It’s not often i choose to write about a memoir on the blog, because i always find it a strange thing to talk about someones life critically. However, after finishing Uncomfortable Labels i know i haven’t heard as much about this book as i should have done and i think it’s wonderful. If this post helps one person pick up this book, i’ve done my job.
Uncomfortable Labels follows Laura through her life as a gay autistic trans woman. A lot of labels for one person. And in her book all about her life, she explains each label, what affect that’s had on her, what that means for her specifically and loads of good and useful information about being gay, trans and autistic!
It was through my boyfriend that i became aware of Laura Kate Dale’s work, who she is and what she does! Mainly in the video game industry, she’s made a name for herself writing reviews and talking about her experiences being trans and autistic.
I admittedly picked up this book mainly as i’m interested in autism and how that differs from person to person. I’ve always had an interest in the way autism works and the spectrum, and hearing from another perspective on that is incredibly interesting. There is a lot of information about stimming and how Laura’s brain works day to day. And i think i learnt a lot in such a small amount of pages about what she experiences every day.
On top of the autism, Laura talks a lot about how being trans has affected her life, and a lot about how autism has impacted some of those trans qualities. Such as (you guessed it), uncomfortable labels. She found a lot of women’s clothes during her transition have labels in strange areas of clothes or are generally uncomfortable. This is something that affected her in a way of distraction due to autism. Therefore both things overlap. I’ve heard aspects of trans stories and stories from people on the autism spectrum, but never together and that’s what i found incredibly interesting.
Laura doesn’t hold back on any information about her life, good or bad, happy or sad. She talks a lot about the struggles of growing up and transitioning, alongside a very busy brain. I love how honest she is about not always passing as female and the brutal honesty of how awkward and uncomfortable those situations are. They are not regularly discussed so openly in the trans memoirs i’ve read, and i found that perspective something useful to learn from, for my own behaviour and sociatal behaviour.
There is a lot of information in this book about bullying, school life and what it’s like to grow up not really knowing who you are. I think for younger people this is definitely an important read, as i personally resonated with a lot of the things Laura was saying in those parts of the book. The bullying is discussed in brutal honesty, which i found honestly impressive of her strength to write in that way.
The writing of this book is incredibly easy to flow through and fast paced. I didn’t know a huge deal about Laura pre-reading Uncomfortable Labels and i thought for a while that might hold me back from truly understanding her life. But no, it felt natural and like someone was sitting down and talking to me.
I loved this book, i completely and utterly adored it, and no matter what i think this is an incredibly interesting life story from a very badass woman, that everyone needs to pick up and read. I wish this book was far more well known for all ages.