Sophie Labelle

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Sophie Labelle
Born 1987/1988 (age 30–31)[1]
Area(s) Cartoonist
Notable works
Assigned Male
assignedmale.tumblr.com

Sophie Labelle (born circa 1987) is a Canadian[2][3] author, cartoonist, and public speaker. She is transgender and known for her webcomic Assigned Male detailing her experiences as a trans woman.[2][4] She is active in the transgender rights movement and speaks on the subjects of trans history and transfeminism.[5][6]

Early life[edit]

Labelle grew up in rural Quebec, near Châteauguay.[3] She worked as an elementary school teacher, and was the camp co-ordinator for Gender Creative Kids Canada.[7][8][9]

Career[edit]

Labelle writes and draws 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.[9][2][5] Labelle has 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."[5] She has made educational guides to go with the comics, to promote safer spaces for trans youth.[5] The Washington Blade called the webcomic "hilarious" and said it shows transgender humour can be funny without being offensive.[10]

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.[11][12] She wrote the foreword to Tikva Wolf's book Ask me about Polyamory: The Best of Kimchi Cuddles.[13][9] She has created trans-centered sex education materials for Trans Student Educational Resources.[3][14]

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 the store and Labelle. 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).[15][16] 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.[17]

Books[edit]

Title type languages description # of pages color date
My Dad Thinks I'm a Boy?! children's book English, French 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
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
The Assignment comic anthology English, French 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
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 trans 12 year old Stephie, as she goes on a field trip with her classmates. The decision to make the dorms co-ed brings up so much drama that the gender binary almost ends up colliding into itself. It is also when we see Stephie and Frank's relationship grow into something more meaningful. 36 color
Help! Everything in My Life is Turning GAY! comic book English, French, German In this Halloween special of the webcomic 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
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. 24 color
Ultra Chicken Fun-Time Super Special comic book English, French The exclusive adventures of everyone's favourite rubber chicken and their sidekick Ciel!! 20 black and white
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
Serious Trans Vibes comic book English, French color
Nice Gender! Did Your Mom Pick it Out for You? comic book English, French color
Trans-Lucid: A Netfiix Drama comic book English, French color
A Girl Like Any Other children's book English, French
Add Your Own Colors to the Rainbow! coloring book English, French, German black and white
The Genderiffic Colouring Book coloring book English, French, German black and white
Ciel novel French

References[edit]

  1. ^ MacCharles, Tonda (May 19, 2017). "Transgender cartoonist faces vicious online attack, death threats". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Ennis, Dawn (16 January 2016). "Is This Golden Globes Comic in the L.A. Times Transphobic?". The Advocate. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c McGillis, Ian (April 7, 2017). "Quebec comics artist Sophie Labelle draws attention to trans issues". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Interview with Assigned Male creator: Sophie Labelle". Gay Central Valley. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Hodgins, Jenna (October 13, 2015). "Being transgender, web comics and mini-muffins: a chat with cartoonist Sophie Labelle". Student Independent News. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  6. ^ Smith, Sue (3 June 2014). "New transgender camp in Quebec". CBC Radio One. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  7. ^ Yates, Jeff (6 March 2015). "Sophie Labelle: «Ce n'est pas parce qu'on est en 2015 que c'est réglé»". Métro (in French). Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c "8 Comics That Remind Us to Throw Out the Gender Binary". Everyday Feminism. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  9. ^ Chase, Suzi (12 March 2016). "Tracy Morgan's transphobic Oscar spoof". Washington Blade. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  10. ^ "Gender-neutral coloring book helps kids understand stereotypes". Gay Star News. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Author: Sophie Labelle". Michael C. Weidemann LGBT Library Catalog. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  12. ^ Wolf, Tikva (2016). Ask Me About Polyamory: The Best of Kimchi Cuddles. Thorntree Press LLC. ISBN 9780996460125. 
  13. ^ "Trans-Centered Sex Ed". Trans Student Educational Resources. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  14. ^ d'Entremont, Yvette (May 18, 2017). "Trans cartoonist forced to cancel Halifax book launch 'overwhelmed' by community support". Toronto Metro. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  15. ^ Colley, Sherri Borden (May 19, 2017). "Threats force cancellation of trans cartoonist's Halifax book launch". CBC News. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
  16. ^ Beaumont, Hilary (May 19, 2017). "This Canadian cartoonist is just the latest target of anti-transgender trolls". Vice. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 

External links[edit]