Interview with Lindz Amer, Author of Hooray for She, He, Ze, and They!

Lindz Amer (they/them) creates LGBTQ+ and social justice media for kids and families. They wrote, produced, and cohosted Queer Kid Stuff—an original LGBTQ+ educational web series for ages three and up—which The Huffington Post called a “groundbreaking YouTube educational resource.” They host the Rainbow Parenting podcast and wrote Rainbow Parenting, a queer and gender-affirming parenting guidebook for grown-ups, and the picture book Hooray for She, He, Ze, and They!. They also write and consult for preschool television.

I had the opportunity to interview Lindz, which you can read below.

What can you tell us about your latest book, Hooray for She, He, Ze, and They!: What Are Your Pronouns Today? What was the inspiration for the project?

I dedicated the picture book to my younger self! So much of my work comes from my own inner child healing where I make what I wish I had when I was younger. But recently there’s been something more urgent pushing me forward. I can’t gift my work to my younger self, so it’s about helping today’s young people navigate the culture and society we’re living in, combating anti-trans and anti-queer sentiments with a whole lot of joy and showing kids how they can tap into their authenticity and be proud of who they are even when the world tells them they shouldn’t be themselves.

As creators, what drew you to the art of storytelling, particularly picture book?

Stories are everything for me. If I believed in anything close to god it would be stories. Stories that we’ve told and retold again and again, reconfigured archetypes and heroes journeys and flights of fancy. For me, stories are everything. I consider myself to be an artist who works across many different mediums (prose, music, scripts, performance, painting) but the heart of everything I do creatively is always story. Picture books are some of the first stories we encounter and become conscious of. My favorite picture books from my childhood are stories that have grown with me throughout my whole life and have taken on new meanings through different context and moments in my own story. I think it’s pretty darn cool that I can contribute even a little bit to a young person’s life through a work like that.

How would you describe your creative process?

A great question! It’s very stop and start for me. I’ll get an idea and let it percolate or deep dive into a ton of research. When it feels like my brain can’t hold onto it any longer, that’s when I usually start putting words on a page and play with language. I work best when my work is in conversation with others so feedback and the back and forth process of editing is extremely important for me. I’ll do that back and forth dance until it starts to take on a sharper shape and that’s when it’s at some semblance of “finished.” Most of my creative projects take on some version of that pattern. Some are longer and take a really long time to come together and some just pour out of me.

Growing up, were there any stories in which you felt touched by/ or reflected in? Are there any like that now?

I was a HUGE Harry Potter kid. That series is tough for me nowadays since JK Rowling has been so vocally anti-trans. I haven’t been able to revisit it for a few years and I used to listen to the audiobooks every year. But I’ve been getting into the Percy Jackson books recently and that’s been really healing for me, especially as a neurodivergent person!

As a creative, who or what would you say are some of your greatest creative influences and/or sources of inspiration in general? 

People! I love true stories from my life or a friend’s life but I also get a lot out of history. There are so many stories out there yet to be uncovered, especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ history. Rabble-rousers and stories of outcasts and folks who made good trouble always get my gears going. There was a moment where I got super into pirates! I get inspired by real life, and history, and people I know and I filter them through story structures and archetypes to turn it into something that has maybe a bit more of a flourish or puts emphasis in a particular spot.

What are some of your favorite elements of writing? What do you consider some of the most frustrating and/or challenging? 

My favorite part of writing is when I get into the flow of it. That’s when I’m really living with the characters and watching the story unfold in my mind’s eye. But the most frustrating part is pretty much everything around that. Staring at a blank page, watching a deadline tick closer and closer. When I can’t find a good creative solution to a story problem. Those are the not fun parts!

Many creators would say one of the most challenging parts of writing a book is finishing one. What strategies would you say helped you accomplish this?

It’s so very helpful to have talented editors and a deadline. Sometimes you just have to call it when you’ve been messing with a manuscript for too long. It’s never going to truly be finished and I’ve worked on making peace with knowing things won’t always be absolutely perfect, but perfection is an illusion. Nothing is ever truly “finished” there’s just a point in the creative cycle when you decide that it’s close enough to being finished and then it needs to move onto the next part of the process for other artists to work on whether that’s an illustrator or a layout designer, because there are very few artistic mediums where a piece is only ever touched by one person. I have to finish my part of the process so others can do their part!

Aside from your work, what are some things you would want others to know about you?

I have a wonderful wife and two very spunky rescue dogs Georgie and Charlie! I love to cook, I’m decent at painting landscapes and I probably watch too much reality tv competition shows. I was born and raised in NYC but now I live in New England. I miss the city that raised me but I love the slower pace my life has taken when I’m at home. I love my friends and community, but I’m also a huge introvert. I play goalie in a local rec soccer league and I love to share music with the young folks in my life 🙂 Thank you for asking!

What’s a question you haven’t been asked yet but that you wish you were asked (as well as the answer to that question)?

Ooooo! If you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was 5 I would have said astronaut, but that dream died the first time I tasted freeze dried ice cream.

What advice might you have to give for other aspiring writers?

Keep writing! Even if it’s bad! Even if it’s terrible! If you keep at it, it won’t be terrible forever. To get good at something, you have to be patient with yourself and do it over and over again and you get better at it slowly. It may feel like forever but one day you’ll find an old poem you wrote in high school and it will be super cringey but then you’ll look at your newly published picture book and see how far you’ve come.

Are there any other projects you are working on and at liberty to speak about?

Mainly I’m focusing on my work through Queer Kid Stuff, the LGBTQ+ preschool webseries where I got my start (and what I’m probably most well-known for!). I’m working on some big stuff (including a possible rebooted version of the show?!?) so stay tuned for that! Lots more coming down the pipe. If folks want to stay up to date they can check out and join our monthly newsletter!

Finally, what LGBTQ+ books/authors (comics included) would you recommend to the readers of Geeks OUT? 

Oh gosh, I’ll read anything by Kyle Lukoff, Kacen Callendar, Casey McQuiston, and ND Stevenson.