We Can Do Better Than This: 35 Voices on the Future of LGBTQ+ Rights is a collection of short essays by various contributors that set out the present and future of areas such as healthcare, community, and visibility for LGBTQ+ people. Covering topics across the UK and USA but also Uganda, Russia, Bangladesh, Brazil, and more, the book manages to get a great breadth of material from people doing work or who have personal experience in these areas. It opens with essays on the topic of ‘safety’, highlighting the dangers faced by many people in the present day, and then does on to cover visibility, dating, love and family, health and social care, going beyond the binary, and community and organising.
What is particularly impressive the range both of topics covered and of people involved, with famous names in various areas contributing to the collection. Everyone is going to have essays that particularly speak to them—I personally found Juliet Jacques’ look at transphobia and the UK media particularly powerful as it charted the history of the UK media’s treatment of trans people, which obviously is a pressing and depressing subject. A lot of the international essays taught me about what is happening in other countries, and it’s good to get that balance alongside the UK-focused contributions. I also liked Yasmin Benoit’s look at asexual visibility, especially non-white asexual people, Amelia Abraham’s essay on gendered sporting frameworks and how they need updating, and Travis Alabanza’s imagining of a trans future without surveillance.
I didn’t expect the collection to be able to cover so many different interesting topics and futures for LGBTQ+ people, but by keeping the essays short, the book both covers a lot and stays readable and engaging, suggesting you should go away and find out more if it’s something new to you. It serves as a reminder that globally there is still a lot to do and also that by imagining futures and setting out the change that needs to happen, more people can be drawn into being a part of making that change.