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Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe


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I've been rereading Gender Queer non-stop this past weekend after I found it in my uni's library and I wanted to talk about it with y'all!

Maia Kobabe wrote “Gender Queer,” a book is only part of Kobabe’s story — a personal narrative that has served as an inspiration to young people who have grappled with questions about gender identity. The book is available in Spanish. (Maia Kobabe)

Some context about the book + author in case you don't know about this. Kobabe is an aroace and nonbinary artist and eir book Gender Queer is a memoir about eir experiences and identity. I think it's a beautiful piece of work and I relate to it very much. It is also I believe the currently most banned/contested book in the US for two years straight!

The parts where e talks about eir relationship with sexuality and romance hit close to home, especially when e talks about fantasizing about romance, but once being face to face with it, not wanting it. Also starting a tinder profile and going on dates just because you want to be able to accurately write about it in fanfic is really funny to me!  Like, treating it as reasearch is something I literally did and can laugh at now.

Here are some parts from the book I managed to grab from the web:?uuid=c055ddde-0af3-5ff9-a840-bf8b2cc79070&type=primary&q=72&width=1024 00kobabe-image5-articleLarge.png?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale

 

A page from Maia Kobabe’s book, “Gender Queer: A Memoir.” (Maia Kobabe)A page from Maia Kobabe’s book, “Gender Queer: A Memoir.” (Maia Kobabe)

So, have you read it? Did you like it? Would you like to read it, if you haven't? What do you think about its status as the most banned book? I just want to talk about this book in general so any comments/questions/anyhting is apreciated! 

Oh wow I didn't realize the images would be so big! Sorry about that! 😅

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That does sound like an interesting read, though I’d read it more for the aroace aspects to see what I could relate to. Perhaps “loveless” as well.

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20 hours ago, Whirl said:

I've been rereading Gender Queer non-stop this past weekend after I found it in my uni's library and I wanted to talk about it with y'all!

Maia Kobabe wrote “Gender Queer,” a book is only part of Kobabe’s story — a personal narrative that has served as an inspiration to young people who have grappled with questions about gender identity. The book is available in Spanish. (Maia Kobabe)

Some context about the book + author in case you don't know about this. Kobabe is an aroace and nonbinary artist and eir book Gender Queer is a memoir about eir experiences and identity. I think it's a beautiful piece of work and I relate to it very much. It is also I believe the currently most banned/contested book in the US for two years straight!

The parts where e talks about eir relationship with sexuality and romance hit close to home, especially when e talks about fantasizing about romance, but once being face to face with it, not wanting it. Also starting a tinder profile and going on dates just because you want to be able to accurately write about it in fanfic is really funny to me!  Like, treating it as reasearch is something I literally did and can laugh at now.

Here are some parts from the book I managed to grab from the web:?uuid=c055ddde-0af3-5ff9-a840-bf8b2cc79070&type=primary&q=72&width=1024 00kobabe-image5-articleLarge.png?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale

 

A page from Maia Kobabe’s book, “Gender Queer: A Memoir.” (Maia Kobabe)A page from Maia Kobabe’s book, “Gender Queer: A Memoir.” (Maia Kobabe)

So, have you read it? Did you like it? Would you like to read it, if you haven't? What do you think about its status as the most banned book? I just want to talk about this book in general so any comments/questions/anyhting is apreciated! 

Oh wow I didn't realize the images would be so big! Sorry about that! 😅

By far the biggest thing that stood out to me was the last picture, that was EXACTLY how I felt. I never realized that it might not happen, or that I didn't really have to date. It made everything I ever actually wanted seem closer, more well defined, and better. There was a sort of emotional high to realizing that romance may just not be something I'm going to need. I'm still not sure if it'll change or not and I hope it doesn't but I wouldn't lose too much happiness if it did. I don't want to marry, it sounds like a cool concept but that's not something I really would find important to me, I'd want a good career, friends, and perhaps just fulfilment and clarity. That's really all I want. I'd spent my whole childhood just enjoying life, never even knowing that it was an expectation to date or marry, just that it'd happen to me soon and that I'd want it from the beginning. I spent far more time admiring the best parts of the world, and despising the worst of it, than I ever did about romance.

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I want to read that book at some point. But probably once I've moved away from my parents. Bc while I read queer books at home, there's a difference between reading queer books and one so widely contested for "sexually explicit" material

Unless the book is actually too explicit that I get too uncomfortable...

The issue is idk what it's actually like

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24 minutes ago, AstrophelDragon said:

I want to read that book at some point. But probably once I've moved away from my parents. Bc while I read queer books at home, there's a difference between reading queer books and one so widely contested for "sexually explicit" material

Unless the book is actually too explicit that I get too uncomfortable...

The issue is idk what it's actually like

Yeah, I’m not against queer books, I’m against REALLY over explicit books that are very obviously not for kids. Those are things one can ban, but with a tragic story or a moral behind it, I have very little reason to ban queer books. Overall just the over the top sex novels just shouldn’t be published at all, much less in schools. But in my opinion I don’t give a crap if there’s LGBTQ+ books, because those don’t harm a child, hypersexualized books do. After all a school shouldn’t have 50 shades of grey but things like perhaps stories of adversity or personal exploration are fine as long as they aren’t over the top. I know I’m restating myself a lot but this really is the type of thing that should be focused on in book censorship. 

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The discussion of pelvic exams in the book was a lot more explicit than any discussion of Kobabe's sexuality.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Queerdo said:

The discussion of pelvic exams in the book was a lot more explicit than any discussion of Kobabe's sexuality.

Yeah, one of the many reasons that an lgbtq class would be just as useful and less graphic than sex ed. 

not as a replacement but just around then as an addition.

Edited by HelloThere
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On 5/29/2023 at 7:23 PM, AstrophelDragon said:

I want to read that book at some point. But probably once I've moved away from my parents. Bc while I read queer books at home, there's a difference between reading queer books and one so widely contested for "sexually explicit" material

Unless the book is actually too explicit that I get too uncomfortable...

The issue is idk what it's actually like

Well I wouldn't say it's 'too' explicit, at least not for me. Nothing that goes beyond a panel/page. I think a lot of queerphobic people latched onto the very few mentions/depictions of sexuality to ban a book for being unapolegetically queer!

But idk what would make you uncomfortable and it's totally fair if you are (I can't watch some scenes from Grey's Anatomy cuz I get too umcorfotable so I get it lol). I'd say that, when you can, give the book a chance. And if it's not for you, then that's fine!

On 5/29/2023 at 9:04 PM, Queerdo said:

The discussion of pelvic exams in the book was a lot more explicit than any discussion of Kobabe's sexuality.

Yes, definetely.

21 hours ago, HelloThere said:

Yeah, one of the many reasons that an lgbtq class would be just as useful and less graphic than sex ed. 

not as a replacement but just around then as an addition.

I'd be nice maybe! Another idea is to incorporate lgbtq themes, topics and history into other classes. Maybe have more books about and by queer people in english class or discuss stuff like stonewall in history classes or maybe incorporate intersex, trans and nonbinary people into biology lessons? And definitely mention asexuality and aromanticism in sex-ed. Sex-ed assumes by default that everyone wants to/ will have sex and I feel like that's really damaging to young ace people. 

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2 minutes ago, Whirl said:

Well I wouldn't say it's 'too' explicit, at least not for me. Nothing that goes beyond a panel/page. I think a lot of queerphobic people latched onto the very few mentions/depictions of sexuality to ban a book for being unapolegetically queer!

But idk what would make you uncomfortable and it's totally fair if you are (I can't watch some scenes from Grey's Anatomy cuz I get too umcorfotable so I get it lol). I'd say that, when you can, give the book a chance. And if it's not for you, then that's fine!

Yes, definetely.

I'd be nice maybe! Another idea is to incorporate lgbtq themes, topics and history into other classes. Maybe have more books about and by queer people in english class or discuss stuff like stonewall in history classes or maybe incorporate intersex, trans and nonbinary people into biology lessons? And definitely mention asexuality and aromanticism in sex-ed. Sex-ed assumes by default that everyone wants to/ will have sex and I feel like that's really damaging to young ace people. 

I didn't even know that kids were so incredibly wanting that that they needed a class just to tell them no. XD

I legit thought for way too long that it was just education in case they did. 

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On 5/29/2023 at 3:33 PM, HelloThere said:

 There was a sort of emotional high to realizing that romance may just not be something I'm going to need. I'm still not sure if it'll change or not and I hope it doesn't but I wouldn't lose too much happiness if it did. I I spent far more time admiring the best parts of the world, and despising the worst of it, than I ever did about romance.

Agree! It is very fulfilling to realize that 1. there is more to the world than romance 2.you don't have to participate in it or feel it. 

I feel like we get to design our own version of an ideal life for us instead of folllowing the relationship escalator!

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Just now, Whirl said:

Agree! It is very fulfilling to realize that 1. there is more to the world than romance 2.you don't have to participate in it or feel it. 

I feel like we get to design our own version of an ideal life for us instead of folllowing the relationship escalator!

Everything felt so much more open, like the big bang in a way. (I know it doesn't but I mean how opening that felt) I always just thought that it would just... happen, I'd find someone and then I'd marry as a sort of side quest in my life. The real importance to me was my career, my dreams, interests, and developing skills. I've done very little in the career area but I've spent a lot of time doing things I like and looking further into my interests, and knowing that it doesn't have to be interrupted just made everything so much better. 

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Just now, HelloThere said:

I didn't even know that kids were so incredibly wanting that that they needed a class just to tell them no. XD

I legit thought for way too long that it was just education in case they did. 

jajaja from what I undestand it depends on the kind of class? If they only teach abstinence then yeah it's sort of just "No, don't do that. We know you want to but don't" While other classes that teach about contraceptives, consent and safe sex it's more of "We know y'all are gonna do it, so here's how to do it safely"

I didn't really have a sex-ed class. The biology teacher just came in one day, talked about contraceptives and reproduction and then left.  But even that was more than most people get here in my country, so, y'know, can't complain i guess?

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I would very much like to read this book, it's seems very interesting and I could relate to Kobabe on a gender and aromantic level. I didn't experience too much confusion in my gender identity, but my aromanticism was a trip, and when I finally accepted that part of who I am, it felt so suddenly freeing that I don't have to go on dates or get married.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Whirl said:

jajaja from what I undestand it depends on the kind of class? If they only teach abstinence then yeah it's sort of just "No, don't do that. We know you want to but don't" While other classes that teach about contraceptives, consent and safe sex it's more of "We know y'all are gonna do it, so here's how to do it safely"

I didn't really have a sex-ed class. The biology teacher just came in one day, talked about contraceptives and reproduction and then left.  But even that was more than most people get here in my country, so, y'know, can't complain i guess?

We got the everything package here. They told us about abstinence, the penalty for rape, std's, people's underage pregnancy stories, and all the negative effects of young pregnancy, along with the cost of children when working at minimum wage. It's literally impossible to uphold and stay stable. I mean I went through that whole thing with a "Wow! This is disgusting why would people want this?!" type of an attitude. I mean if I wasn't ace before then, I most definitely am now. (Yes I know that doesn't actually scare one into not wanting that, but I just agreed that the whole idea was absolutely stupid.)

2 minutes ago, The Newest Fabled Creature said:

I would very much like to read this book, it's seems very interesting and I could relate to Kobabe on a gender and aromantic level. I didn't experience too much confusion in my gender identity, but my aromanticism was a trip, and when I finally accepted that part of who I am, it felt so suddenly freeing that I don't have to go on dates or get married.

Yeah, I'd really only read it for the aroace part of the story. I really am glad to know that I can relate, it helps a lot to be able to relate to an author. :D

Edited by HelloThere
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8 minutes ago, HelloThere said:

I always just thought that it would just... happen, I'd find someone and then I'd marry as a sort of side quest in my life.

I heavily relate to this, I too thought that it would just ...happen. And when I started getting uncomfortable about romantic relationships, I thought falling in love would still happen for me even if I wanted nothing to happen relationship-wise.

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Just now, The Newest Fabled Creature said:

I heavily relate to this, I too thought that it would just ...happen. And when I started getting uncomfortable about romantic relationships, I thought falling in love would still happen for me even if I wanted nothing to happen relationship-wise.

I like the idea of having people close to me emotionally, but when we're both tired, we'd just leave and respect each others space. That's literally just a friend. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME I think about what I want in a partner it traces mostly back to friends, or entirely. I just want someone to do fun stuff with, and then when I need space, we just go our separate ways for a bit. 

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Posted (edited)

I never had a sex ed class. We had that like puberty class for a few days at the end of 5th grade and that was it. As a result the most I have ever learned about sex came from a friend talking about being asexual, and since then from being on ace sites figuring that out for myself 🤷

Edit: Oh and from me reading my biology textbook in 10th grade

Edited by AstrophelDragon
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1 hour ago, AstrophelDragon said:

I never had a sex ed class. We had that like puberty class for a few days at the end of 5th grade and that was it. As a result the most I have ever learned about sex came from a friend talking about being asexual, and since then from being on ace sites figuring that out for myself 🤷

Edit: Oh and from me reading my biology textbook in 10th grade

Wow. I mean I get that it’s hilariously ironic coming from an asexual but: we really should make sex ed classes mandatory. I mean it’ll at least lower the odds of stupid people doing stupid things because the number of childhood pregnancies in America is… concerning to say the least.

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So glad I found this thread because I’m having that book on my tbr for the month and have picked it up from the library. :) but I haven’t started reading it yet. 

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On 5/31/2023 at 8:19 PM, AstrophelDragon said:

I never had a sex ed class. We had that like puberty class for a few days at the end of 5th grade and that was it. As a result the most I have ever learned about sex came from a friend talking about being asexual, and since then from being on ace sites figuring that out for myself 🤷

Edit: Oh and from me reading my biology textbook in 10th grade

I’ve never heard anything about asexuality in my life until I was 37 for a couple of years ago and decided to read a book about it. I didn’t think I could be ace but when I read the book I was astonished to find my own experiences explained. In the book the author also mentioned aromanticism and I knew instantly that was me, I just didn’t know it was an identity or that it was ok to be that way. ☺️

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