An Illustrated Exploration
224 pp., 7 x 10 in, 226 color illus.
- Published: November 1, 2022
A lively, informative, and engaging guide to gender by an author-illustrator who helps readers understand the multiplicity of answers to “What even is gender?”
Queer, cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, androgynous, maverique, intergender, genderfluid. Louie and their cat (a.k.a. “Cat”) take you on a journey through the world of gender—without claiming to have it all figured out or knowing the perfect definition for this widely complex subject. Gender is tricky to understand because it's a social construct intersecting with many other parts of our identity, including class, race, age, religion. For a long time, people thought of gender as binary: male/female, pirate/princess, sports/shopping. Now, we're starting to understand it's not that simple. That's what this book is about: figuring out what gender means, one human being at a time, and giving us new ways to let the world know who we are.
Boy, girl, either/or, neither/nor, everything in between: gender is a spectrum, and it's hard to know where you fit, especially when your position isn't necessarily fixed—and the spectrum keeps expanding. That's where Rethinking Gender can help: it gives you a toolbox for empathy, understanding, and self-exploration. Louie's journey includes a deep dive into the historical context of LGBTQIA+ rights activism and the evolution of gender discourse, politics, and laws—but it also explores these ideas through the diversity of expressions and experiences of people today.
In Rethinking Gender Louie offers a real-world take on what it means to be yourself, see yourself, and see someone else for who they are, too.
Conversations about gender have changed so much over the past years it can leave you wondering: What are people even talking about? Sometimes we don't know what to ask, how to answer, what words to use, what's helpful, and what's not. Rethinking Gender gives readers age 12 and up (and the parents, educators, activists, and other adults who participate in these conversations) a way to think about themselves and to talk about what sex and gender—in all their changing, often confusing forms—mean to them personally and to the world at large. The book is an engaging guide to what young people are going through when they navigate the ocean of possibilities that go by the name of “gender.”
Understanding what we don't know is always a good beginning, and Läuger provides historical context, including the history of gay rights activism, how gender discourse has evolved, and explanations of law and legal standings for trans people; cultural and social norms; and useful glossaries of up-to-date language to explore all the ways that gender might be experienced and expressed—from biology to emotions, subjectivity to style. Designed for thoughtful exploration, the book also includes worksheets for reviewing, taking notes, and making observations of your own.
“Rethinking Gender is a simple, friendly introduction that demystifies gender with real-world illustrations from a wide range of people. A perfect book for anybody who wants to explore their own gender, or to explain gender to others.”
Meg-John Barker, author of Gender: A Graphic Guide