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By Jaimee Garbacik

Illustrations By Jeffrey Lewis

ISBN-13: 978-1-934389-69-0
Price: US $16.99
6x9, 224 pp
eBook ISBN: 978-1-934389-70-6
eBook Price: US $16.99
June 11, 2013

B/W Illustrations

"[a] text that targets young people and maintains an awareness of the intersectionality of identities and politics. The result is an articulate tour through diverse histories, addressing both popular and obscure texts from across the world, and in a variety of general and academic disciplines (biology, critical theory, and pop-psychology all receive fair shares of attention)."

Publisher's Weekly July 1, 2013 

What does sexual orientation mean if the very categories of gender are in question? How do we measure equality when our society’s definitions of “male” and “female” leave out much of the population? There is no consensus on what a “real” man or woman is, where one’s sex begins and ends, or what purpose the categories of masculine and feminine traits serve. While significant strides have been made in recent years on behalf of women’s, gay and lesbian rights, there is still a large division between the law and day-to-day reality for LGBTQIA and female-identified individuals in American society. The practices, media outlets and institutions that privilege heterosexuality and traditional gender roles as “natural” need a closer examination.

Gender & Sexuality For Beginners considers the uses and limitations of biology in defining gender. Questioning gender and sex as both categories and forms of compulsory identification, it critically examines the issues in the historical and contemporary construction, meaning and perpetuation of gender roles. Gender & Sexuality For Beginners interweaves neurobiology, psychology, feminist, queer and trans theory, as well as historical gay and lesbian activism to offer new perspectives on gender inequality, ultimately pointing to the clear inadequacy of gender categories and the ways in which the sex-gender system oppresses us all.

Gender & Sexuality For Beginners examines the evolution of gender roles and definitions of sexual orientation in American society, illuminating how neither is as objective or “natural” as we are often led to believe.


Jaimee Garbacik is the owner and founder of Footnote Editorial Services. An editor, writer and publishing consultant, she specializes in short story collections, young adult and literary fiction, cultural anthropology, gender studies, queer theory and food writing. Jaimee cut her teeth in publishing as the acquisitions editor for a major literary agency in Manhattan, handling editorial development for the agency’s more than 200 clients world-wide. Jaimee lives in Seattle, WA, where she is a member of the governing body at The Vera Project, a youth-led music and arts venue that provides experiential learning opportunities for all ages.


Jeffrey Lewis leads a double-life, as both a comic book writer/artist and a musician (or is that a triple-life?).  His band, Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, also has a multi-faceted existence, restlessly exploring a stylistic swath from contemplative folk narratives to distortion-fueled garage rock to soundscape abstractions and more.   Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard have toured the world from Los Angeles to London, Berlin to Beijing, Melbourne to Moscow, blowing minds all along the way and sometimes sharing stages or full tours with the likes of Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Devendra Banhart, Devo, The Mountain Goats, Thurston Moore, The Fall, The Vaselines, Roky Erickson, Pulp, and many other luminaries.    Jeffrey has been self-publishing a comic book series called "Fuff" since 2004, has lectured around the world on topics such as the Watchmen comic book and independently produced music, and in recent years his work has been featured by the History Channel, the New York Times, the Guardian, NPR, and elsewhere.  As of November 2012 his most recent projects have been creating the soundtrack for the film Radio Unnameable (distributed by Kino Lorber), and writing/drawing a comic book biography of Woody Guthrie which will appear in the Paul Buhle book Bohemians in 2013.


Amnesty International
Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights.

Reteaching Gender & Sexuality
"[Reteaching] produces media and other educational resources about the shifting dynamics of gender and sexuality among young people. We use these as tools to facilitate dialogue in communities and among students and practitioners in youth-serving professions."

The Gender Spectrum
Gender Spectrum provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens.

The Trevor Project
A national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.

If you ever need help, for 24/7 support call: 866.4.U.TREVOR 

PFLAG: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Support for families and friends of LGBT people. 

Safe Schools Coalition
International public-private partnership in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth; offers resources for educators, parents/guardians, and youth.

National Runaway Switchboard
LGBTQ-friendly assistance for runaways, homeless and at-risk youth, and their allies.

Accord Alliance
For intersex care and questions.

The Silvia Rivera Law Project
Provides free legal services and referrals on issues impacting transgender, gender nonconforming, and intersex people.

LGBTQ Student Resource Guide
This guide shows LGBTQ students the various on-campus and online resources they can use to help make college a more welcoming and supportive experience. 

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Committed to building LGBT power from grassroots efforts.

National Center for Trans Equality
Dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration, and empowerment.

LGBTQ Student Resources & Support
Creating more welcoming environments for LGBTQ Teens and College Students.



Queer America: A People's GLBT History of the United States by Vicki L. Eaklor  
Cultural and Political Context for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience in America from 1890 to 2009; series edited by Howard Zinn.

No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women 
by Estelle B. Freedman

Cross-cultural history of feminist movements and political concerns, women's representations, and economic positioning. 

Asexy Life: On Asexuality and Challenging Heteronormativity by n.b.
What asexuality means; stories and accounts from asexual people.

Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality 
by Anne Fausto-Sterling

Gender politics and scientific deconstructions of sex, gender and sexuality.

Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens by Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke
The 411 for any gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning teen.

Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation edited by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman
Trans and genderqueer voices and essays.

Learning Good Consent by Cindy Crabb
Assault prevention and verbal consent.

Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences by Rebecca M. Jordan-Young
On weaknesses in brain organization theory and methods of conducting sex difference studies.

Queer Youth Cultures edited by Susan Driver
Essays on political and artistic cultural practices of queer youth, from zine-making to organizing resistance.

Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook edited by Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell and Pat Griffin
Resource for teachers who want to be accountable to diversity.

Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law 
by Dean Spade

Rethinking law, the justice system, social services and strategies for seeking justice and equality, particularly as relates to trans people.

Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs by Rosalind Barnett and Caryl Rivers
 Sex difference science and its flaws, misleading data and effects.

Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness and Liberation by Eli Clare
Queer and disability politics; introduction to understanding oppression.

Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine
Society’s construction of gender through parenting, education, and neuroscience.

GenderQueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary 
edited by Joan Nestle, Clare Howell and Riki Wilchins

Stories and essays from people who identify outside the gender binary.

My Gender Workbook  by Kate Bornstein
Guide to discovering, rethinking and understanding your gender identity.

Queer Theory, An Introduction by Annemarie Jagose
Academic introduction to queer theory.

Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America 
by Lillian Faderman

History of lesbian life, culture and experience in America.

Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
Crucial queer theory text.

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
Crucial feminist theory text.


Supplemental Reference Guide

Stream Book Playlist


Bibliography & Acknowledgements




The following facts are taken from Gender & Sexuality For Beginners:

• Women weren’t allowed on American juries until 1975.

• Federal funding cuts for women’s health care do not only limit access to abortions, but leave women without access to breast exams, cervical cancer screenings, and other crucial preventative care. In Texas, federal funding for women's health care was cut by two-thirds in early 2012.

• Violent crimes motivated by biases or prejudice are considered “hate crimes” in the United States (as well as in most of the European Union and several other countries), and result in longer or stricter sentences due to the crimes’ severity and impact on both victims and targeted groups’ stigmatization.

• It is legal in more than half of the U.S. to fire someone purely on the basis of their trans identification (37 states as of 2009).

• Only 13% of America’s engineers and architects, or 32% of physicians and surgeons are women.

• In some countries, including Germany, Australia, Finland, Canada, Russia, and the U.K. (as well as 34 U.S. states), you must legally disclose your HIV-positive status to all sexual partners. Intentionally or recklessly endangering someone by exposing them to HIV without their consent is illegal in many places—it can even be charged as murder. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1.2 million people in the United States are currently living with an HIV infection. 1 in 5 Americans with HIV do not know that they are infected.

• A staggering 61% of American trans people report having been physically assaulted as a result of their gender identity, and 64% report having been sexually assaulted. Given underreporting, actual figures of drastic mistreatment are no doubt significantly higher.

• 41% of adult trans persons have attempted suicide at some point in their life, as opposed to 1.6% of the overall population. By this estimate, trans people are 26 times more likely to attempt suicide than cisgender people. Studies indicate that this statistic reflects the effects of severe discrimination on trans people, not a medical issue.

• Until 1973, homosexuality was classified in the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a mental disorder. It has since been removed and is no longer considered a disorder of any kind or unhealthy in any way by most psychologists.

• Only 16% of Hollywood films feature women protagonists.


Short Documentary: A Day in Our Shoes - Homeless LGBT Youth

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Thank you and enjoy!

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