By Landon Funky
know what sucks? Unequal representation in the media. I know I don’t
have to tell you all that. We have published piece after piece drawing
attention to this issue, and we shouldn’t have to. Time and time again I
hear the same thing: if you don’t like it, fix it. And so, we do.
But fixing what is wrong and unequal is a challenge, an uphill battle. In order to get equal representation, we have to assert ourselves into the conversation and make sure to be heard by those in positions of power. More importantly, we need to be heard by our youth. If you want to change the world, you have to create a different world view and present that view to the children in our lives – which is exactly what Jacinta Bunnell is doing with her coloring books.
Bunnell’s coloring books tell a story. In the one I am currently working on, Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon, she creatively retells popular fairy tales that break free from the usual heteronormative, cisgender tropes with which we grew up. The prince searches for Cinderella, not to find his princess, but to ask her where he could find a pair of glass slippers for himself. A little girl rides on the back of a tyrannosaurus rex in a sheriff’s uniform, and a little box finds an his treasure, an Easy-Bake Oven, in the trash.
Her other coloring books are Girls Are Not Chicks, Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls Will Be…, and The Big Gay Alphabet Coloring Book. As you can tell from the titles, Bunnell writes stories to empower kids – and adults like me – to accept who they really are. A person cannot choose their sexuality just like they cannot choose their race. But they can choose how they identify, and Bunnell’s coloring books are empowering kids to be unapologetically themselves.
Now, that is something I can get behind.
Bunnell creates a safe space for kids to question gender norms and actually be themselves. The books are sold by PM Press for only $11. These 11×8.5 inch coloring books have forty pages and are distributed in the United States and Europe.
She doesn’t sit back and watch the world change; Bunnell incites the change. With each page. With each book. With each child. If we were all as courageous and creative as she is, the world would be a better place.