June 1, 2018

First Friday 5: LGBTQ

This month I'm excited to showcase some pretty stellar books that represent LGBTQ lifestyles and commentary. I found these books to be wonderful examples of books that open discussions on gender fluidity, sexual awakening, and terminology when it comes to discussing gender and sexuality in general. 

Written and illustrated by Sarah Graley

Like most university students her age, Becka has a crush. Unfortunately for Becka, her crush is on a grim reaper who is just trying to make ends meet. Becka quickly gets sucked into Kim's world as they encounter a whole slew of ghoulish drama, all the while proving that sometimes asking someone out isn't the most terrifying thing you can encounter that day. Between monsters, zombies, and the lords of the underworld themselves, the two find that working together is the only way to survive.
Written and illustrated by Jen Wang

I did a pretty in-depth review of this book a little while ago, which you can find here. Prince Sebastian's family is on the hunt to find him a wife, but Prince Sebastian has his hands full, what with keeping his secret from everyone he knows. When his new dressmaker Frances finds out his secret, though, the two become fast friends and go out on the town together, certain that life couldn't get any better. But Sebastian and his alter ego Lady Crystallia are in for a rude awakening because a secret that big is bound to get out fast.

Princess Princess Ever After
Written band illustrated by Katie O'Neill

This one is a little older, but I only just discovered it! Princess Amira rescues Princess Sadie from a tower one day, proving that she is just as capable—if not more so—than any prince is. Though they don't seem like a great match at first, the two become fast friends as they venture across the kingdom and rescue others. It doesn't take long for them to realize there's more between them than just friendship, but each takes the time to get to know herself before diving into anything serious with each other, proving that "happily ever after" starts with getting to know yourself before opening yourself to others.

A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns
Created by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson

When it comes to quick and easy guides, this is the perfect beginner's book for learning about preferred terminology with regard to gender pronouns. Never pedantic or demeaning and always helpful, this book is told from the point of view of two real-life friends who want to have a discussion with the world about gender pronouns. Archie, a genderqueer artist who is tired of people misusing their pronouns, comes together with Tristan, a cisgender male, and together they discuss the nuanced (and no-so-nuanced) terminology that people should be making themselves more aware of when it comes to referring to people in general.

Written and illustrated by Keezy Young

Life is hard, but it would seem that death is even harder. Poor Blue has a crush on his best friend, Hamal, which is only lucky in the sense that Hamal can actually see Blue. Yes, Blue is a ghost. But since Hamal is the only one who can see him, it's hard for Blue not to wear out his welcome, and with something creepy happening in town, most of the afterlife in the area is up in arms. So what happens when Blue finally realizes that Hamal might be the reason that things are going south in town? After all, it isn't "normal" to be able to talk to ghosts. So does that mean Blue will have to leave the only person he has ever loved?

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