Sneak Peek: Queer 101

So in order to prove that I’m actually doing my masters – I thought I’d show you a info comic that’s going at the start of the book. The idea of it is that it’s a super simple queer 101, it’s only a draft at this stage, and it’s pretty flawed still but here it is anyway:
Also! My friend works for Amnesty International – and they’re having a wicked fundraiser, if any Auckland artist folks want to be involved:

Amnesty International Fundraising Event:

We are organising a live street art day followed by an auction to celebrate our 50th Birthday.

We have titled the event “The Art of Freedom – taking it to the streets” and it stems from the idea that change starts from ordinary people speaking out from the streets in protest of human rights violations around the world. We are hoping to use the connection between Amnesty’s action against injustices and the questioning nature of street art to spread awareness of Amnesty International while celebrating our 50th year of defending human rights. We have also done a lot of campaigning on behalf of artists who have been unfairly punished for using their freedom of expression and would like the event to highlight the importance of this right in creating change for the better.

The event itself will be split into two days. The first will be live street art painting, were artists from Disruptiv and Cracked Ink will create works in St Kevin’s Arcade to raise awareness for Amnesty and generate interest for the exhibition. This will take place on Thursday June the 9th between 11am and 2pm. The second event is the exhibition that will include the works from the live painting as well as pieces from artists around New Zealand. Already we have several works that have been donated, including ones from ATom 1746, James R Ford and Seekayem. Oi You!, the national street art competition are on board, helping us with promotion and sending us prints to add to the collection.

If you would be willing to help by donating a piece, participating in the live painting or simply suggesting the idea to other artists who might be interested we would appreciate it greatly.

For more info email Rachel at:

events(DOT)intern (AT) amnesty (DOT) org (DOT) nz

39 responses to “Sneak Peek: Queer 101

  1. It seems a little weird that you floated asexual off the sexuality spectrum but stuck agender/nongendered/neutrois in the middle of the gender spectrum?

  2. that is a really awesome comic. I love all of your comics because they are so honest and heartfelt and super cool and all that other jazz and this one is just so cool to me because I’m in school studying social work focusing on human diversity and social justice with a focus on sexuality and gender… so this is great. and perfect. and wonderful.

  3. more awesome work!

  4. Another little niggle. I’m not sure how I feel about the asexual person saying that they’re ‘not into anyone’. I know it’s on the sexual attraction continuum, so it’s in that context, but it’s maybe not super obvious? I’m not asexual myself, but I know asexual people in romantic relationships, or who ARE really ‘into’ people… just they don’t want to have sex with them.

    Sorry if that’s too niggly/not right! Really love this comic. I got into the ‘what does queer mean’ argument on the weekend at a party. It was a jolt! I’m used to people who already understand what the terms mean, or haven’t the foggiest. This person thought ‘queer’ meant ‘homosexual’ and that was it – and had never heard that sex and gender were different. Thankfully, they were also nice and interested and we both learnt things!

    • Ooh yes, I did think about that but couldn’t quite think of a phrase to make it work. Maybe I just need to add a couple of extra panels in there to explain it. Because I try to break down the ‘romantic’ attraction, ‘physical attraction’ etc. etc. stuff at the start – so I could just add a little bit more in there to have that reflected in the asexual bit – so it’s not just one little sentence that oversimplifies. I could have little continuums for romantic attraction and stuff to indicate the differences.
      Thank you sooo much for letting me know. I’m really keen to hear about bits that didn’t sit right with people.

      • Yeah, it’s a tricky one! Like every sexuality, I guess. Identities are complex. Maybe something boringly literal like ‘I’m not sexually attracted to anyone!’ Not sure, as I said I’m not asexual and it seems like a broad umbrella, I’m not sure how to avoid excluding someone, at some point, without expanding and qualifying that like you said.

  5. I think it is a fantastic comic! I would, in my niggly way, suggest finding a different phrase for “western paradigm.” Although it is an awesome phrase, it does stand out in overly-theoretical way when the rest of the comic is so simple (yet not to the point of being banal) and understandable. Perhaps just using “western culture(s)”? Otherwise, F.A.B!

    • Sweet thanks Neal! Yeh ‘Western Paradigm’ does sound needlessly academic, and I definitely worked hard to try and take the academic-sounding stuff out of most of it. So yeh, maybe just ‘culture’ works better – cheers! Hopefully by the time it goes through a few more drafts it’ll be more solid!

  6. This is awesome. It’s nice to see a straightforward, positive set of definitions – and the fact that it’s a comic is an added bonus!

  7. Love it!

  8. Haha, of course there’s a roller derby girl in there. Very nice!

  9. most excellent! Words come in a mere second compared to your comic strip to explain such diverse wonderfulness. Maybe I should carry a copy with me and just hand it out rather than trying to say anything myself – any mention of the word queer (which I can’t help but drop in) just throws those unwilling to look past their boxes. I think pictures maybe a more constructive approach, or at least another tool for the box!
    PS. where are the necks or am I not meant to have one? Seems to be a subtle reinforcement of a mind/body split… or I could be reading far too much into it and not being respectful of your artistic freedom to show bodies of choice 😉

    • I have nooooo idea why I thought the little characters would be sans necks – I thought it would be cute. But it also is kinda creepy too. Perhaps I am saying something about being openminded? Oh no, if that was the case they’d have big sections missing from their heads. I’m not sure…. probably the mind/body thing. Damn.
      PS See you all soon! I can hardly wait!

  10. Big thumbs up. Sometimes I feel like the explaining of things is often overshadowed by arguing so this was refreshing and I approve! 😀

    • yay! Thanks! Agreed, arguing can get tiresome, even though it can also be helpful too. And I’m sure there’s plenty in this guide to argue with too, but, still, it’s a start!

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  12. Grand! What a great thing to bookmark and show to people with questions 😀

  13. Sheila is spelt E before I 🙂

  14. Sam, this is fancy-tastic. I’m totally going to use it for class next semester (inevitably I’ll be teaching *something* that will involve queer concepts… and if not, I’ll cram it in anyway). Thanks man, this is a great teaching resource.

  15. I feel like I should print this out and hand it to everyone that talks to me, saying it’s a prerequisite. I think this should be taught in elementary schools. This is the first “guide” I’ve ever read that didn’t confuse gender and sex terms or gender and sexuality terms. AMAZING.

  16. Hi Sam!!

    I really loved this info comic – it’s simply phrased yet precise, fun yet informative. I was wondering if I could have your permission to print this out and hang it up in the room my school’s QSA (Queer Straight Alliance) meets.

    If not, that’s fine, but I just wanted to ask! I’ve been following your blog closely since I came out and I introduced it to a bunch of friends – trans and not trans 🙂 You’re very loved.

    PS Don’t you love how we’re not called a GSA? We decided to rename ourselves with a Q to include everyone 🙂

    • Oh woah, I’d be super honored that you’d wanna use it! It’d be awesome to pop my name and website at the bottom, if that’d be cool with you too? What school are ya at?
      I love love love the idea of a QSA – as opposed to a GSA – sounds like that’s a much more inclusive space. Awesome!

      • Oh for sure! In big letters, even! 😀 It’s a pretty big school in Toronto. We hold our QSA in a room designated as a Positive Space, a place where teens can come and hang out, do work, get health/sexuality info, or just chill. We really need some more posters up and this would be just wonderful! We were actually featured in the news recently and won an award given to Toronto’s top Q/GSAs.

        The school year’s over as of tomorrow though, haha. I’ll print these out in September! I already know they’ll brighten up the room! 🙂

  17. I just posted a link to this cartoon on my women/gender/sexuality class’s blog for my students to check out.. it fits perfectly with what we’ve been studying and i appreciate you sharing it!

  18. I saw this being passed around Tumblr and apart from being incredibly cool, the maori and samoan terms also really caught my attention. Like.. hey, what if this guy’s from where I think he is?? And whaddaya know! NZ buddies, hey! 😀
    It’s so cool going through this blog and actually recognising places, events.. as opposed to reading some thing about like, Minnesota. The heck is Minnesota, anyway. (I kid, I kid.)

    Now this will undoubtedly make life harder for you, but I happen to absolutely adore ‘western paradigm’, unlike the one person up there 😛 Although I am needlessly wordy as well, so obviously we shall both have to make sacrifices for the common people. I suppose I’d better cut off my comment here before my rambling gets worse? Keep doing what you’re doing! Your stuff is so fantastic!!! 😀

    • Ha! Yay! Go New Zealanders! So great to hear! I definitely love people saying they recognise the places and stuff – sometimes it can feel like NZ is soooo far away from everyone/everything else!!

  19. Reblogged this on The Arab Observer and commented:
    This is an excellent cartoon that gives a better idea of what I tried to say in my sexuality 101 blog post that I wrote in Arabic a while ago.

  20. Hiya, I realise I’m like a year to late to really comment on this, but found your blog and read a bit further once I realised it was by an NZ post-grad student like me. The ‘pakeha boy’ one caught my eye. Been doing research tonight (curiosity research, not thesis research) and read this post : which I found was a really helpful way to get away from the problems of trying to put everything on a 1-dimensional line. The concept that gender and sexuality (as seperate things) neither exist on continuums, nor 2-dimensional squares, but a 3-dimensional space, or even 4 or 5 dimensions, with spectrums covering the many ways in which people can differ. It really appealed to me.

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