Trans webcomic author Sophie Labelle to tour the US for the first time

One of Sophie Labelle's Assigned Male drawings

Canadian webcomic artist Sophie Labelle is touring the United States for the first time this month. Labelle is the creator of the popular Assigned Male comics, about a young trans girl navigating the world.

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Her first stop is in New York City. She’ll be giving a talk at the LGBT Center in the West Village.

‘I’ve done tours in many regions of the world, but never felt safe enough to go to the USA, even though it’s where I have the most fans,’ Labelle told GSN via email.

Online harassment

Last year, Labelle’s website was hacked by alt-right trolls. The hackers orchestrated this attack, deleting all her comics and replacing them with Nazi imagery. She was also sent death threats and was forced to go into hiding until the abuse died down.

‘The country has a very bad reputation outside its borders,’ Labelle continued. ‘I guess I was waiting for the political situation to be less intense, but seeing how it’s not really happening, I decide to come anyway, since I believe it’s in these troubled times that marginalized populations need support the most.’

Despite the brutal harassment, Labelle has not put her work on pause. In December 2017, she released coloring books based on the Assigned Male series.

Organizing the Tour

‘The way I organize this tour is by putting a message on my Facebook and Tumblr pages, saying I would be around if any group is interested in having me,’ Labelle stated.

‘I simply go wherever I’m invited, might it be a small college in rural Florida or a major LGBT association in San Francisco. I don’t have any agent or manager, so I can’t really organize anything by myself, even if that means skipping some major city where I didn’t get any invitation from.’

Stops on the Tour

In addition to NYC, Labelle will be traveling to Washington State and New Mexico, where she has friends. Despite being openly LGBTI, Labelle is looking forward to visiting Southern states, such as Alabama and Georgia.

Other confirmed tour stops include New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maine.

‘During [the] tour, I hope to meet as many fans as possible. It’s really what’s at the core of it. I’m volunteering for all of it, so for me, a webcomic artist, it’s only just a great opportunity to connect with my readers,’ Labelle said.

Instagram couple respond to gay teen they inspired to come out

Petros and Telly inspired the coming out of a gay teen

A gay couple have responded to a coming out message they inspired from a gay teen.

Two months ago, the website Guys Like U ran a story about Alex, a 16-year-old in Spain.

In it, Alex explained that he knew he was gay from the age of 12.

Spanish boy Alex came out inspirded by a couple on Instagram

Alex (Photo supplied)

‘I had met a boy who I really liked and we started going out together. We dated in secret to start with because I wasn’t ready to tell anyone that I was gay and I felt ashamed.

‘At times I was so unhappy and scared about being gay that I felt like I wanted to die. I thought that being gay was a bad thing and I was worried that my family and my friends would stop loving me because of it.’

However, that’s when Alex came across the Instagram accounts of a London-based gay couple: Petros and Telly (@petros_sp and @sold_a_telly).

Petros and Telly

Petros and Telly (Photo: @petros_sp | Instagram)

‘They looked so in love and so happy and I really wanted to experience what they had. They changed my life and inspired me, because they made me realize that two guys really can be accepted without being seen as something bad.’

Alex subsequently came out to his family. His mom took the news well. His father, who comes from a very traditional, Christian background, did not. Despite this, Alex has no regrets about coming out.

The couple at Pride in London

The couple at Pride in London in July (Photo: @petros_sp | Instagram)

‘I really feel like a new person, a happy person. I am proud of who I am and I am looking forward to living a happy life travelling, playing sports and being with my boyfriend. My life has completely changed and it’s because of seeing two boys in love online.’

Petros and Telly at the gym

(Image: @petros_sp | Instagram)

‘It’s touched our hearts to read about Alex’s story’

In a follow-up article, Petros and Telly responded to the story.

‘It’s touched our hearts to read about Alex’s story. In our eyes, he is the one we look up to. For someone to be in such a dark place and to pull themselves through and realise that friends and family are there to help.

‘We’re honoured that we were there to help (even though it was indirectly), and hope that Alex’s story inspires more people to see that being different is far from being a bad thing.’

Christian Guiltenane, the founder of Guys Like U, told GSN why he felt moved to run Alex’s coming out story.

‘When I first came across young Alex’s story about the guys on Instagram who inspired him to come out, I was so moved.

‘I was so pleased that a young guy who was bursting to come out had come across some regular guys who lived a life that he aspired to.

Telly and Petros on holiday in Madrid

Telly and Petros on holiday in Madrid (Photo: @petros_sp | Instagram)

‘Alex saw two boys very much in love. Their regularly updated posts offered him a world that he was yet to experience but wanted for himself. They are regular guys, the kind of fellas he’d see walking past him in the street.

‘This is exactly what we need in a world where a nine-year-old boy can be bullied to death because of his sexuality.

‘Having spoken to Petros and his partner, they are amazed that they have had so much of an impact on this young lad’s life.’

H/T: Guys Like U 

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Same-sex couple share the most heartwarming anniversary story

The wooden map made by Taylor for Kianna for their anniversary

A woman has shared a very sweet story about her first year wedding anniversary with her wife.

Lesbians Kianna and Taylor are YouTubers. They’ve been married a year this weekend, and have shared many of their adventures and travels via social media .

Based in Florida, Kianna posted a story to Instagram and Twitter this week about exchanging anniversary gifts with Taylor.

‘So for awhile now I’ve been on the hunt for a super cute, antique (not too kindergarteny) map that I could use to print pictures out of me & Taylor in every state that we’ve visited and will visit together out and stick them on it.

‘I finally drove to Walmart today after work and was like forget it I’ll get the basic colorful map and start now. Well Taylor Pearson (@pearsonator_) walks in from work and I pull out the map and start pulling pictures out.

Handmade gift

‘I asked her if she had any I can use for this project. She’s like “are you serious?? I have plenty” and walks in the back room to get this mysterious project that she’s been working on for over a month now and pulls out the BEST anniversary gift EVER.

The handmade wooden map made by Taylor for Kianna

The handmade wooden map made by Taylor for Kianna (Photo: @carpenatorr | Instagram)

‘Guys. She hand made this, completely!! I’m so in awe of this woman forever and always. Happy 1 year (this Sunday), babe!

‘And yes, I did the Kim K cry.

‘And yes, we need to see more of the west coast.’

Kianna tells GSN that she and Taylor have been together six years and married for one. They have both been blown away by the attention the anniversary posting got on Instagram and Twitter.

Congratulations on your first year anniversary Kianna and Taylor. Here’s to many more!

Check out photos from their wedding day last September below.

A post shared by K I A N N A (@carpenatorr) on

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