Cartoon Collab Centers Black Trans and Non-Binary Youth
The National Black Justice Coalition and Cartoon Network partnered to release a comic strip that teaches kids about pronouns and respect.
While most people today would disagree with the adage “children should be seen, not heard,” many act as though young people’s identities are not theirs to articulate. Adults affirm children being expressive through extracurriculars. We encourage them to be entrepreneurs, and teach them to self-advocate. Unfortunately, adults can also limit and restrict possibilities for children.
The stakes around identity affirmation are life-and-death high: Sexism, homophobia and transphobia are pervasive, making it dangerous to be gender nonconforming. Perhaps that’s why some adults respond to questions around young people’s gender identities with so much fear, even coercion. Maybe we’re scared for them, or maybe we’re wedded to our bigotry. Whatever the case, it’s unhealthy for our children. They have to be able to be who they are.
In fact, there are scads of grown-ups who used to be children who hid their identities out of fear of rejection, loss, displacement, violence and other abuse. They needed to be affirmed and protected, and their communities failed.
- “I wish I had seen this sort of thing as a kid. I definitely would have come out sooner than I did. I’m glad that this generation of kids are learning these things.”
- “It makes me feel seen, and it warms my heart. All the younger ones who get to see themselves on screen and know their favorite channel thinks they’re rad? YES.”