Stuck for that last-minute Christmas gift? Karen Pollock has some suggestions for the queer people in your life (or even yourself, as it is the season to be giving)
We have all been there, looking for that last-minute Christmas gift, and trying to avoid the obvious. When we throw in trying to find the ideal present for a queer family member, friend, partner or paramour, things can get even more complicated. This list is by no means comprehensive, or complete, but hopefully might prove more welcome than a Lynx Africa gift set
I am one of those people who believes that you can never have enough books. This year has been a bumper year for filling the bookshelves. My first suggestion is Queer- a Graphic History by Meg -John Barker. Queer theory can feel very daunting, especially if you can’t spell Foucault, never mind read him. In this graphic style comic book Meg John explores how queer theory has influenced current ideas around gender and sexuality in a very accessible way. In understanding how current norms were reached, we are better able to decide if these are norms which apply to us.
Another great accessible book released this year is Trans Like Me, by CN Lester. I reviewed this book earlier this year, and it mixes the political and personal in a timely, and engaging way. From the suicide of Lucy Meadows, to the abuse from partners of Trans people, it is a book which pulls no punches, but it never oversteps the mark into misery memoir, always making points about wider society.
A book that I have found incredibly useful, and which I would recommend to anyone who works with Gender, Sexuality or Relationship DIversity is Sexuality and Gender for Mental Health Professionals by Meg-John Barker and Christina Richards. Despite the name this is not a heavy academic tome, and great for anyone struggling to remember their cissexist from their hetronormative.
If you are looking for a book for younger family members Are You a Boy or a Girl? By Sarah Savage and Fox Fisher is a great introduction for preschoolers of the vital message for us all – that it is OK to be who you are. Who Are You? A kid’s guide to gender identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee is a great book for older primary school children, with a straightforward attitude which answers many questions children may have about their own, and others gender identity.
A quite different gift idea is a gift voucher from Sh! Women’s Store. As far as I know this place is unique, in that cis men are only allowed in if accompanied by a responsible adult! (or a non cis man). A store set up for women, by women, it has expanded to be wonderfully queer and trans inclusive, with well trained staff. If you are worried about visiting a sex shop, or a sex shop website, this might be the place to start.
However you plan to celebrate Christmas this year, and who ever you spend it with, may it be a peaceful, and nurturing time.
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