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.
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.