REVIEW: ‘A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns

A genderqueer artist, Archie, and a cisgender company owner, Tristan, team up to talk about gender-neutral pronouns. The former is tired of the confusion and misunderstanding lurking around gender-neutral pronouns, and the latter is looking for ways to introduce gender-neutral language into his workplace. Together, these longtime best friends guide us in this short, cute comic to explain the use of gender-neutral pronouns and why they matter to both non-binary and cisgender people alike. A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns is published by Limerence Press, an imprint of Oni Press, written by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson, penciled by Bongiovanni, and lettered by Crank!.

Both Archie and Tristan share the limelight in this guide; they share the responsibility of addressing readers and teaching them about they/them pronouns. It’s a pretty smart idea; there is plenty readers can learn from an ally or a non-binary person’s perspective on the matter. And together, it makes for an informative yet fun read.

At face value alone, those readers who are nonbinary will easily relate to all the emotions Archie experiences. And even if you don’t personally relate to non-binary troubles, the art expresses Archie wonderfully. It’s a bit whimsical, but the agony of being misgendered repeatedly and being misunderstood easily comes through. And while Archie can express themself from a non-binary perspective, Tristan gives readers an outside perspective.

Tristan takes the reigns from a cisgender perspective—a perspective many readers are likely coming from. He explains why, of course, gender-neutral pronouns are important to use for someone in your life. But gender-neutral pronouns are also important for cisgender people, especially when it comes to being gender-inclusive, like in the workplace. Tristan easily explains how a cisgender ally can work on changing their language, telling readers what to say when they inevitably mess up, and how so long as you keep trying, you’re already ahead of the curve. While it’s important to hear from non-binary people, learning from an ally can be even more enlightening for some.

While the topics Archie and Tristan speak about can be very serious—proper representation is never something to laugh about—the art is at times waggish, and there’s a good helping of jokes to lighten the mood. But some of the jokes feel a little like inside jokes for allies and LGBTQ+ people. And while that wouldn’t necessarily be a problem in and of itself, I can see where some jokes would be confusing or even inflammatory to people not in the know, which feels like something you would want to avoid for a book like this. Still, people in the community will get some hearty laughs.

My only criticism about the art is its lack of color. Archie’s linework is well done, but their art would have reached farther with a splash of color here or there. Perhaps maybe even a bit of shadow. I can just imagine how colorful Archie’s clothing could be, so it just feels flat without any color.

A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns is a very accessible guide. While some jokes will go over the heads of people who are not in the LGBTQ+ community (or allies), it’s nevertheless a great read to understand the pain of being misgendered, how to be a good friend or family member (or person), and why gender-inclusivity is important.

A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns is available now wherever comics are sold.


A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns
4.5

TL;DR

A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns is a very accessible guide. While some jokes will go over the heads of people who are not in the LGBTQ+ community (or allies), it’s nevertheless a great read to understand the pain of being misgendered, how to be a good friend or family member (or person), and why gender-inclusivity is important.