The Queens' English: The Young Readers' LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases

Image of The Queens' English: The Young Readers' LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases
Release Date: 
April 30, 2024
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Reviewed by: 

The Queens’ English is a massive dictionary for children, ages 10 and up. It’s not about a monarch across the ocean. It’s about every slang word a person needs to know pertaining to the LGBTQIA+ community. The best part is that each word is used in a sentence to provide context.  If a person has a family member in this community, the dictionary can help explain stuff. “DOXX, verb, Exposing someone’s personal and/or confidential information online without permission. I can’t believe Terry doxed me online. She outed me as trans using my deadname on Facebook. It’s a nightmare.”

The pages are full of color. There are graphics on every page. Each page is divided down the middle with a vertical bar to form two columns. There is plenty of white space to write notes. Often a page will include a side-bar box titled, “Did You Know?” “The term “friend of Dorothy” gained contemporary usage as a reference to actress Judy Garland’s role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Garland was adored by the gay community and remains a gay icon.”

Sprinkled throughout the dictionary are special pages explaining LGBTQIA+ topics such as “Tucking and Binding 101” to describe how transgender people deal with body characteristics they don’t want to emphasize and how they hide them. “Here are a few do-it-yourself practices for producing an appearance that matches your gender expression or desired drag-performance persona.” Author Chloe Davis does a much better job with wording than this reviewer. Other special pages include “Common Pronouns 101, Navigating Safe Spaces for Us, Just Be Yourself, Queer Parents and the Family Dynamic, USA Gayborhoods,” etc.

Other special pages have history lessons on different topics including The Harlem Renaissance, Marriage Equality, The Ballroom Scene (think RuPaul), Stonewall, etc.

Whether you’re a teen or tween deciding to come out to your friends or parents, or said parent of an LGBTQIA+ child, this dictionary will help you learn the politically correct terms used right now. It can help a parent when they hear a word they don’t understand to clarify its meaning.

Dictionaries are not really meant to be read cover to cover, but this one is interesting enough with color, graphics, and usually-taboo topics that a person could sit down over several readings and read front to back until they have absorbed the lingo used today.

Many of the terms have gone mainstream, such as “Oh, no you didn’t, fairy, toxic masculinity, queen, pre-op, puh-lease, drag show, and misogyny.” Other terms are less familiar, such as “LEWK, KIKI, FLIT, ENDO, DUSTED, DISABLISM, DEMI, and CHUB.”

The book is filled with mentions of famous people as they relate to LGBTQIA+ life. Names include Harvey Milk, Zendaya, Madonna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Janell Monae, Rachel Maddow, Pete Buttigieg, Ron De Santis, Sam Smith, Elliot Page, Demi Lovato, and Joe Biden!

The author sure knows their stuff. The Queens’ English will be a lifeline for teens/tweens struggling with their identity as they discover who they are meant to be. If they have no other support system in place, this would be a book to hang onto. Their parents could benefit as well as they throw away the idea of a binary world and embrace their nonbinary child. They can learn that transvestite is no longer cool to use as a label; now it’s transgender. They can learn what each letter in LGBTQIA+ means (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersexual, asexual, plus) and why these people have banded together to gain acceptance, and their struggles to do so.

Chances are that this fact-packed book will make the list of books to be banned, so get your copy ASAP.