lgbtq Tag

Reflection Press Crowdfund- The Gender & Infinity Book


Hey, my folks Maya and Matthew of “Reflection Press” just launched a new kids book project! It’s called the Gender & Infinity Book and it’s a story/guide for all children.
Go to the campaign with THIS LINK
All the good info you need to know about the project is on their site, but I’;; just say that these two have been doing pioneering work to develop stories, art, books, curriculum, and games for all people to enjoy, but especially for gender fluid and Queer kids and those who support them. Feel me? 

Right now you got mayors, governors, etc actively trying to criminalize young people who identify outside of Boy or Girl, or who are Queer. For no more than fear and ignorance. So this work is serious for those kids and families who are going through it and looking for more tools to reflect with and to share. 
Again, check out their project HERE and spread the word to open minded people.
Dig this? Check out this organization that is putting more Lgbtq/Queer stories into schools

Black Is Beautiful 2023 – Margaret Sloan Hunter


Margaret Sloan Hunter was born in Chattanooga Tennessee in 1947. She grew up in Chicago and started a career in activism early. As a teenager she joined the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE). She co-founded a student group called The Junior Catholic Inter-Racial Council to get Black and White students her age to unite. She then joined the SCLC or Southern Christian Leadership Council. She then gravitated towards spaces where women could construct their own organizations free from male domination even within movement circles. She was a driving for for the creation of Ms Magazine (1st national magazine on feminist viewpoints) in 1971 becoming one of the first editors. She spoke around the country and internationally, linking up w/ other Black women who identified as such and as feminists to found The National Black Feminist Organization. She moved to the Bay she helped to found the Berkeley Women’s Center and the Feminist School for Girls. She was a mother, a poet, singer, author, and a self proclaimed Black Lesbian Feminist. 
She spoke about coming out as being a Black Lesbian Feminist saying before she identified as a feminist or a lesbian she believed some of societies stereotypes, and the ignorant things people say. She wanted to put some of those preconceived notions to rest and when speaking about popular media that she felt starved for representation of women like her: ” I think the future is visual, I think we can read it, see it in our minds”. She died in Oakland California in 2004.
Sources: Black Women Radicals, Lesbians-The Invisible Minority, SF Gate, Feminist Majority, Wikipedia, BUST
Dig this? Check out these illustrations of the UK’s Olive Morris , Denise Oliver-Velez, and Claudia Jones
Some process shots:

Photos from 6th Social Justice Children’s Book Holiday Fair


Organizers of the fair: Me, Laura Atkins, Alejandra Domezain, Janine Macbeth, Peter Limata, Lydia Yamaguchi, Innosanto Nagara-not pictured) photo by Mark Rea
photo by Mark Rea
Breanna McDaniels w/ Hayley Diep , photo by Mark Rea
Me! photo by Mark Rea

If you missed the book fair but still want to buy books you can still purchase books from some of the vendors here
All the Fairs authors/illustrators , photo by Mark Rea

Screenshot from livestream Mr Limata w/ James Shields
photo by Janine Macbeth (Aida Salazar w/ Aya de Leon)
photo by Janine Macbeth (Mr Limata w/ Ko Kim)
For all those who missed the “6th annual “Social Justice Children’s Book Holiday Fair” here are a few photos from the event. If you’d like to see more please go here.
Digging this? Check out the year we did it online during the pandemic or the Livestream Interviews W/ Mr Limata this year

Libro Mobile – Video


Libro Mobile is one of very few Latinx owned bookstores I reached out to when “Furqan’s First Flat Top” debuted and they graciously carried my book. As the only Latina owned bookstore in Orange County, they serve a crucial role in providing community and knowledge. Please watch the video, follow them on IG, and contribute to their campaign if you can

Dig this: Libro Mobile 2018,  The Latinx Comics Arts Festival in Modesto

Sam! Cover Art Tools

Hey readers. My name is Rob and I’m a kids book author and illustrator. This is a throwback to the cover design for the book “Sam!” written by poet/parent Dani Gabriel, published by Penny Candy Books, and illustrated by me.
Here are the initial sketches I came up with. One with a scene from the book, and two new ones. 
They chose the 1st idea and this being a relatively quick process I went straight to a refined sketch of that which you see here. For the sketch I typically use a non photo blue pencil, a ruler, a #2 pencil, and an 11″ x 17″ piece of paper so I can draw the back together as a layout.  

Once everyone signed off on this I use my light box to trace the sketch using a Prismacolor black pencil.
 Then I add color using a large flat brush to lay down a wash first then I build up the color slowly from light to dark using the medium flat, the round, and the fine liner . 
I use a bunch of watercolor brands to find the right colors. These are some of them.
When you paint with acrylic or gouache you can layer light over dark, but with watercolor its much harder so you must use light colors first, then darks. This is what. the painting looks like once I’ve finished. If you get a chance, read the book. Share it with families and check out some of the other books Penny Candy publishes HERE.

Dig this? Check out this post about the cover art of Alejandria Fights Back/ La Lucha de Alejandria

Read Banned Books


Here’s a new print for all the lovers of banned books! I wanna shout out all the queer authors and illustrators. All the Black folks and people of color who’ve had the books banned for no more than telling their story. Oh and shout out to all those teachers bringing ethnic studies and critical race theory into their classrooms so students can actually learn how we got here as a country and as a world. Yes, please read banned books and when you do make up your own mind if its useful information or not.
Cop a print HERE
Dig this? Check out this print “Ethnic Studies In Every School”

One of a Kind Like Me- Audio coverage


This is a short interview author Laurin Mayeno did recently to talk about our book “One of a kind, like me” or “Unico Como Yo” which Gender Nation bought along with tons of other Lgbtq / Gender fluid stories. While our book has been banned in some states, schools like Nystrom in Richmond California and in other cities are getting more thanks to Gender Nation; an organization dedicated to affirming queer kids by getting books like ours into schools.
Channel 7 article link 
If you’re new to the book this is the synopsis:

Tomorrow is the school parade, and Danny knows exactly what he will be: a princess. Mommy supports him 100%, and they race to the thrift store to find his costume. It’s almost closing time – will Danny find the costume of his dreams in time?

This is the last post I made about Gender Nation who you should support! If you want to buy the book, cop it here.

Black is Beautiful – The Warehouse


The Warehouse is one of the foremost prominent and founding clubs of house music. In fact I heard someone say the music is named after this club. Originally located at 206 S Jefferson St in Chicago, the club was founded by Robert Williams and his partner Ron Braswell in 1975. Williams moved from NYC to Chicago and at the urging of friends and boredom decided to start throwing parties. He brought in Frankie Knuckles (godfather of house) who was then a protege of Larry Levan and Nicky Siano. He had renowned engineer Robert Long build the sound system for the 3 floored club and convinced Frankie to come play; telling him it was his club to program the sound. What they did together was create a sound and movement that brought in people from all over the midwest, east coast, and soon the US to dance. It was founded as a queer Black club (men and women) with membership cards. This was to keep the vibe but also to protect the community. Soon, hetero folks, and friends of all ethnicities were invited by members as well. The sound system was incredible and they played underground music that you couldn’t hear on the radio. The club closed after the city threatened to close it for structural issues; think hundreds of people stomping and jumping in parties that started at midnight and ran until the next morning. As someone who didn’t grow up with house, but who now loves it this history is remarkable. The Warehouse is a historical monument right up there w/ clubs like the Loft, Paradise Garage, Studio 54, and the Music Box (also founded by Williams).
Sources: I Remember When House Took Over the World documentary, Red Bull Radio, Ron Trent via Creative mornings
Speaking of places, check out this piece of :
Marcus Books and Soulbeat in Oakland California.

If you’re following along this year, the last piece I did was of Race Car driver Cheryl Linn Glass

Black Is Beautiful 2022 – Gladys Bentley


Yo, welcome to this year’s offering of art highlighting BLK folks from the past and present! First up this year: Gladys Bentley!
Gladys was born in 1907 in Philly. She loved music at an early age and began showing an interest for “boys” clothes and girls early. Her parents did not like this and tried to “cure” her. She ran away to Harlem at the age of 16. She began to slowly build a career as a musician slowly and Harlem was a place that was blossoming with BLK folks from all over. She first performed at rent parties and buffet flats which are parties. Buffet flats were private home clubs w/ sex, alcohol, music, and were often welcoming of queer folks. She then graduated to speakeasies (prohibition era). One thing that made her stand out besides her chops on the piano was her deep singing voice and her complete embrace of her queerness and dressing as a “man”. She wore a top hat and tuxedos and people loved her. Her success not only brought her to big venues like the Apollo, The Savoy, or The Cotton Club; but it also gave her the oppoRtunity to tour the US. Later she would experience a huge loss of income during the depression (1930s) and ran up against a crack down against Gay or Lesbian people. Not only by Whites but by conservative BLK folks too. In fact, she later claimed to have left her queer life behind and married a guy. But was a pioneer in blues, gender fluidity, and recording! She began recording blues records on labels like Excelsior, Victor, and Okeh w/ a catalogue that ran from 1928 until 1953. I believe she opened doors for masculine identifying women, Black musicians, and queer folks of all stripes. Much respect to the legacy of Gladys Bentley! 
Sources: PBS,, Wikipedia
Peep this 2021 piece of the Transgdender Cultural District
2017 Blues Musician Memphis Minnie
Note: If you do not include Black LGBTQ folks in your Black History Month celebrations prominently, please get with the program and show love and respect for our fellow BLK family!
Some process art: