The year was 2020 and Juno Dawson announced she was releasing a new nonfiction book as a follow up to her smash hit ‘This book is gay’. As avid fans of her books, this was amazing news, Unfortunately, it then got delayed to 2021, so close yet so far! Yet as ever good things come to those who wait right?
But then, the notifications on social media started promoting its release and the excited butterflies flew round in our tummies. ‘What’s the T?’ was finally coming out! We ordered ours through the amazing people at Gays The Word online, whilst we love a Waterstones shopping and supporting independent is the best way to book buy! They also gift wrap their books with love, along with lovely handwritten notes and collectible postcards – which we both use as bookmarks. With a pre-order of Juno’s new book, you could get a personalized signed bookplate! We then waited eagerly for it to arrive.
Juno Dawson is an amazing writer who we’ve been a fan of for a long time (check out our ‘Author of the week’ section for more information about her) releasing her first book ‘Hollow Pike’ way back in 2012, she has gone on to write a lot of fiction books since then. Not only fiction but has created incredibly informative and easily accessible nonfiction books which give the reader an easy-to-understand guide of the topics they’re written about. These include- ‘This Book Is Gay’, ‘Being A Boy’, ‘Mind Your Head’, and ‘The Gender Games.’
So the books arrived with our signed bookplates and we jumped right in! And what a book it was ‘What’s The T?’ is a journey through the minefield of being Transgender/Non-Binary and sets out to answer the questions we all want to know. We’ve read quite a lot of books on LGBTQ+ topics but this book sets it straight (no pun intended) and tells you everything you need to know in a simple yet informative way. Juno Dawson is so talented at navigating this tightrope, we all want to further our learning and learn how to be good allies. However many of us don’t want to ask questions as we feel we should be putting the work in ourselves, this book set out to do just that. It makes you angry in parts and the injustices trans people face on a daily basis, and the restrictions on their basic human rights inflicted by our government.
Juno balances out the serious passages with light-hearted jokes with her readers, it’s almost like she’s talking to you over coffee, making the topic easy to read for everyone. For those who particularly want to be supportive allies, those making choices on transitioning or questioning their gender, and even a section for parents/carers to support their child during an important time in their life. What makes the book stand out is it could easily and hopefully be distributed to schools that can make an unfamiliar topic an easier to discuss topic. June gives the reader a wide range of information but not in a ‘know it all’ way, the illustrations complement the nature of the book, alongside illustrations of important transfigures you should all be aware of, those who have changed the game for trans in the media, sports, science, etc again important info that can be carried on for further reading. Once again line-drawn Juno is our personal favorite!
For anyone thinking of transitioning or who wants to know more about the topic, this is a go-to book for sure! Not only is it informative but it’s also fun to read. Juno highlights throughout that everyone’s journey is different, that you don’t need to transition surgically to feel transitioned. ‘What’s The T’ left us wanting to be more supportive than ever, we need to do more to support our trans brothers and sisters as well as our nonbinary friends. There are various helplines and charities that can support trans people questioning their gender, and for those who are allies arm yourself with knowledge and help donate crowdfunders if you can!
If you loved ‘What’s the T’ and wish to carry on educating yourself about gender/sexuality Juno has multiple must-reads, our recommendation is ‘Gender Games’ which deconstructs the harmful and ridiculousness of traditional gender stereotypes.
Be sure to follow Juno on all social media’s and for all your shopping needs visit Gay’s the Word!
Official Website: www.junodawson.com
Gays the word: