Queerfully and Wonderfully Made: A Guide for LGBTQ+ Christian Teens
Author: Various, edited by Leigh Finke
Rating: 4/5
Reviewed By: CHARLIE SAUNDERS with contributions from MACKENZIE STEELE

If you weren’t clued in by the big rainbow on the front of the cover, or the cool punny title, this amazing book is the LGBTQIA+ teen’s (or their allies’) most valuable guide, especially if you are Christian. It can be really hard to navigate identity as a super cool Rainbow Person when your environment doesn’t always want you to be. In the media and in real experience, churches are often unfriendly environments where it is at best stressful to be yourself. However, fabulous LGBTQIA+ Christians and accepting churches do exist – and this book is here to help.

Queerfully And Wonderfully Made is a LGBTQIA+ handbook, but at its core it is about self-love and self-acceptance. The parts that really resonated with me talked about being yourself and not hiding it, and why it is healthiest to be yourself – and what to do if you can’t express yourself in your environment right now. It’s very good in a Christian context, addressing how we are all made how we are by God, but it also talks about the basics too. There are chapters exploring genders and sexual orientation, and all the other stuff that should be taught in schools. Whether you are questioning or supporting someone who is, there is something for you. And if you are further along in your rainbow journey, it still has a lot to offer.

I wish I had this book when I was 14, I would have found it very useful. This is the kind of book that should be in a school counsellor’s office. I, like many others, had to find things on the internet and really hone the algorithms on social media to get the content I needed. It’s hard and confusing, but this book has it all in one place.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 because it’s a very friendly and informative book. I even learned some stuff that I didn’t know before, so it was useful for me. However, the resources are American, and it would be really helpful if someone could write a book more relevant to New Zealand teens and their allies, with resources we can access.

This is a book for everyone. Whether you are a Christian LGBTQIA+ teen, or an ally of one, or you belong to a church and want to be more rainbow-friendly, or are an LGBTQIA+ teen with Christian friends or family, this book will help you. I think you should read it.

For more information and resources, check out InsideOUT and RainbowYouth, two amazing New Zealand organisations for LGBTQIA+ youth. If you need to talk to anyone about these issues, try OutLine

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