STRETCH GOAL UPDATE! if the campaign reaches 30 000$, 4 pages will be added to the book, which will include discussion starters about gender, identity and transness, as well as educative tools for teachers!!
Hey there! Thank you for your interest in this project.
So it's a children's book? Yup. 36 pages. The whole thing is already written and half-drawn and I want to crowdfund the printing of 3000 hardcover copies so that I can sell it at a low price that most families can afford and also give away copies to schools.
What's it about? It's a story that happens before the beginning of my comic series Assigned Male, about a transgender girl named Stephie. A bit of a genesis, if you want. Stephie, with her legendary wit and assertiveness, talks about how her dad didn't accept her gender and how she navigates her love for him and her struggle for validation. Fishing trips, wrestling matches and ZOMBIES are on the menu!
Why make another children's book about a trans kid in 2017, are you asking? Well first, because of the rarity of them. The handful of books that already exist about transness, although mostly amazing and beautiful, clearly aren't enough. The goal is to make it easier for a child who needs that kind of book to find one in a pile, and that implies we should make more of them! Also, I put a lot of emphasis on trans empowerment and trans body positivity, which is something that is often missing from larger publications that prefer a medicalist and pathologizing point of view. Not everyone experiences transness the same way and our stories should reflect this diversity.
Here's how I got the idea for this book. Because of my work, I get several messages weekly from parents of trans kids. The need for me to write this book came after I got yet another message from a parent sharing a story that I already knew too well, in which one of the parents wasn't accepting of their child's transness, forcing the child to navigate between perceptions, constantly having to merchandize their gender expression. Having to be the adult in the relationship. That was my experience too. It isn't a funny one, and it's even a bit of a tragedy, but I think it's important to open a discussion about it with children.
This book isn't exactly about transness. Not that it would be a bad thing, but it's mostly about how important it is for individuals to be able to define themselves. Almost everyone, trans or not, is familiar with the fear of falling short of people's expectations, especially when those people are your parents. This story aims to show a character who needed to grow up faster in order to survive and in order to preserve her relationship with her father.
My main objective is to empower trans kids and deliver a body-positivity message. Although the subject is a heavy one, the tone remains light and humorous. Trans kids shouldn't feel that their transness is an obstacle to acceptance!
(ALSO : A bunch of trans kids have gladly submitted some art to be included in the book! If the campaign is successful, they will get their own pile of books to share around.)
Risks and challenges
I make books! It's basically my job!
This would be my third children's book - I crowdfunded "A Girl Like Any Other" in 2013 and published a young reader's novel in French in 2014, both about transness. They were both successful and the result still makes me proud.
I also self-published three coloring books about gender, sex and sexuality and half a dozen comic books. I know how to get my work out there and how to talk to the people at the printing shop (never lose eye contact!!).
The challenge for me will be the fact that it's a hardcover book - it will be my first time publishing such a thing. But it's mostly a technical issue and I'm confident it'll be easily managed. I'll be dealing with a professional book printing company this time (Marquis, a local enterprise).
English isn't my first language, but I'm surrounded by a team of proof-readers who make sure I don't say or write anything too awkward!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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