Voices of LGBTQ+: A Conversation Starter for Understanding, Supporting, and Protecting Gay, Bi, Trans, and Queer People

Lynda Wolters. Mascot, $24.95 (200p) ISBN 978-1-64543-148-0

Blogger Wolters (Voices of Cancer) provides a cursory survey of the realities and complications of LGBTQ lives. As a mother of a gay son, Wolters lays out some basics of sexual diversity, including details of gender confirmation surgery, and explains her desire to focus largely on trans individuals, who she feels are “unfairly marginalized and invisible to the vast majority of the [populace].” She provides a real sense of the problem of family abandonment before offering a summary of various religious responses to the LGBTQ community, including both rejection and affirmation. She then turns to current political debates, particularly bathroom laws and the thwarted campaign in her native Idaho to expand antidiscrimination legislation to include sexual orientation and gender identity. She closes with suggestions for providing more support to LGBTQ loved ones, such as encouraging inclusive language and creating safe spaces. While Wolters shares affecting stories, the repetition of testaments from the same individuals and some broad generalizations (“there is a social order within the LGBTQ+ community... with ‘lipstick lesbians’—the term for ‘conventionally beautiful’ women—being the pinnacle of them all”) raise questions about the depth of her research. For those entirely unfamiliar with queer lives, this is a workable introduction, but it’s too basic for most readers. (Aug.)