Can you help get this queer children’s book out in time for Pride 2018?
A queer fairytale featuring a WLW romance sounds like my idea of heaven and I’m sure that many of you feel exactly the same, but this children’s book about Ru, a fisherman’s daughter, who embarks on a treasure hunt with the brave Captain Freya, fighting pirates and a wicked Queen along the way, needs your help to survive.
Are you the hero this book needs?
In early October, the team behind this year’s Promised Land- about a farmer’s son who falls for the prince- launched a Kickstarter for their second book, Maiden Voyage. It’s currently just over halfway funded but it only has until mid-November to reach its goal. If you want to support queer media for children, act now.
Not only does Maiden Voyage contain a romance between two female characters, it also prominently features characters of color and dispels the damsel in distress stereotype. Ru and Freya can more than handle themselves.
It’s hard to get diverse media because…discrimination
The publishing world is pretty hard for emerging authors to break into and, as always, it’s harder for marginalized groups (POC, LGBTIQA+, Women, etc) to even get their work recognized. Worse still, many publishers are wary of putting queer representation into children’s books
Why? Because bigots from all across the world will complain that it ‘promotes the queer lifestyle to children’, campaign against the book’s presence in schools or libraries, and even burn books like they did to YA novel Annie on My Mind about two teenage girls in love.
It’s a bullsh*t point-of-view: you can’t change someone’s sexuality or gender identity through books or movies or TV shows. I grew up exclusively on Disney movies and they didn’t turn me straight.
Unfortunately, a lot of people accept it as fact that you can influence or change how someone identifies… That’s how laws that limit how teachers can speak to young people about LGBTIQA+ issues can pass in countries like Russia, the US, and the UK, (and to think, my teachers couldn’t even persuade me to double space my essays…) and how conversion therapy is still legal (sorry, I just puked in my mouth).
Positive media representation is good for your kid’s mental health
Children need to be able to see themselves represented in the media that they consume- that’s why all diversity in media is important. They need characters of color, they need characters with disabilities, they need queer characters, and so much more.
On their Kickstarter page, the team behind Maiden Voyage wrote: “Visibility in media is a powerful way to show our young people they belong; if we don’t see ourselves in stories, we don’t see ourselves in the world.”
That is so vital.
LGBTIQA+ children exist. Some may not be outwardly identifying yet, but there are queer kids on every street and in every school. They need to know that they are not alone, that they should be accepted for who they are, and that they deserve love.
That’s why the LGBTIQA+ community and its allies need to rally behind queer media for children to show that there is a demand for it and that we want diversity in the media that we consume and the media that our kids consume. If we can’t convince publishers to support queer writers and stories because it’s the right thing to do, then we need to convince them with cold, hard cash.