LGBTQ Life in America: Examining the Facts

ABC-CLIO. Dec. 2021. 221p. ISBN 9781440875052. $65. REF
Michelson (political science, Menlo Coll., CA) and Harrison (Humphrey Sch. of Public Affairs, Univ. of Minnesota)—the co-authors of 2020’s Transforming Prejudice: Identity, Fear, and Transgender Rights—ask and answer 49 questions across seven chapters on the myths, misconceptions, and misinformation about LGBTQ people in the United States. They explain and describe what it means to be LGBTQ, what the different segments of the LGBTQ community have in common and how they differ, how societal and cultural expectations place an undue burden on LGTBQ people, and the ways in which the movement for LGBTQ rights continues. Each chapter begins with a question, followed by a brief response, several pages of in-depth discussion explaining the answer, and a concluding further reading section. The topics are thought-provoking and wide-ranging, addressing everything from the changing meaning of the word queer to the differences between sexual orientation and gender identity, origins of the LGBTQ movement, types of discrimination against LGBTQ people, and the intersection of race and sexuality. The authors are exceedingly knowledgeable, and their answers are detailed, quantifiable, and evidence based. Equally important, they write in an evenhanded and inviting tone, expertly providing their core audience of high school and undergraduate students and general readers a much deeper understanding of the topic.
VERDICT Accurately describes the diversity, challenges, and needs of LGBTQ Americans while at the same time dispelling false, misleading, and long-held misperceptions in an unbiased, fact-based, and engaging style.
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