I’m asked to host a fair number of blog tours, and I almost always turn them down. It’s truly a labor of love, because it takes so much time and effort if you want to do justice to the book that’s being featured.
When None of the Above came across my desk, however, I couldn’t say no. It’s a compelling story about a girl named Kristin whose life is like any other teenager’s, until one night as she and her boyfriend are becoming intimate, she discovers that something doesn’t feel right. When she goes to the doctor, she finds out that she is intersex, a condition that so many people seem to know so little about–myself included. In telling us Kristin’s story, I.W. Gregorio puts a spotlight on underrepresented members of our society; as Kristin learns about intersex, we do too. It’s important to understand the physical and psychological nuances of this condition, and I’m honored to have the author as our guest today to tell us more about it, especially since her medical background and research are so prominent in the book.
I hope you’ll follow along the rest of this fantastic one-week tour as well. Intersex is often misunderstood, and the only way to clear up the stigma that’s often attached to it is to educate ourselves…and to talk about it.
by I.W. Gregorio
The term intersex refers to a constellation of naturally occurring variations of internal and/or external sex anatomy, and you should be interested in it because it is proof positive that the gender binary does not exist.
It’s really hard to pinpoint what caused it, but in the past couple of years there’s been a huge increase in the mainstream acceptance of gender diversity. Last year I was thrilled when the #IAmNotBinary hashtag found its way into my Twitter feed, and since then it’s seems like win after win for LGBTQIA+ folks: Laverne Cox became the first transgender woman ever to grace Time magazine’s cover. MTV’s Faking It had mainstream TV’s first ever recurring character who was intersex. Transparent won a slew of Golden Globes. And Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt proved that they really are the world’s coolest parents by embracing Shiloh’s desire to be called “John.” Recently, Fusion’s Massive Millenial Poll shows that 50% of millennials (people aged 18-34) feel that gender is actually a spectrum.
Even with all this, though, life can be tough for kids whose sexual or gender identity falls outside the normal categories: Suicide attempt rates in the transgender population range from 30% to over 50%. There is no good data for these rates within the intersex community, but what I am certain of is that increased awareness will go a huge way toward preventing unnecessary surgery on children.
For more reading on why intersex is not something that needs to be fixed, read this article in The Atlantic. And to learn more about how intersex conditions break open the gender binary, read this excellent article in Everyday Feminism, brought to you by the amazing people of Inter/Act Youth.
About the Author
I. W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. After getting her MD, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired her debut novel, None of the Above (Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins). She is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books™ and serves as its VP of Development. A recovering ice hockey player, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and GoodReads for her latest news.
None of the Above will be available in stores and online on April 7, 2015.
Our thanks to the fantastic bloggers who are hosting this tour over the next week.
NONE OF THE ABOVE Tour
The Reading Date Thursday 4/2 5 Inspiring LGBTQI Books That Can, and Will, Change Lives
The Irish Banana Monday 4/6 Interview with Lianne Simon, intersex author
Here is Hannah’s review for None of the Above, by the way, which expresses so well the way most readers will be coming into this reading experience.
Did you know? The author is helping us debunk one myth about intersex every day. Follow along the rest of the None of the Above Tour for more fascinating facts and insights!
Mystery Box of 4 Harper Teen ARCs!
Thanks to our friends at Balzer + Bray, we’re celebrating the release of None of the Above with a giveaway for 4 hot upcoming Harper Collins YA titles! We can’t tell you what they are just yet, but Harper has so many great books coming out this year that the winner’s certainly going to enjoy the surprise.
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form and leave a thoughtful comment below telling us what sparks your curiosity about intersex and None of the Above. Open to US and Canadian residents aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. See entry form for complete details. Good luck!
Giveaway and review copies were provided by the publisher. Photos were provided by the author.
I learned a lot about intersex in reading None of the Above, and I’ve learned a lot from reading the author’s posts for this tour. I hope you’ll follow along and educate yourself about this important and timely topic.