Queer there and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager

Queer there and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World

This first-ever LGBTQ history book of its kind for young adults will appeal to fans of fun, empowering pop-culture books like Rad American Women A-Z and Notorious RBG. Three starred reviews! World history has been made by countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals—and you’ve never heard of many of them. Queer author and activist Sarah Prager delv...

Title:Queer there and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World
Author:
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Number of Pages:272 pages

Queer there and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World Reviews

  • Saruuh Kelsey

    "And as we see in all of these transformative lives, and from the effect reading them has on us today, however you want to live is valid and important-because the mere fact of you, living, makes the world more radiant.

    Live bravely."

    Um? So I'm meant to review this now? Can my review be a recording of me sitting in a corner, crying in gratitude and understanding of these people? (And crying from anger on their behalf, too.)

    Look, bottom line: read this. Queer or not, read it. Trans or NB or Cis, re

    "And as we see in all of these transformative lives, and from the effect reading them has on us today, however you want to live is valid and important-because the mere fact of you, living, makes the world more radiant.

    Live bravely."

    Um? So I'm meant to review this now? Can my review be a recording of me sitting in a corner, crying in gratitude and understanding of these people? (And crying from anger on their behalf, too.)

    Look, bottom line: read this. Queer or not, read it. Trans or NB or Cis, read it. It will make you feel a full gamut of feelings - hopelessness, despair, fury, empathy, and it'll probably make you smile and laugh. Most of all, if you are queer, this book is full of so much hope and determination. This book is a gift. I want a second volume immediately!

  • Alexis  (TheSlothReader)

    Overall I thought this was a very informative look at 23 queer individuals from history, some well known and some unheard of. I really liked Prager's conversational and humorous tone in regards to these people's lives. I learned about a lot of people I'd never even heard of and several of these small entries made me tear up. I liked the focus more on the things these people accomplished than being an emphasis on them being queer. I just wish the entries had been longer so that I could have gotte

    Overall I thought this was a very informative look at 23 queer individuals from history, some well known and some unheard of. I really liked Prager's conversational and humorous tone in regards to these people's lives. I learned about a lot of people I'd never even heard of and several of these small entries made me tear up. I liked the focus more on the things these people accomplished than being an emphasis on them being queer. I just wish the entries had been longer so that I could have gotten more information on these people.

  • Emily May

    Try and read this without becoming an emotional wreck. Just try.

    is an interesting, accessible, wonderful history book. It offers short biographies on twenty-three queer people throughout history, and serves as a reminder that gay, bi, trans, genderqueer, nonconforming, intersex, asexual and others all have long, beautiful, difficult histories. From Ancient Rome to modern d

    Try and read this without becoming an emotional wreck. Just try.

    is an interesting, accessible, wonderful history book. It offers short biographies on twenty-three queer people throughout history, and serves as a reminder that gay, bi, trans, genderqueer, nonconforming, intersex, asexual and others all have long, beautiful, difficult histories. From Ancient Rome to modern day San Francisco, a single resounding cry echoes through the millennia:

    .

    I love that the author has remembered all these people so beautifully. She offers many of them in death what they were often denied in life - the correct gender pronouns - and, where possible, Prager has included direct quotes from them, capturing their humanity so that they become more than long-gone figures of history. They become painfully real.

    Some of these chapters are heartwarming true romances, others about a lifelong fight for identity and rights, and a few are educational tales about the darkest times of history. I now really want to read Josef Kohout's (Heinz Heger) account of his time as a gay prisoner during the Second World War:

    . I have read many memoirs from Jewish holocaust survivors, but none from gay survivors, and I plan to remedy that.

    Though I did know this, it was great to get a reminder that the history of LGBTQIA+ people is not all about hatred and intolerance. I'm sure many teens will be interested in learning about how early societies often accepted non-het and trans people, and it was common for rulers to take both husbands and wives. Contrary to popular belief, the persecution of queer people rose with Christianity, particularly in the fifteenth to twentieth centuries.

    If anything, I just wish that the book had contained

    as well. The intro talked about queerness all across the globe, and yet none of the twenty-three people were from Asia, Africa or South America. Though many were POC. I would love to see more books on queer history from the author, and to see them expand to include other people around the world.

    That being said,

    . The relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Joshua had me in tears, as did the love between Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. I cannot explain the happiness I felt upon learning that Albert Cashier (transgender Civil War soldier) was not misgendered in death, and was allowed to have his true name on his headstone. And, oh shit, this from Glenn Burke (gay baseball player):

    I'm not crying, I swear. *sobs*

    Just... a beautiful book. The author's engaging, conversational tone made it so easy to read too. How I wish I had

    when I was a teen.

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  • Eric Smith

    This book is fantastic and so, so important. More non-fiction like this in YA, please.

  • Gillian

    I really enjoyed reading that! I love this kind of non-fiction, even if it really is a basic sort of starter kit with a very clear bias (a bias which I also share, obvs, but which makes it seem a little less HISTORICALLY HISTORICAL and more like historical fun which...wait, why am I complaining about this again). It made me want to research the various figures profiled in here in more detail. I loved the overall message of hope and togetherness and being yourself. I think this is a deeply awesom

    I really enjoyed reading that! I love this kind of non-fiction, even if it really is a basic sort of starter kit with a very clear bias (a bias which I also share, obvs, but which makes it seem a little less HISTORICALLY HISTORICAL and more like historical fun which...wait, why am I complaining about this again). It made me want to research the various figures profiled in here in more detail. I loved the overall message of hope and togetherness and being yourself. I think this is a deeply awesome book to put in the hands of queer teens and history nerds alike. A lot of the figures I knew quite a bit about, some I knew of but had NO FREAKIN' IDEA they were even RUMORED to be queer (Abe Lincoln?? WHO KNEW NOT I) and some I shamefully had never even heard of and now want to go read up on.

    The only reason it doesn't get a full five is because it really juuuust skims the surface of each profiled figure, and there's a lack of geographic diversity in the chosen figures. In the Afterward thingamabob, Prager does mention how much she wishes she could have expanded her sights, but for what she wanted to do, she needed to choose historical figures with more sources. I get that, I do, but it still would have been nice to at least have some mini profiles or something about queer figures from different corners of the globe.

    Another thing that mildly put me off were the sort of ~fictionalized~ intro bits from the 3rd person pov of the figures themselves. The further we moved in time, the more uncomfortable they became for me--like it felt vaguely presumptuous to assume what these people were thinking and feeling, even if I'm sure it was derived from research and sources and whatnot. Though I have to say, I was really not okay with the one from Father Mychal Judge's POV, detailing his death on 9/11. Other people may be okay with that level of detail, but it actually quite upset me, considering the tone of the rest of the book was so hopeful and lovely even when some of the stories were tragic.

    But overall, that was really great, and I hope there are more queer history books for young adults in the future. Maybe even a volume two with some figures that didn't make the cut! Also, all the stars for that title, because DUH.

  • Laura

    Today is a time when this book is just so incredibly important for some to understand that queerness has

    been around before we even had words to label the acts occurring. I am approaching this from the perspective of someone who views firsthand the resistance of certain people to recognize the way a person identifies - they refuse to accept the normality..joke about the preferred pronoun, and just cannot understand. It infuriates me so much. But this book is a step to remedy such ignoranc

    Today is a time when this book is just so incredibly important for some to understand that queerness has

    been around before we even had words to label the acts occurring. I am approaching this from the perspective of someone who views firsthand the resistance of certain people to recognize the way a person identifies - they refuse to accept the normality..joke about the preferred pronoun, and just cannot understand. It infuriates me so much. But this book is a step to remedy such ignorance. While this book doesn’t provide all of the information by any means..what it does do is illustrate that queer people have always been around.

    Some of the people included are prominent historical figures who impacted the world in ways that earned their way into our history classes not having anything to do with their queerness, but this doesn’t take away from what they in fact were. Great men (and women) do great things. What shouldn’t matter is what your sexuality or gender is (or skin color for that matter). It is the individual. What is harmful is pretending their feelings did not exist and rewriting their histories to make us more comfortable. Assuming someone is straight because history doesn't outright say otherwise is illogical. The idea here is this:

    Some of these individuals did incredible things for the queer rights movement, whether it was acknowledged at that time or not. Some of these individuals may not have "changed the world" as much as some of the others, but they all were ahead of their time in that they weren't afraid to be themselves and there is a very beautiful thing in that.

    The chapters are fairly short with mini biographies on each of the twenty three people included. Many queer identities are represented in these pages, though I cannot say all are. I still think the author did an excellent job at including the several that are. The book is well-researched with an annotated bibliography, plus a glossary. Also, the illustrations were lovely.

    What would have been nice is if the book didn’t focus so much on European and North American individuals. I appreciated every person included. It just feels harmful for the book to be called

    and ultimately leave out the everywhere part. I loved learning about the history of queerness, however brief, all around the world as it was provided in the intro where the author touches on Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Latin America too. I just wish there was more information. And definitely individuals included from these nations in the 23 people who changed the world. I am left hoping that Sarah Prager decides to write an additional volume..maybe even more. It would be nice to see more individuals represented and have more information too.

    This book shows that history can be fun!

  • Romie

    I had such a great time reading this book!

    At first I was a bit worried that this book would end up being boring, but not at all. I've read this book so quickly and learned so much.

    I liked the w

    I had such a great time reading this book!

    At first I was a bit worried that this book would end up being boring, but not at all. I've read this book so quickly and learned so much.

    I liked the way it was written because I didn't feel like someone was patronizing me, or just giving a Historical course, no, I felt like someone was telling me all these things, that we had a conversation.

    I have to be honest, I didn't know most of these people, like I only knew Jeanne D'Arc, Abraham Lincoln, Lili Elbe, Frida Kahlo, Eleanor Roosevelt, Alan Turing, Harvey Milk and George Takei . . . and I didn't even know most of them were queer in some way.

    So knowing about all these queer people who shaped our world and our community, was just amazing. It's true that you never think if a Historical figure was or wasn't straight, most of the time, you just assume, and you assume wrong.

    I loved reading about each of them, their life, what they accomplished, what happened to them, what they did for the community and how brave they all were in their own way.

    It's definitely a book I would recommend to everybody, you don't have to be ‘queer’ to enjoy this book, you being straight doesn't mean you won't learn something interesting. This book is for everybody who wants to learn. Learn about the truth.

    3.5

    P.S. I'm changing my rating from 4.75 to 3.5 because in her definition of LGBTQIA+ the author said A stood for Ally and NO. BY DOING THIS YOU'RE ERASING EVERY SEXUALITY BEGINNING WITH A. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? The A never stood for Ally and it's not going to happen any time soon. If you call yourself an ally and seriously think the A stands for you, then you're not an ally.

    Around the Year in 52 books 2017.

    25. A book about a famous historical figure

  • Chelsea (Octavia)

    I'm honestly just really happy this book exists! This is a collection of mini (micro, really, they're only like 3-5 pages each) biographies of people throughout history who likely identified as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. It's awesome that these sorts of books are being published, and I hope there are more in the future. It's not the best written thing, and it could have gone a lot more in depth, but this is a very important book nonetheless. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to learn ab

    I'm honestly just really happy this book exists! This is a collection of mini (micro, really, they're only like 3-5 pages each) biographies of people throughout history who likely identified as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. It's awesome that these sorts of books are being published, and I hope there are more in the future. It's not the best written thing, and it could have gone a lot more in depth, but this is a very important book nonetheless. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to learn about all of the awesome people included in this! 3 1/2 stars

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