“Being queer has made me more sympathetic to people who are different, all across the board. It’s given me occasion to interrogate my own privilege and consider just how hard other people’s lives are. Because I know how hard my life was and it makes me more able to understand the burdens that other people carry in silence.”– Jennifer Finney Boylan, The Queer Advantage
Wow… Talk about a feel-good, inspiring book! 🥰 The Queer Advantage by Andrew Gelwicks is a powerful celebration of queerness via essays and interviews that focus on the following key themes: channeling anger in a positive way, the power of the Internet as a tool of self discovery, bridging generational gaps, leveraging your difference to beget new ideas and strategies, finding your queer tribe and leaning on one another, and accessing resources to conquer crippling denial/doubt/internalized homophobia.
This book features 50 high-profile individuals and each individual has a chapter in the book that is set up in an interview format between them and Andrew. Before the interview questions, Andrew provides some interesting background information on each of the individuals. I really liked the layout of this book and I learned so much about each of the people he interviewed. The people interviewed vary from celebrities, politicians, athletes, business leaders, tech leaders, and much more. I loved learning about how each of them navigated coming out to their friends/family/workplaces, their hard-won lessons along the way, and the variety of perspectives that these individuals offered on why their queerness has been advantageous to them and how it has propelled them to forge their own paths in their personal lives, their careers, etc.
“The biggest thing I have (certainly as a writer, but also in other ways) is belief in revision. If you don’t get something right the first time, your life isn’t over. To be willing to admit that any belief you have might be wrong, to be willing to have your mind changed, to be open to new knowledge. What is being transgender if not a kind of cosmic way of believing in the power of multiple drafts? Being trans made me understand you get a lot of shots in this life. It’s never too late to become yourself. It also helped me understand when I was forty that my life wasn’t over. That it was possible to start my life over as a woman and to take the goodness of my earlier life with me…”– Jennifer Finney Boylan, The Queer Advantage
My favorite take away, and one of the most common pieces of advice offered across all of the interviewees in the book, is the importance of being your most authentic self and bringing that to the table every day. When you are not living your most authentic life, you are only getting in the way of your genuine happiness, success, creativity and more.
“(Being gay) has made me more empathetic, more easily able to understand how other minority groups feel, and how fighting for a group that’s discriminated against is important. I grew up in Sandusky and 30 percent of my classmates were people of color. That was normal to me. But coming out as gay and living through those direct attacks- and understanding how unequal we were- helped me understand how unequal life was for my friends who were people of color. It helped build my sense of empathy, my willingness to speak up on another’s behalf, and to fight.”⁃ James Obergefell, The Queer Advantage
“Anytime you get to look at things from another point of view is an advantage. That’s why I think being different is always an advantage. The entire structure of the world is built for straight people, and we’re seeing it from a different angle. So if you bring that to bear on your creative projects or businesses, that’s always going to be an advantage.”⁃ Richie Jackson, The Queer Advantage
Needless to say, I loved this book and can’t wait for the public to get their hands on it! This book is truly for everyone and anyone and I highly recommend checking it out. The Queer Advantage by Andrew Gelwicks hits shelves on 10/13. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Hachette Books for gifting me this wonderful eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛
BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Queer Advantage by Andrew Gelwicks is best paired with Double Blueberry and Cherry Funk by Jailbreak Brewing Company. This highly delicious and refreshing fruit sour is made with blueberries and cherries and contains slight notes of stone fruit 🍻