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Love in a F*cked-Up World

How to Build Relationships, Hook Up, and Raise Hell, Together

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By Dean Spade

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$25.99 CAD

We all know it takes guts and creativity to fight for justice. But how often do we put those same qualities to work in our most intimate relationships? In this inspiring self-help handbook, luminary trans activist and author of Mutual Aid Dean Spade dares us to be the change we want to see—both out in the world, and in our closest connections.

Around the globe, people are faced with spiraling crises, from the pandemic and climate change-induced disasters to the ongoing horrors of mass incarceration, racist policing, endemic gender violence, and severe wealth inequality. Many of us feel mobilized to organize and collectively combat these issues on both a personal and political level, often dedicating our lives to the fight for collective liberation.

But even those of us who long for change seem to have trouble when it comes to interpersonal relationships. Too often we think of our political values as outward-facing positions against dominant systems of power. Rarely, if ever, do we pursue the same kind of justice close to home, in our personal connections. Many activist projects and resistance groups fall apart because people treat each other poorly, trying desperately to live out the cultural myths about dating and relationships that we are fed from an early age.
How do we divest from the idea that one romantic partner will be the solution to all our problems? How do we separate our expectations of love from the troubling dynamics left to us by our parents? How do we bring our best thinking about freedom and justice into step with our desires for healing and connection?
Lifelong activist and educator Dean Spade dares us to decide that our interpersonal actions are not separate from our politics of liberation and resistance. Love in a F*cked-Up World is a resounding call to action and a practical manifesto for how to combat cultural scripts and take our relationships into our own hands, preparing us for the work of changing the world.

  • Praise for Love in a F*cked-Up World:

    “Dean Spade has written a pragmatic, timely book to help us navigate our most intimate relationships with a collective mindset; release romance myths and approach love as a practice; and cultivate discernment and freedom where we are trained towards judgement and ownership. He teaches us with gentle, relatable clarity and questions that allow us to reflect on how we are loving each other in this fucked up gorgeous world, and how to hold on to each other as the changes come.”
    adrienne maree brown, author of Loving Corrections, Pleasure Activism, and Emergent Strategy
  • “Against the backdrop of societal expectations, Love in a Fucked-Up World offers a beautiful and radical perspective on how to cultivate relationships that are not only fulfilling but also revolutionary. That change our world —and ultimately our earth— at its root. Drawing on decades of leadership in social movements, Dean Spade inextricably links personal healing with collective liberation, encouraging readers to rethink the ways we connect, love, and resist in an increasingly complex world.”
    Tourmaline, co-editor of Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility
  • "Compassionate, clarifying, and profoundly wise, Love in a F*cked Up World is radical leftist thought leader Dean Spade's latest gift to anyone interested in the intersection of love and justice... In this clear and highly practical book, Spade offers an enormously helpful map for creating relationships—whether friendly, sexual, and/or romantic—that feed and strengthen not only the individuals involved, but their communities and social commitments as well... This is the book I desperately needed when I first joined social justice movements as a teenager, and I am so very grateful that activists of all ages may read it now."
    Kai Cheng Thom, author of Falling Back in Love with Being Human: Letters to Lost Souls
  • “As a politicized person and a queer therapist, I have long wished for more self-help literature that is collectivist, anti-capitalist, and grounded in radical tradition. Dean Spade’s Love in a F*cked-Up World nails it, a loving and fearless book full of rigor, candor, and wisdom from someone who has lived a life devoted to activist community.”
    hannah baer, therapist and author of trans girl suicide museum
  • Praise for Mutual Aid:

    "At once a call-to-arms, a balm for all those despairing at the present and future, and a blueprint for how we might better live with one another."
    Daniel Fernandez, The Nation
  • "Peter Kropotkin called mutual aid a 'factor in evolution.' The Black Panther Party called it 'survival pending revolution.' Dean Spade tells us that mutual aid is fundamental to making revolution. It is about building solidarity, preparing for battle, and creating a culture of collective care to displace the atomizing culture of individualism and the market. An indispensable guide for our moment, this book teaches us that effective social movements are impossible without mutual aid. Read every page. Carry it everywhere. Share it with everyone. Change everything."
    Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
  • "Urgently calling for radical creativity and transformative change, Spade invites readers to think critically about their roles in groups and liberation."
    Heather Munao, Booklist
  • "Spade outlines how the systems we currently have in place are not set up to meet people’s needs—as we’ve seen highlighted by last year’s major global disruption."
    Maria Ricapito, Marie Claire

On Sale
Jan 14, 2025
Page Count
256 pages
Algonquin Books

Dean Spade

About the Author

Grassroots activist, attorney, educator, and public speaker, Dean Spade is the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law and Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the next). He has worked for twenty years as a leading voice for trans liberation, prison abolition, and mutual aid, and has been interviewed by Bloomberg TV, Democracy Now, the Nation, the Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness podcast, and countless other media outlets. He is a sought after public speaker who regularly offers seminars and webinars that draw in thousands of attendees and teaches at the Seattle University School of Law.

Learn more about this author