Here and Queer: A Queer Girl's Guide to Life
Rowan Ellis has written a frank, inclusive and kind guide to discovering your sexuality and dealing with the good and bad stuff that comes with it. She takes on the role of the cool older sister who tells you everything you want to know, while also giving you the tools to keep yourself safe. The book provides a glossary of terms associated with the LGBTQ+ community, looks at issues such as mental health, homophobia, and consent and also celebrates people who have made a difference to the lives of queer people.
She tells readers it’s okay to be confused and to change your mind because there are no rules. “There’s no need to rush. Trust yourself, reach out for support through the journey and know that you are in control of your own identity.”
It is aimed at a young adult audience but the book could also be a useful resource for parents who want to be supportive, but also have questions.
The vibrant and fun illustrations from Irish illustrator Jacky Sheridan help to reinforce the positive and encouraging message. The history of LGBTQ+ people sometimes feels mired in tragedy but the author also talks about the joy of finding out who you are and of gathering a tribe of like-minded friends around you. “You have such a brilliant life ahead of you, full of queer joy,” she tells her readers, “so go out there and live it”. This book would have been devoured by so many LGBTQ+ adults if it had been available when they were teenagers.