Review: Anything That Loves
Sexuality is not binary. The labels of gay and straight do not cover the fluidity of people, and that is a fact that the Anything That Loves comic anthology sets to remind us. Published by Northwest Press, funded by Kickstarter, and featuring art from such well-known names such as Adam Pruett, Erika Moen, Nick Leonard, Tania Walker, and many others, this is a book that is a must-read for all.
I’m a big fan of LGBT comics, so when I got a chance to review this book there were a lot of familiar names on the contributor list. I appreciate that they’re tackling such a sensitive topic as biphobia. The continued rejection and misunderstanding of non-binary sexualities is an issue that exists in both the heterosexual and homosexual community. Those who do not align with one or the other are see as “cheating”, over-sexed, or being untrue to themselves because they refuse to pick a side. This anthology tries to correct these misconceptions through engaging visuals and personal stories. There are no “sides”, there are just people who love who they love.
A number of the comics get into deeper issues of prejudice that exist against, and sometimes within, the LGBT community. Kate Leth, in one of the first comics of the book, brings up the fact that even when bisexuality becomes more trendy or accepted, the choice of partners is not seen in the same light. Women with fluid sexuality may be seen as harmless, even cool, but as soon as a man explores his sexual identity with another man he is immediately seen as less than. Why the inequality? And why is there a continued need to put a label on everyone? If a man falls in love with a transgender man, is he gay or is he straight? The answer is that it’s no one else’s business. Sexual fluidity, existing outside the two extremes of the Kinsey scale, is a fact of life. This book, and others like it, are trying to make this point. Perhaps one day the world at large will listen.
With over 200 pages, this anthology is bound to have a number of comics that appeal to you, and the message in each and every artist’s contribution cannot be denied. It doesn’t matter what label you take, or if you reject labels altogether. No one has the right to deny the expression of your own sexuality. Love who you love, and do not give power to those who seek to tear you down because of it.