'Hooray for She, He, Ze, and They!' - Understanding Gender Euphoria

"Hooray for She, He, Ze, and They!" by Lindz Amer.

Lindz Amer wanted to write a book that they wished they had when they were a child, so that's how "Hooray for She, He, Ze, and They!" came to be.

What was your inspiration behind "Hooray for She, He, Ze, and They!?"

I dedicated the book to my childhood self! Writing this book was really healing for me in that way. So much of what I create as a queer and trans person making work for kids and families is what I wish I'd had when I was a kid. I can't go back and give this to my childhood self, but I hope that it helps the kids who get to read it today. 

What does Reading Rainbow mean to you?

There's a feeling I get when I see myself reflected back in the stories I read. It's pride, yes, but it's also belonging and feeling seen. When I get to read a beautiful book or experience reading something where I can see even a fraction of myself in that story, that's what reading with pride means to me. 

Why do you feel representation of a variety of people is so important when it comes to writing books?

For so long, the stories we read and watch haven't reflected the breadth and width of the human experience because they only represented a small handful of people. And it's simply not what the world looks like. And that fallacy creates an illusion that the people who do get represented are the golden standard, when it's so far from the truth. It is so hard to dream of possibilities when they aren't presented as something you can attain. My work is one small way of showing kids that they have so many different possibilities of who they can become. And I think that's so important for kids to understand, especially when they are young and developing and exploring their identities. 

Tell us a little more about "Hooray for She, He, Ze, and They!" and why you decided to write it.

"Hooray for She, He, Ze, and They!" is really a conversation starter! It's a picture book that talks to kids about pronouns, but I'm not really teaching them what pronouns are, I'm connecting language to emotions and feelings. I want kids to think about the way the words they use for themselves makes them feel. So, it's not actually a book about pronouns, it's a book about gender euphoria. It's helping young readers recognize that feeling you get when something fits just right, using vivid language to evoke a strong emotion so that they can process what it might mean to use one pronoun or another to identify themselves.

What can fans expect from your book?

Lots of beautiful images from my brilliant illustrator Kip Alizadeh! For folks who watch my webseries "Queer Kid Stuff," you might want to look for an Easter Egg in one of those images! 

What's up next for you in the bookish world?

You know, I'm not entirely sure! I'm in the process of self-publishing a coloring book for "Queer Kid Stuff" with my collaborator Andy Passchier! I have hopes and dreams of doing a bit more self-publishing through "Queer Kid Stuff" in 2024 as well. I have a few more picture book and board book manuscripts and ideas for more nonfiction for adults I've been tinkering away at, but aren't quite ready yet. There's a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on with "Queer Kid Stuff" right now so that's mostly where my energy is focused at the moment!

Buy the book here.


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