… the Kinsey scale of sexuality? It charts orientation from 0 (exclusively heterosexual) to 6 (exclusively homosexual). Charles “Zan” Christensen edited a collection of graphic fiction and nonfiction called Anything That Loves: Comics Beyond “Gay” and “Straight” that looks at the space in between those extremes (and sometimes next to them or on a different chart entirely). The people in these stories range from gay or straight with exceptions to bi- and pansexuals to asexuals to transexuals and much more, sometimes even for the same person at different times of life. Some prefer to simply use “queer” as a way of saying that they don’t think any of the labels really apply to them.
This is an anthology, so the writing and art varies widely from story to story. Many of the works deal with disturbing issues — self-doubt, homophobia, identity issues, depression, rejection, and struggles to get friends and family to accept that “gay” and “straight” are not the only options. However, many of them also focus on the satisfaction that comes from accepting who you really are and the joy of finding people who love you for yourself, regardless of your labels (or lack thereof).
I think a lot about sexuality, gender identity and labels, but this book still gave me plenty of new aspects to consider. It also has a great balance of things that made me think, “Gah! How could someone say/do that?” and “Awwww, that’s so sweet!” Check this out if you or someone you know doesn’t quite fit at either 0 or 6.
Reviewed by Fran (staff)