Friday, July 8, 2016

"You Can Tell Just By Looking"

"You Can Tell Just By Looking"

Adult nonfiction
"One of the functions of myths is to fill in gaps in knowledge
between yourself and others, between us and them. Myths help to
police the boundaries between same and different, known and unknown,
setting up some differences (whiteness, heterosexuality, Christianity,
able-bodiedness) as the very measure of what it is to be normal,
natural, and human..."
Setting up a binary with one side seen as normal and natural and
the other side anything but creates fertile ground for the creation of
myths. As researchers Michael Bronski, Ann Pellegrini, and Michael
Amico show in "You Can Tell Just By Looking" And 20 Other Myths about
LGBT Life and People, issues of sexuality and sexual orientation
abound with them.
This compact and reasonably priced paperback is, in my mind, one
of the most cogent explorations of myths such as:
*All transgender people have sex-reassignment surgery;
*Most homophobes are repressed homosexuals;
*All religions condemn homosexuality; and
*There's no such thing as a gay or trans child because the authors,
rather than straight up affirming or refuting, set the issues in the
context of the complex, messy world we all live in. LGBT people and
life circumstances are amazingly diverse. They and all of us live in
a world where sexuality and sexual orientation intersect with other
facets of identity--nationality, race, religion, socioeconomic status
to name just a few. Readers are encouraged to look at the much wider
picture and question assumptions includingly the ones we unknowingly
This fine book is surely on my short list of books about LGBTQ
issues every thinking person should read.
On a personal note, I was very pleased that Orono Public Library made
a prominent display of LGBTQ related books during Pride Month.
A great big shout out goes out to Orono Public Library.
jules hathaway

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