When you add gluesticks, coloring book pages, and clever queers – what do you get? Your very own gendertastic coloring book party!
On June 26th, fellow chichi-conspirators and I attended a “Make your own gendertastic coloring book” event at Powell’s books on Lincoln. In the words of the event’s organizers, “Because so much media does not include Trans, Queer & Feminist characters and ideas, we’ll create our own. Using found images, we will transform these images into subversive new coloring books. Cut-n-paste with real live glue sticks & change the direction of pop culture. No longer will there be a shocking lack of narratives for gender outlaws. It’s like spending an evening in a summer camp arts & crafts cabin for unicorns.” And that it was.
Sitting on the floor with some of my favorite queers in town, remixing the pages of traditional coloring books, was both fun and empowering. Much the same way that we can culture jam billboards and advertisements, we can empower ourselves and the kiddos we share time with to create more body-positive, queer-friendly and all around fabulous coloring book pages. Not only was it pretty easy to do – it was fun and dare I say exciting!
When my neighbor on the floor remixed this one, I gave a cheer! All those frustrating patronizing sexist and hetero-normative fairy tales put on blast with a simple tagline:
Or this one!
My chichiconspirator Jacob and I made pages on a similar theme.
Jacob’s feminist hulk character smashed a prison in order to build a better world together!
With some help from friends, I managed to pull off this page… I just couldn’t leave the cutout of the kid sitting in a jail cell all alone and unaddressed on the table of coloring book scraps.
All in all – it was a fun evening. We learned a clever tactic that I hope more fabulous queerbos and childcarers will borrow and steal and use. With a gluestick and our beautiful minds, we can subvert the system and spread messages of love and liberation far and wide.
P.S. – How great would it be if ChiChiCo hosted a gendertastic coloring book party sometime this summer or fall?! Would you attend?