I’m finally starting some books I wanted to read for quite some time. These are mostly some YA novels and fantasy books which take up a lot of time. Also there’s this non-fiction book with quite a title and you know, a promise of important things. This is The Gay Book, something you probably won’t be reading in public because, you know, someone else nearby will not be happy. But then again, if you’re straight you should read this book in a bar or in the park, somewhere where a lot of people can see you. You’ll get a taste of what is like to be gay and out and this is why you’re probably reading this…Right?
This is a book written for everyone, a non-fiction book containing information about LGBT* community and it’s written by a gay man. In the introduction the author talks about why he chose to write the book, who it’s for and why he uses LGBT as a term at all. There are chapters on discovering that you’re LGBT, coming out, finding love, etc. Almost nothing in this book is 100% serious which is a great way to talk about being LGBT…if you’re LGB or trans. If you’re straight, you should take this far more seriously.
I must admit, I don’t think that one (cis gay) man can write a detailed description on what is like to be gay man, gay woman and a trans person. He just doesn’t have the experience. Now he did include stories of young LGBT people from around the world. Again, these are very short stories. The book also contains a lot of (sometimes very helpful) illustrations.
I guess this book will be more helpful to a straight person or a very young LGBT person (or a person new to the community). If you’re looking for some serious advice you’ll find some helpful phone numbers and websites that will be a lot more helpful in dealing with bullying, homophobia or if you just want to find other gay people near you. If you’re looking for a lighthearted approach to very serious identity questions, this book will make you laugh a lot. Now if you tend to be really really serious about that…you may not like it.
Now I was looking for something with much more information about LGBT history, detailed stories about what is like to be gay in Third World countries, stories about being transgender in workplace etc. Obviously that can’t be a part of just one book. But this book is a great start. I hope to buy a couple of these books and give them to some straight people who desperately need them.