About the book:
Hello and welcome to the ABC’s of LGBT. Ashley Mardell, one of the most trusted voices on YouTube presents a detailed look at all things LGBT+. Along with in-depth written definitions, personal anecdotes, helpful infographics, links to online videos, and more, Mardell aims to provide a friendly voice to a community looking for information.
Beyond those searching for a label, this book is also for allies and LGBT+ people simply looking to pack in some extra knowledge! Knowledge is a critical part of acceptance, learning about new identities broadens our understanding of humanity, heightens our empathy, and allows us different, valuable perspectives. These words also provide greater precision when describing attractions and identities. There is never anything wrong with having and efficient, expansive vocabulary!
About the author:
Ashley Mardell, originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, blogs about her daily life on her YouTube channel. As a result of her kind heart and glowing spirit, Mardell has developed a strong bond with her viewers. She’s trusted, loved and admired for her voice in the LGBTQIA+ community. Her insight and honest approach to LGBTQIA+ education has helped millions of kids and adults understand who they are.
I was worried that this book would be preachy or too much like a dictionary to be interesting, but it was fascinating. I missed out on some of the graphics because I had an app read this book to me, but I intend to go back and view all the illustrations and probably read this book again sometime soon.
Learning about the different definitions, the evolution of terms, and then hearing some of the anecdotes that were included was great. I’m one who considers herself an ally, but am always a bit confused by the terms (and to be honest, for once, google searches weren’t super helpful because the results can often be very contradictory depending on which terms you’re searching). While this book acknowledges that the terminology is essentially in flux (as is all language, to be fair), it does it’s best to lay out the groundwork of proper definitions and even invites objections to definitions if you feel that something was defined incorrectly or simply not quite right.
Two spots that made me stop what I was doing, pause the recording, and highlight a passage are quoted below:
One of my favorite quotes regarding this matter is, “We have two ideas that pop into our heads when forming an opinion, the first idea is what we are conditioned to think, the second idea is what determines who we are as people.”
I love that quote. Since I first heard it I’ve loved it. I often tell people I’m a terrible person because of what’s in my head. No, I don’t actually think I’m a terrible person, but my first thought when I see certain things is often not very pleasant. My second thoughts, though… Those are me. And they are often much kinder than my first thoughts.
On top of those searching for a label, this book is also for allies and LGBTQIA+ people looking to pack in some extra identity know-how! Knowledge is a critical part of acceptance after all. Learning about new identities broadens our understanding of humanity, heightens our empathy, and allows us to see the world from different, valuable perspectives. Additionally, these words provide greater precision when describing attractions and identities, and there is never anything wrong with having an efficient, expansive vocabulary!
One of the reasons I try so hard to get people to read and engage in stories different from their own is because I’m a believer that reading can change the world. I grew up in Southern Louisiana surrounded by so many close-minded and bigoted individuals that it’s shocking to me how I became such an open-minded individual. (Sounds self-righteous enough? Haha!) The biggest difference between those around me and myself? How much I read as a child and how much I still read now. I read about all sorts of people, from all sorts of backgrounds, and with all sorts of issues, dreams, and goals. I become those people while reading about them and in doing so I love them. This post from a while back is on my website: Reading vs Racism It’s about how reading combats racism and helps build empathy. It’s essentially saying the same thing as the above quote, but with more words. Haha!
This book deserves 5.0 out of 5.0 stars because it successfully tackled a very sensitive subject.