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Sophie Labelle

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Sophie Labelle
NationalityCanadian
Area(s)Cartoonist
Notable works
Assigned Male
www.serioustransvibes.com

Sophie Labelle is a Canadian[1][2] cartoonist, public speaker, and writer. She is known for her webcomic Assigned Male, which draws upon her experiences as a trans girl and woman.[1][3] She is an activist in the transgender rights movement, and speaks on the subjects of trans history and transfeminism.[4][5]

Early life

Labelle grew up in rural Quebec, near Châteauguay.[2] She worked as an elementary school teacher, and was the camp coordinator for Gender Creative Kids Canada.[6][7][8]

Career

Labelle is the author and illustrator of Assigned Male, a webcomic and series of zines addressing issues of gender norms and privilege. It features the character of 11-year-old Stephie, a trans girl discovering and embracing her gender.[8][1][4] Labelle said that while working with transgender children, she "noticed how negative everything we tell them about their own body is, so I wanted to create a character that could respond to all those horrible things trans kids hear all the time."[4] She has made educational guides to go along with the comics, promoting safer spaces for trans youth.[4] The Washington Blade called the webcomic "hilarious" and said it shows transgender humour can be funny without being offensive.[9]

Labelle has written several books and zines about gender identity and expression, including The Genderific Coloring Book, A Girl Like Any Other, Ciel at Camp Fabulous, and Gender Euphoria.[10][11] The English translation of the second volume of the Ciel series, Ciel in All Directions (2020, Second Story Press) was named as a 2022 Bank Street Children's Book Committee's Best Books of the Year. She wrote the foreword to Tikva Wolf's book Ask me about Polyamory: The Best of Kimchi Cuddles.[12][8] She has created trans-centered sex education materials for Trans Student Educational Resources.[2][13]

In May 2017 Labelle released the comic book Dating Tips for Trans and Queer Weirdos. A scheduled launch at the bookstore Venus Envy in Halifax was cancelled after threats were made against both her and the store. She received death threats, her home address was posted in online forums, and her web site and social media accounts were compromised (which she temporarily took offline).[14][15] In the wake of the harassment, Labelle advocated for Canadian Bill C-16 to protect gender identity and expression, and for stronger laws against cyberbullying.[16]

Works

Title Type Languages Description # of pages Color Date
A Girl Like Any Other children's book English A Girl Like Any Other is a storybook introduction to gender variance for children 6-12, told through the story of a young trans girl. 32 color 2013
Down with the Cis-tem comic book English, French Down with the Cis-tem is the first printed collection of Assigned Male comics. 36 black and white 2014
Gender Euphoria comic book English, French, Romanian Gender Euphoria is a collection of Assigned Male comics originally from November 2014 to March 2015. 40 black and white 2015
Dear Cis People comic book English, French Dear Cis People is about a summer party the gang throws after Stéphie gets on hormone blockers. 45 black and white 2015
Ciel at Camp Fabulous comic book English, French Ciel at Camp Fabulous is about a young, gender non-conforming kid finding their voice at a summer camp for queer and trans youth. 32 black and white 2015
The Genderiffic Colouring Book coloring book English, French, Finnish The Genderiffic Coloring Book is a coloring book for anyone about gender identity, expression, and stereotypes. 28 black and white 2015
The Assignment comic anthology English, French, German The Assignment is an anthology of the webcomic Assigned Male. It covers the beginning of Stephie and Frank's relationship and how they first met. 32 color 2016
Nail Polish comic book English, French Nail Polish is set at the beginning of the comic series, when Stephie and Ciel met each other. As the characters explore their femininity, they learn to care for each other, empowering themselves along the way. 20 monochrome 2016
Gender Liberation and Warm Fuzzies comic anthology English, French Gender Liberation and Warm Fuzzies (followed by The Legend of the Rarest Genders) follows the adventures of 12 year-old Stephie as she goes on a class field trip, but when the dorms are co-ed there is so much drama that the gender binary almost collides in on itself. 36 color 2016
Help! Everything in My Life is Turning GAY! comic book English, French, German Help! Everything in My Life Is Turning GAY! In this Halloween special of Assigned Male, Frank ponders upon the effect his girlfriend Stephie has on his life while they go on a unicorn watching trip along with two other friends. 28 color 2016
My Dad Thinks I'm a Boy?! children's book English, French, Swedish My Dad Thinks I'm a Boy?! is a prequel to the webcomic Assigned Male. The book is about the relationship between Stephie and her father Martin and deals with how trans children have to deal with the ignorance and insensitivity of their parents. 36 color 2017
Rachel's Christmas Boat children's book English, French Rachel's Christmas Boat is about a girl named Lulu rushing to enact her plan to make sure Santa knows what her Dad's new name is after Lulu's Dad tells her that she's going to change her name to Rachel and be a lady now. 28 color 2017
The World Needs More Trans Cuties comic book English, French The World Needs More Trans Cuties includes several episodic comics and two small arcs: one of Frank having Stephie over to his house and a Winter Solstice sleepover arc. 28 color 2017
Add Your Own Colors to the Rainbow! coloring book English, French, Finnish Add Your Own Colors to the Rainbow! is a gender & sexuality inclusive and explorative coloring book drawn mostly by Labelle with guest illustrations by several other LGBT artists.[17] 32 black and white 2017
Ultra Chicken Fun-Time Super Special comic book English, French Ultra Chicken Fun-Time Super Special presents exclusive adventures of everyone's favourite rubber chicken and their sidekick Ciel! 20 black and white 2017
Dating Tips for Trans and Queer Weirdos comic book English, French Dating Tips for Trans and Queer Weirdos is about Ciel and Eiríkur's first date. 24 color 2017
Serious Trans Vibes comic book English, French Serious Trans Vibes is a compilation of short comics that follow Stephie and her friends. It includes major development for characters like Ciel and Frank, and gives a bit more backstory on the characters and why they are the way they are. 32 color 2018
Nice Gender! Did Your Mom Pick it Out for You? comic book English, French In Nice Gender! Did your mom pick it out for you?, Stephie babysits a toddler who wasn't assigned any gender at birth with the help of her friend Ciel. 36 color 2018
We Won't Be Erased comic book English, French We Won't Be Erased is a compilation of comics from Assigned Male featuring adventures like a mother-daughter coffee date, witchcraft, and walks to school. 32 color 2018
Trans-Lucid: A Netfiix Drama comic book English, French Trans-Lucid: A Netflix Drama is the name of the show produced by Ciel's rubber chicken and starring many people in Ciel's life. What begins as a queer reality show quickly becomes a ghost hunt with "The Producer." 24 color 2018
Sex Ed For Everyone: Comics About Relationship Identities, and Puberty comic book English, French In Sex Ed For Everyone, Ciel and Stéphie decide to create their own sex ed youtube show for LGBTQIA+ teenagers after receiving terrible sex education classes at their school. 32 color 2019
Gender Helpline comic book English, French Gender Helpline features Ciel and their rubber chicken running a helpline to answer all of your gender questions. 28 color 2019
Rainbow Crosswalks comic book English, French Rainbow Crosswalks is a collection of comics discussing Ciel and Eirikur's relationship. 32 color 2020
The Scarf comic book English, French The Scarf serves a prologue for the 2021 Best of Assigned Male anthology. The school year is about to start and Ciel (who hasn't changed their name to Ciel yet) is anxious, and their little brother keeps taking the scarf their mother gave to Ciel before her passing. 36 monochrome 2020
Ciel novel English, French Ciel is a gender non-conforming high-school student, who with their friend Sophie, a trans girl, is trying to navigate the political and social dynamic of being a queer teen. 186 black and white 2020
Ciel in All Directions novel English, French Settling in at high school, Ciel and their friends quickly find themselves pulled in all directions by science projects, their YouTube channel, and their campaign for the school's LGBT Alliance. 205 black and white 2021
The Best of Assigned Male comic anthology English The Best of Assigned Male is a comprehensive collection of both new and well-known Assigned Male strips. 352 color 2021
Gender Pirates: An Assigned Male Comics Collection comic anthology English Gender Pirates is a collection of Assigned Male comics from 2014-2016, including comics from 1: Down With the Cis-tem, 2: Gender Euphoria, 3: Dear Cis People, and 4: Nail Polish. 166 mixed 2021
Queerantine comic book English, French In Queerantine, the regular Assigned Male characters offer their thoughts on all things pandemic. 32 color 2021
Gender Euphoria Galore comic book English, French In Gender Euphoria Galore it's back-to-school season for Stephie and Ciel and they manage to live their best lives in spite of transphobic lessons and jokes. 36 color 2021
G.S.A. comic book English, French G.S.A. follows the adventures of Ciel and Stephie as they start secondary school and join the GSA. 32 color 2021
Candycore 1: Jake & Theo comic book English, French Candycore 1 follows the blossoming friendship between new student Theo, a blue polydactyl cat, and the prettiest goat in town, Jake. 32 color 2021
Am Stram Gram novel French 256 black and white 2021
Wish Upon a Satellite novel English, French Wish Upon a Satellite is the third novel in the Ciel series, following the characters as they leave childhood and grapple with new questions of identity, loyalty, and how to negotiate dating and relationships in the age of social media. 272 black and white 2022
The Trans Agenda comic book English, French color 2022

References

  1. ^ a b c Ennis, Dawn (16 January 2016). "Is This Golden Globes Comic in the L.A. Times Transphobic?". The Advocate. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b c McGillis, Ian (7 April 2017). "Quebec comics artist Sophie Labelle draws attention to trans issues". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 8 May 2021. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Interview with Assigned Male creator: Sophie Labelle". Gay Central Valley. Archived from the original on 12 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  4. ^ Hodgins, Jenna (13 October 2015). "Being transgender, web comics and mini-muffins: a chat with cartoonist Sophie Labelle". Student Independent News. Archived from the original on 8 September 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  5. ^ Smith, Sue (3 June 2014). "New transgender camp in Quebec". CBC Radio One. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 28 February 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  6. ^ Yates, Jeff (6 March 2015). "Sophie Labelle: "Ce n'est pas parce qu'on est en 2015 que c'est réglé"" [Sophie Labelle: "Just because we are in 2015 does not mean that it is settled"]. Métro (in Canadian French). Archived from the original on 26 August 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "8 Comics That Remind Us to Throw Out the Gender Binary". Everyday Feminism. 24 March 2015. Archived from the original on 9 February 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  8. ^ Chase, Suzi (12 March 2016). "Tracy Morgan's transphobic Oscar spoof". Washington Blade. Archived from the original on 7 September 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Gender-neutral coloring book helps kids understand stereotypes". Gay Star News. 4 June 2015. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Author: Sophie Labelle". Michael C. Weidemann LGBT Library Catalog. Archived from the original on 22 October 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  11. ^ Wolf, Tikva (2016). Ask Me About Polyamory: The Best of Kimchi Cuddles. Thorntree Press LLC. ISBN 9780996460125.
  12. ^ "Trans-Centered Sex Ed". Trans Student Educational Resources. Archived from the original on 4 December 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  13. ^ d'Entremont, Yvette (18 May 2017). "Trans cartoonist forced to cancel Halifax book launch 'overwhelmed' by community support". Toronto Metro. Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  14. ^ Colley, Sherri Borden (19 May 2017). "Threats force cancellation of trans cartoonist's Halifax book launch". CBC News. Archived from the original on 18 January 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  15. ^ Beaumont, Hilary (19 May 2017). "This Canadian cartoonist is just the latest target of anti-transgender trolls". Vice. Archived from the original on 12 June 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  16. ^ Labelle, Sophie. "Add your own colors to the Rainbow!". GoodReads. Retrieved 31 July 2022.

External links