazine – April 2022 by Immediate Media Company London Ltd

I’d still be behind on magazines, but progress ya know?

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

This is my July Group read pick for my Goodreads Group “The eclecticist of eclectic book club“. I might read it a little early so I can be prepared and come up with things to discuss as well as the fact I should be having surgery in July, though that’s not until mid-July so I could read it before hand and all that, but we’ll see if I get to it a little bit early or not.

Saga, Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughan
Transformation: The Breakthrough by Whitley Strieber
Monster Musume, Vol. 7 by OKAYADO
Swell by Liz Clark
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
Mermaids and Other Mysteries of the Deep edited by Paula Guran
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean by Jonathan White

Some potential reads to fulfill bingo boards (and also because I want to of course!)

Trans Wizard Harriet Porber and the Bad Boy Parasaurolophus: An Adult Romance Novel by Chuck Tingle
Break by Hannah Moskowitz
Coral by Sara Ella
Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle
The Animated Skeleton by Anonymous
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Cattywampus by Ash Van Otterloo
Eat Your Heart Out by Dayna Ingram

Cattywampus has intersex rep and Eat Your Heart Out has lesbians.

Some potential LGBTQ+ books because pride month!

Spectrums: Autistic Transgender People in Their Own Words by Maxfield Sparrow
The Backstagers: 2018 Valentine’s Intermission #1 by James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh
Sunscreen & Coconuts by Eliza Lentzski
Lumberjanes, Vol. 4: Out of Time by Noelle Stevenson
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler
Ripples & Waves: A Queer Retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid by L.A. Witt
Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman
Hugged by Verity Ritchie
Sea Foam and Silence by S.L. Dove Cooper
After Hours, Vol. 1 by Yuhta Nishio
Trans Love: An Anthology of Transgender and Non-Binary Voices by Freiya Benson
There Are Trans People Here by H. Melt
Precision Instruments by Blue Neustifter
Take Back the Word: a queer reading of the bible edited by Robert E. Shore-Goss and Mona West

Yes, that’s way more than I can read in a month, and I have even more possibilities listed on my bullet journal pages! It’s not called a POP for nothing! So here’s hoping for a wonderful reading filled June!

Stuff i’d like to watch in June includes; I started The Skull Man on Hidive awhile ago, really need to continue that. Would love to watch Prehistoric Planet on Apple TV+. I have watched 1 episode of Make or Break, a surfing show, on Apple TV+ and really want to continue that. I also watched, on AMC+, an episode of Creepshow. I’d love to watch The Little Mermaid tv show, haven’t watched that actually, at all. Despite loving The Little Mermaid.

If I don’t watch My Little Pony: Make Your Mark before June I need to watch that. Also, Stranger Things! I have watched the first 3 Nightmare on Elm Street movies so I need to continue that series. Also need to watch Sonic 2. And on Discovery+ June 1st should be coming a show called Generation Drag that sounds like it’d be fun!

I need to get to my Sims 2 game but who the hell knows if that’s going to happen lol.

What oh what will June hold?

Links to all my socials

My Kindle Unlimited Borrows

These are what I currently have borrowed from Kindle Unlimited that I need to read! Keep in mind that once you’ve borrowed a book from KU it stays there until you return it even if it’s taken off of KU so there is no guarantee you can still borrow them from KU!

Vampire’s Lust: A Paranormal Erotic Tale by E.V. Gray

I like vampire erotica but really haven’t read much of it. Due to shame really, but that ends now! Now I just gotta get to it.

Siren by John Everson

A mermaid horror. I want to read more mermaid books, and more horror, so 2 birds 1 stone.

Cirque Berserk by Jessica Guess

It’s in the Rewind or Die series but they are all standalones. I’ve read Transmuted by Eve Harms in it and highly recommend it! A transgender body horror! This, Cirque Berzerk, is a slasher involving a carnival. Sounds fun!

The Caribbean by Rob Kidd

This book is why you’ll notice i’ve borrowed 21 despite the max of 20. How? Well before I got KU I found out about prime reading, I had prime already but had no idea about prime reading for a very long time (so when I learned of it I had to check it out), and borrowed it from there. So even though it’s now on my KU borrows because all of prime reading is on KU and that’s how they do it I guess, it doesn’t count as against my KU borrows because I got it from prime reading, and STILL haven’t read it yet!

I love Pirates of the Caribbean, and I refuse to watch any if Johnny Depp isn’t Jack Sparrow.

Seed to Harvest: The Complete Patternist Series by Octavia E. Butler

I’ve read Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, but I think that’s it. I definitely need to read more by her!

Daughter Of Earth And Water: A Biography Of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley by Noel B. Gerson

Have I mentioned before that I am obsessed with Frankenstein, and the author Mary Shelley? (lol, yes, yes I have).

No Room At The Inn by Brooke Winters

I typically avoid Christmas romances unless they are queer. I don’t do that for romances in general, it’s just Christmas … isn’t for me. But if it’s queer of course i’ll give it a shot! This is an F/F Christmas romance by a queer, disabled, autistic writer! Queer, disabled and autistic, like me! 🙂

Unburied: A Collection of Queer Dark Fiction by Rebecca Rowland

Queer. Horror. Do I need to say more?

Sunscreen & Coconuts by Eliza Lentzski

An F/F summery romance.

The Sacrifice; Box Set by Brittany Strokes

Tentacle romance. Yup. I used to think it was too weird, then I read a good tentacle romance and now it’s a thing …

Monster Lust 1 (Werewolf, Dinosaur, Vampire, Bigfoot Erotica): 5 Stories of Powerful Creatures and the Innocent Women They Seduce by Devon Marlowe

Monsters need love to, ok? Honestly I saw someone had that has a goodreads shelf (Monsters need love to) and stole it. Yea, i’m down for some monster fucking, deal with it.

Zombie Necro a Go-Go: 6 Erotic Short Stories About Dead Things by Elizabeth Bedlam

These should be disturbing and for some reason i’m compelled to consume disturbing things.

Morning Glory Milking Farm by C.M. Nascosta

Again, monsters need love to, and i’ve heard good and interesting things about this one.

Hot Queer Witches Fight Demons: a f/nonbinary erotic suspense by Lia Meyers

A F/NB witchy short erotica. I haven’t read this yet because … why?

Collected Christmas Horror Shorts, Vol. II by Kevin J. Kennedy

The kind of Christmas stories I love is horror. Holiday horror, yes please. I might just be a Grinch.

The Bennet Women by Eden Appiah-Kubi

Sounds like a good romance and it has a trans woman MC.

Midnight From Beyond the Stars by Kenneth W. Cain

Horror anthology. Something about aliens.

This is Halloween by James A. Moore

Horror Halloween themed anthology.

Bite Back (Library of Teeth, #1) by Molly Likovich

Queer vampire erotica with bisexual characters. I don’t know why I haven’t devoured this yet! I watch the author on Youtube and Instagram as well. It sounds amazing (to me)!

COWS by Matthew Stokoe

From what i’ve heard, due to personal reasons, this may be too much for me. It’s super disgusting. I want to give it a shot though.

The Book of Queer Saints by Mae Murray

Queer. Anthology. Horror. If I need to say more you obviously don’t know me lol.

Magazines! You can borrow 3 magazine subscriptions through KU (of what they have available). Right now I have 2. They don’t count against the 20 max.

BBC Wildlife Magazine by Immediate Media Company London Ltd

Animals! Nature! Me love.

BBC Science Focus Magazine by Immediate Media Company London Ltd

Me learn things lol.

Do you have kindle unlimited? What have you borrowed? Have you read any of these? Thoughts?

Links to all my socials: https://linktr.ee/Wickedjr

All my stories on AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/users/wickedjr89

Book of the month referral link

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