I just released Children’s Books as a Radical Act on Indiegogo to support my first 6 independently published children’s books. What makes these books radical? Why is it noteworthy that they’re independently published? Why children’s books of all things?
Any time we center ourselves as POC, indigenous or queer voices, we are shifting the balance of power and expanding beyond the limits of what is laid out before us.
When I began to realize the levels of internalized silence that I was still living with after 20 years in the children’s book industry I was heartbroken, but in noticing, a deeper healing began within me and I began pushing those limits.
Now I find I cannot stop my voice. I want to claim all the stories that I have been denied. Stories about my life and the people I know. We are not a part of our society to be ashamed of, silenced, invisibilized. We are truth. We are beauty. We are rising. From silence into voice.
We tell different stories when we are with our own.
I notice for myself that when I am with other queers and POC I relax parts of myself I did not even know were tense. Deep places where different stories live.
I even have a different voice when I am very relaxed and with my people. More myself. More power. When I publish myself through my own indie-press I can access that voice. My voice. This is what independence affords me. My self.
Why children’s books?
Childhood is the first great trauma for some of us, especially if we don’t fit the box.
In many ways silence and invisibility allowed me to survive. I learned to embody them early on as Chicanx, cis girl and especially queer. Completely by accident I found that making children’s books was like retrieval, reclamation, rejuvenation all at once.
I could speak to the child that I was from the adult that I am and the conversation between us was the book. This not only healed me, I found that it had a positive impact on the children who read them.
It’s a circle that supports completion in our communities. It’s a healing I cannot deny. I have experienced it first hand and seen it repeatedly in others.
I am pushing the boundaries on a personal, community and professional level because of the kind of power and beauty that can exist in children’s books for us.
I want a new world and I’m finally ready to take my next step. I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to begin telling my stories. I’m ready to rise. Now.
The campaign is an opportunity to pre-order my books, pre-register for next year at School of the Free Mind and learn more about our free program for kids and families.