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Sophie Labelle

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Sophie Labelle
Notable works
Assigned Male

Sophie Labelle is a Canadian[1][2] cartoonist, public speaker, and writer. She created the webcomic Assigned Male, which draws upon her experiences as a transgender child.[1][3] She is an activist in the transgender rights movement, and speaks on the subjects of transgender 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]


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 transgender girl discovering and embracing her gender.[1][4][8] 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 transgender 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.[8][12] 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 (leading her to take them offline temporarily).[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]

Selected works

  • "Ça déborde!" Un cahier de coloriage sur les genres et les sexes ("It's overflowing!" A coloring book about gender and sexes) (Des Ailes Sur Un Tracteur, 2015, ISBN 979-10-90286-26-9)[17][18]


  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. ^ Frivolette.com (11 September 2023). "French coloring book will help children get rid of gender stereotypes". frivolette.com. Retrieved 24 November 2023.
  17. ^ John Mack Freeman (7 June 2015). "Gender-neutral coloring book seeks to undermine stereotypes". Rainbow round table news. Retrieved 24 November 2023.
  18. ^ "At the Library: "The Best of Assigned Male," by Sophie Labelle". Waterloo Region Record. 28 January 2022. Retrieved 24 November 2023.
  19. ^ Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Committee (April 2022). "The Best Children's Books of the Year: 2022 Edition". Bank Street College of Education. Retrieved 24 November 2023.
  20. ^ "CIEL IN ALL DIRECTIONS". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 24 November 2023.