Obviously, it’s an advice book. Yes! It’s based on an advice column from the website the Hairpin. Ask a Queer Chick is in chapter format, not Q-and-A, so it’s nicely conversational, but it’s derived from a whole mess of questions from a whole phalanx of queer chicks (and not queer chicks) of varying degrees of queerness. One of the book’s challenges is finding its audience, as it’s not easily targeting the asker of one question, but a sea of readers, whose makeup, never mind experience, is unknown.
King-Miller confronts this challenge by making this more of an “I think I might be…so what do I do now?” type of book, and she includes lots of food for thought. It’s tough. She’s not selling this as the newbie manual that I should have gotten when my girl got yet another toaster, which is at the level of ally-moving-into-needing-to-know-practicalities, and she’s also not marketing this as relationship advice from a guru among the flock. This title will probably best fit those exploring a newly discovered or claimed identity. There’s a lot of self-empowerment, a lot of self-protection, and a lot of context.
There are some big strengths here. I love reading advice books, especially when the advice is heartfelt and real, and when the advice giver clearly cares for the welfare of her readers. That’s the case here. There are sections on coming out, queer subculture, queer sex, breaking up, discrimination, marriage, and looking at your life with an eye to making it amazing. One of the biggest strengths of the book is in chapter 6, “Bi Any Means Necessary: Notes on Non-Monosexuality.” Please, someone, correct me loudly on this if I’m wrong, but I found the book in general to be nonbinary-positive and affirming.
Ask a Queer Chick should be a good resource for a few different groups of readers. Those who are questioning, those who are allies, and those who simply want some support can all draw excellent stuff from this volume. Additionally, King-Miller notes right off that she’s a cisgender queer chick, so she’s not claiming to be an authority on trans issues; however, she still thinks for trans chicks whose “sexual and romantic compass (doesn’t point) dudeward,” there’s plenty of useful material herein.