Book Review: Untangling the Knot: Queer Voices on Marriage, Relationships & Identity ed. Carter Sickles

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Expected Publication Date: Feb. 2015

Untangling the Knot: Marriage, Relationships & Identity,” an anthology of essays and creative nonfiction, delves past the mainstream focus on marriage equality beyond the knot to examine the broad scope of issues facing members of the LGBTQ community. The collection sheds light on what marriage equality actually means for queer communities. By confronting the concept of tradition through personal discourse, this volume seeks to create conversation amongst the diverse members of the LGBTQ community and their straight allies to prompt a larger, grander, and more realistic vision of what marriage equality really means for those living in the United States. “Untangling the Knot: Marriage, Relationships & Identity” includes the voices of many individuals who are underrepresented in the modern discourse surrounding LGBTQ rights, and these unique perspectives may change the direction of that conversation for good. (synopsis from Goodreads)

Rating: 10/10

Equality doesn’t stop at marriage, and this collection of short stories written by under-represented voices in the LGBTQ community bring this fact out into the open. Edited by Carter Sickles, and with stories by Ariel Gore, Trish Bendix and many other talented LGBTQ writers, this anthology brings to our attention the many obstacles that are still to come in the fight for equality.

While we celebrate the fact that marriage equality is quickly gaining its footing in most states, this anthology points out that the fight is not over. Many in the LGBTQ community have had to fight for a voice in the growing LGBTQ conversation and this books allows those voices to speak out.

In the struggle to convince Americans that families that consist of lesbian and gay couples are, “just like straight couples,” we have ignored the fact that not all families function in the “traditional” format, and in fact, many don’t. And don’t want to. Making the assumption that all families want to function in the same way does more harm than good, and while it is amazing that many gay couples are now able to be married like they have always wanted, there are many others who are forced to ask, “Well, what about us?”

This eye-opening collection will make you question your own assumptions of how families work in today’s society and ask some important questions. How can we better able help families who do not fit into the traditional framework of “family” with healthcare benefits? How can I help change how society views transsexuals, not just at home, but in the workplace?

No matter how much you believe you know about the lives of those in the LGBTQ community, you will learn something new from this book. Whether it be difficulties in finding and keeping employment for transsexuals because of discrimination or how complicated the healthcare system can be to navigate for non-traditional families, there is so much to learn within its pages.

I would recommend this book not only to those in the LGBTQ community, but to their allies. I recommend it to anybody who believes in equality for all. And then I recommend that you share what you learn from this book with those who are not allies and possibly change their minds.

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