Welcome to another LGBT book review! All reviews touch on genre/plot, tropes (if any), quality of LGBT content, and avoid most spoilers. Catch up on my last book review of Moonkcakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker. You can find all LGBT book reviews here.
This review will run slightly differently, as some categories are not applicable in the same way, considering this book is a nonfiction guide rather than a story.
LGBT Book, Gender: Your Guide–Overview
This nonfiction book aims to help others make their surroundings more gender-friendly. The target audience is cis readers looking to improve their mindset and mannerisms around gender for the trans and nonbinary people in their lives.
Dr. Lee Airton is a nonbinary author and professor of gender and sexuality studies. Their gender identity allows the book to be particularly helpful for normalizing and working with nonbinary identities and they/them pronouns, but the book is written and designed to be useful for cis people to understand trans nonbinary and binary genders into everyone’s lives, and with that knowledge, create a gender-friendly world in which all people can more easily navigate.
It’s important for trans readers to note that they are not the target audience of this book; rather, it is meant for those in trans peoples’ lives who aren’t sure how to be supportive allies quite yet.
The guide begins with the assumption that the reader has no tools or terminology to navigate this journey, and all terms are described as they arise (such as cisgender, gender identity, gender expression, etc.). Airton encourages readers to use their own (subconscious) gender expertise to understand how the world of gender works for both cis and trans people.
The guide includes practical, immediate steps to take (such as practicing pronouns that may be unfamiliar to the reader) as well as suggestions for bridging gaps between the ignorant, binary-ed cisgender world and the trans people it hurts. At its very core, Gender: Your Guide is about communication and growth.
LGBT Book, Gender–Rating
This is a great book for people who want to learn how to be good allies for the trans people in their lives. It covers topics from pronouns, responding to coming outs (or apologizing for bad responses to coming out), signposting and asking for pronouns, how to neutralize uncomfortable or threatening situations for trans people, how to stop partaking in the subtle, unconscious ways the world constructs gender, and generally, how to lessen the burdens trans people face on a daily basis.
People who read this book and take the advice will undoubtedly make the trans and nonbinary people in their life feel more at ease. Trans and nonbinary people who read this book may be annoyed at the grace it gives the cis readers, but I find no fault in giving cis people room to grow, understand, and practice openness with intent.