Afternoon Inqueery

AI: What do you recommend?

Every so often I run into someone who is unfamiliar with skepticism, or at least the skeptic movement as we know it. Each time, I find myself giving the brief explanation that we encourage critical thinking and try our best to combat misinformation when we see it. Then, if the person is interested in more, I tell them to read The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan, because it’s the best introduction to skepticism I’ve come across.

Introductions to other topics are a bit trickier. I find I’m met with blank stares when I try to explain things like fluid sexuality, polyamory, or the difference between a trans woman and a drag queen (seriously). It’s a little bit outside the realm of things that most people ever think about, let alone try to understand.

So what do you recommend? Are there any good books I should read or recommend to others? How do I get through to people who have no familiarity with LGBTQ issues at all?

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Bellis is a bisexual single mom. She spends her days toddler-wrangling, blogging, and preparing for a career as a Pharma Shill.


  1. February 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm —

    I second The Demon-Haunted World. Great book.

    I recommend White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism and Privilege, Power, and Difference to people unfamiliar with the concept of privilege.

    I, too, have not found a great primer book on sex, gender, and sexuality, but I do recommend Sexing the Body by Anne Fausto-Sterling to people interested in thinking more deeply on the subject.

    There’s also A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory by Nikki Sullivan that is a great primer on QT.

  2. February 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm —

    I typically recommend Wikipedia, which isn’t the BEST source, but it’s an all-around and if you don’t understand one phrase (ex. if you’re talking about trans issues and pansexuality comes up) you can easily link to that topic.

  3. February 17, 2012 at 2:43 am —

    as far as specifically atheism-related introductory posts and challenges to religious thought, i really like Greta Christina’s posts (“why x is a terrible argument for god”, etc). super articulate, super thought-out, super accessible.

    for lgbtq-related issues… is queereka planning on coming out with that resource list i heard mentioned a while back? that sounded like it could be a great place to refer people with questions about queer/trans things.

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