By: Noah Young

"Genderqueer – A Story from a Different Closet" by Allan D. Hunter is partially a coming of age story and partially a window into the late 20th century. I think it is a very successful and powerful piece of literature and it forced me to reflect on my own upbringing and the different formative events that make me who I am.

The book makes it plain that the "Q" recently added to the LGBTQIA+ is necessary because the “T” for transgender doesn’t necessarily cover all of the individuals in the category of "Anyone whose gender is different from what people originally assumed it to be..." and the introduction of the Q gives genderqueer individuals both visibility and validation.

"Genderqueer – A Story from a Different Closet" starts off with the early childhood experiences of the protagonist, Derek, when he and his peers didn’t think too much of the differences that Derek knew set him apart even then. As time goes on, those same differences drive him apart from his peers and while he finds pockets of community along the way, they never seem to fit him until he comes out to himself and his community of people. That’s when the story starts to turn around in Derek’s favor. This proves that the power of having a name and an association to a group is very powerful and helpful to the mental health and sense of belonging of an individual.

I would recommend this book to anybody who is unsure of what genderqueer means. It’s a good read to those who are willing to share the very intimate experiences of another individual to learn how to be an ally and for members of the LGBTQIA+ community who is looking for validation. "Genderqueer – A Story from a Different Closet" is Allan Hunter’s first book and it will be published on March 16.

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