Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer: Eir Search of Identity

I am proud to present a guest posting from Bobbi Trunck, who has been interning with Heights Libraries for the past two months. She enjoys reading graphic novels and asked that the Matchmakers share this one with you. Enjoy!

The journey of finding identity and place in society is a common theme in literature because it is a relatable experience. This is particularly true for those who are navigating gender and sexual identity; which can be lifelong, sometimes difficult, but also a fulfilling journey of self-discovery. Maia Kobabe’s (who uses e/em/eir pronouns) debut graphic novel, Gender Queer, illustrates and narrates a story of the complexities of identity and the bumpy road of finding yourself.

Kobabe’s story starts with eir childhood, where e does not feel entirely like a girl, but not entirely like a boy either, causing a lot of confusion from an early age. The story continues to follow Kobabe’s life into college and adulthood. What unfolds is a deeply personal narrative of Kobabe discovering eir gender and sexual identity, which e realizes early on is not that same as most of eir peers. Despite feeling like an outsider, Kobabe does share stories of finding people who have had similar experiences, helping Kobabe feel like e is not alone.

Kobabe does not just merely narrate the story of eir life, but captures how e views the world around em and delves deeply into eir imagination. Even with Kobabe’s introspection of eir life, the graphic novel goes by quickly. The detailed illustrations draw the reader into Kobabe’s world and helps the reader understand what e is going through as a non-binary and asexual individual.

As Kobabe’s first graphic novel it is an excellent personal narrative and beautifully illustrated. Anybody who enjoys LGBTQ+ stories and are fans of Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir, Fun Home, will enjoy Maia Kobabe’s graphic novel.

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