2019 · Read · Review

Review – A to Z of Gender & Sexuality

This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you.

The A-Z of Gender and Sexuality: From Ace to Ze

by Morgan Lev Edward Holleb

Synopsis by NetGalley / GoodReads

There can be confusion around the appropriate terminology for trans and queer identities, even within the trans community itself. As language is constantly evolving, it can be especially difficult to know what to say. As a thorough A-Z glossary of trans and queer words from ‘ace’ to ‘xe’, this dictionary guide will help to dispel the anxiety around using the “wrong” words, while explaining the weight of using certain labels and providing individuals with a vocabulary for personal identification.

Having correct and accurate terminology to describe oneself can be empowering, especially with words and phrases that describe gender identity, sexuality, sexual orientation, as well as slang relevant to LGBTQ+ rights and anti-discrimination, queer activism, gender-affirming healthcare and psychology. Written in a traditional A-Z glossary style, this guide will serve as a quick reference for looking up individual words, as well as an in-depth look at trans history and culture.

My Opinion


Firstly, this is a reference book, as in an encyclopedia.
Secondly, I read it front to back… *shrugs*

I wanted to pick this up for several reasons but the main reason was to learn. I wanted to know more about the different terms and “official meanings” of orientations etc. And boy did I learn a lot!

This book is filled with all types of terms and all of them are related to LGBTQ+ themes and issues. Even when the term is a normal everyday term, the definition and explanation are given in along the lines of LGBQ+.

It contains all type of works form “Bottom Surgery” and “buggary” to “sexual orientation” and “Stonewall”. It’s filled with facts and explanations, but also with history and historical uses. For instance, did you know the pronoun “boy” wasn’t used for a male child until the 1400s? Before the 1400s a child was referred to as “girl” as a gender-neutral term. “Boy” appeared in the mid-1200 and was used for a servant, commoner or knave who was usually male and young. Who knew?!

This book was stuffed full of fascinating facts like that. But it also picked up on struggles in the life of LGBTQ+ people, including intersectional LGBTQ+ people. The author doesn’t shy away from other issues which makes the life of a disabled LGBTQ+ or a black LGBTQ+ person more difficult than a white abled bodied LGBTQ+ person. It tackles privilege and negative attituded in certain words and it can be heavy. It doesn’t (in my eyes) glances over issues like racism, fatphobia, ableism, transmisogynist, transphobia, misogyny, etc, and they are not afraid of highlighting the issue even if they don’t have a solution.

But all in all, I really enjoyed this read. I took my time reading a few words a day and learned a lot.

I highly recommend this to people who want to learn more about themselves or about friends and family members.

Until next time; happy reading!

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