Review: I Will Not Be Erased by gal-dem

I will not be erased

I Will Not Be Erased

by gal-dem

Nonfiction, Womens, LGBT, Feminism

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Fourteen joyous, funny and life-affirming essays from gal-dem, the award-winning magazine created by young women and non-binary people of colour.

gal-dem, the award-winning online and print magazine, is created by women and non-binary people of colour. In this thought-provoking and moving collection of fourteen essays, gal-dem’s writers use raw material from their teenage years – diaries, poems and chat histories – to explore growing up. gal-dem have been described by the Guardian as “the agents of change we need”, and these essays tackle important subjects including race, gender, mental health and activism, making this essential reading for any young person.

This was definitely an unusual read for me. I rarely read nonfiction but when I saw this on the shelves of my local bookstore I was instantly hooked. It sounded so interesting and all the essays inside were stories that were so far from what my own life is normally like. And I think that’s the important thing about reading – making sure that we are constantly immersing ourselves in stories and lives that we wouldn’t normally know about. We all have to diversify our reading as best as possible because it’s the best way to learn about the world and about other people’s lives.

For me, this book did exactly that. In the style of 14 essays written by people of colour, this book dealt with themes of feminism, of sexuality, of family, of religion, of growing up in a world that often looks down on you because of the colour of your skin. There were some really powerful essays in this collection, and I especially liked how each was a letter to the writer’s younger self. There was a lot of hope and light in this book alongside the darker themes. It really puts our world in a fresh perspective, because as a white man, these stories are things I would rarely consider. The hardships and struggles. It was a really powerful insight that taught me a lot of new things I hadn’t already known.

There were different sides to each essay, even if some of them felt similar to others. Some were funny, some were really sad, some were angry. There was a lot of different emotions threaded through each essay which I thought was the book’s biggest strength.

Also, there are some beautiful illustrations scattered throughout! This is definitely a collection of essays that I think is a must-read for everyone. An honest, brave and sentimental book.