As I described in recent posts, my latest project has emerged due to three factors:
- producing basic page art quickly using Procreate;
- the development of a YA story at Oxford;
- my interest in protest and advocacy in this gay moment.
You can scroll back to refresh your memory about the art and the story. But, lastly:
The protest and advocacy
To prepare for summer school at Oxford, I reviewed a decade worth of sketchbooks, looking for ideas I still liked but had never developed. I was prepared for any assignment thrown my way! One of the "fresher" ideas I has stemmed from disturbing news.
A number of parental rights (aka "don't say gay") laws were popping up. I don't fully understand the rationale, but I do think the motivation is misguided at best. If you disagree, I will gladly sit down with you and explain my perspective.
By the time I got back from Oxford, even more anti-LGBTQ+ stuff had gone down:
- the Nebraska student newspaper shut down over preferred pronouns
- the Christian school in Florida asked its LGBTQ+ students to leave
- the town in Michigan that voted to defund its town library as the library refused to drop three LGBTQ+ themed graphic novels
Whatever the motivation, the message to LGBTQ+ youth is clear: you're not wanted. You're not welcome. At least, I'm sure that is what is felt.
There is nothing new or special about Please Say It! It's simply a quiet story to add another positive narrative to the mix. It's not all sweetness and apple pie, of course, a good story has conflict! To me, it was important to launch it quickly, and for free. A story about the past for the right now. Content with a message, for younger readers who may not have the means to pay. It's not perfect, just my way of offering some
hope and encouragement.