Support ‘Transphoria’: Elevating Trans and Nonbinary Stories with Kickstarter

By: Damon Goodrich-Houska (they/them)
Jun 11, 2024

Busy Geek Breakdown (TL;DR): This anthology seriously has something for everyone. It’s written by amazing and talented LGBTQ+ artists and authors. You should support the Kickstarter now!!!!!

Transphoria” is a groundbreaking anthology that sets a new standard for representation in queer media. Led by the fabulous Daniel Falco, a trans creator with a penchant for storytelling, this collection brings together a diverse range of voices and genres, making it a must-read for anyone interested in trans and nonbinary experiences. The anthology is a vibrant tapestry of autobiographies, romances, supernatural tales, and science fiction centered around the trans experience. With high-profile creators like Ben Kahn, Chris Shehan, Kam White, and many others on board, you’re in for a treat as delightful as finding the perfect pair of heels in your size.

Now, let me tell you what stands out most about “Transphoria“: its commitment to showcasing the rich diversity of trans and nonbinary stories. Whether you’re craving heartfelt poetry, thrilling horror, or reflective slice-of-life narratives, this anthology has something to tickle everyone’s fancy. The art? Stunning. The writing? Powerful. The overall production quality? Absolutely top-notch. And as if that wasn’t enough, you’ll get a darling little “Trans Axolotl” enamel pin as a bonus for supporting the project. Trust me, you will want to take advantage of this gem.

“Transphoria” is an anthology that brings trans and nonbinary stories to the forefront, featuring the work of numerous acclaimed writers and artists. There’s something here for everyone, no matter what kind of comics you are into! Here are some highlights:

  • Anime Action: Ben Kahn and Yonson Carbonell present a story where an unexpected crush or an inspirational queer figure can spark a journey of self-exploration, featuring androgynous vampires fighting with sexy psychic ghosts. How’s that for a Saturday night in?
  • Poetry: Brent Fisher and Megan Huang offer introspective monologues between a prodigal father and his transgender daughter at her wedding, revealing their transformative journeys. Pass the tissues, please.
  • Slice of Life: Daniel Falco and Zuzanna Lewandowska depict a transman reflecting on his journey with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and its impact on his life. Get ready for some deep feels.
  • Autobiography: Kam White tells his own story of coming out and transitioning as a Black transman, focusing on representation and acceptance. Representation matters, and Kam delivers.
  • Romance: Jaymie Wagner and March Grabber explore themes of love and disability as Alex helps Liz move on from memories of her first wedding. Talk about a fresh start!
  • Horror: Dylan Davison and George Williams create a night of terror as a young trans man and his coworkers face a mysterious creature. Hold onto your wigs!
  • Surrealism/Coming-of-Age: Alex R. Haze and Michela Cacciatore depict the joyous coming out of a trans person assigned female at birth and their experience with dysphoria. Beautiful and brave.
  • Military Slice of Life: Lilith Evelyn and Alessandro Canzanella present Vivian, an openly transgender navy service member, navigating her workplace. Grab the Weems and Plath! (Navigation jokes)

“Transphoria” brings these stories to life and offers readers an opportunity to support trans and nonbinary creators through its Kickstarter campaign. And yes, darlings, I’ve already ordered my copy because missing out on this would be a travesty. You can join me and snag your own copy by visiting [Kickstarter link placeholder].

“Transphoria” is a rich and varied collection that highlights the vast potential of queer creators and the importance of trans representation in all forms of media. It’s a celebration of trans and nonbinary identities and a testament to the power of storytelling in bringing communities together. Don’t miss out!!!

And now on to the interview:

Have you had a big presence at Conventions (ie. Flame Con.)? Either way, how has it been interacting with your fans, whether in person or online?

Kat: We love going to conventions! It’s truly a highlight when we get to meet our Kickstarter backers in person or WEBTOON readers. And it’s a whole new thrill to meet potential new readers. Conventions are a very important gear in our business model for in person interaction, but we also have a wonderful online community with weekly webtoon comments on Slice of Life, and the community we’ve made on our Substack newsletter.

Phil: There’s honestly no better feeling than meeting a fan at a convention who has been moved by our work. Whether a Slice of Life reader on WEBTOON/Tapas or a Kickstarter backer, it’s always a treat to form an in-person connection with someone who found your work online.

Dan: I haven’t had the opportunity to interact with many fans yet, since Transphoria is my first time working with Lifeline as a leading editor. But I do attend conventions and prides to sell these books often, and seeing the enthusiasm from everyone has been very motivating and gratifying. It was definitely inspirational as I worked on Transphoria knowing there were dedicated and amazing audiences out there.

How does your personal identity and experiences as an LGBT individual influence your creative process and the stories you choose to tell?

Dan: Being trans and queer certainly influences me as a creator and storyteller– just as much as it affects me as an audience member. I didn’t grow up with a lot of queer stories, and the ones that existed tended to focus on coming-out and finding your identity. These are valuable stories, don’t get me wrong, but I also wanted queer horror movies, queer comedies, queerness in every genre. I like writing in a lot of different styles and I definitely want to explore transness in every genre since there’s so much potential for depth and beauty. For Bi Visibility: Still Bi, I got to write a trans vampire romance and was ecstatic about that opportunity. For Transphoria, I now get to ground myself a bit and write about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and the value of gender-affirming care. There’s just so much to explore, and that was the best part about being an editor here and it definitely influences how I approach storytelling with a queer audience–like myself–in mind.

Kat: As a bisexual creator, I like to inject as much LGBTQ representation as I can. Lifeline Comics is super proud of all the queer representation we’ve been able to inject in our wide variety of titles that range from romance to horror. All our titles have a little queerness in them even if that’s not the titles’ main focus.  

Phil: Like many queer creators, we always say that we like to create the stories we wish we saw more of growing up. We love character-driven stories about realistic (and flawed) people on the messy but beautiful journeys of discovering who they are.

Can you walk us through your typical creative process? How do you develop ideas, create characters, and bring your stories to life on the page?

Dan: I wish my creative process was more organized so I could give a coherent answer! Usually, I begin with a very vague concept– no solid character or setting or tone– and I’ll sit on that idea for a few days. I let the shape of the story form, though I’m not much of a coherent plotter. What I want is for themes to develop and then I’ll start writing. For example, when I started “Portrait of the Vampire” for Bi Visibility: Still Bi, I knew I would play with how gender dysphoria interacts with a vampire who can’t see his own reflection, and then I built the characters that needed to interact and have conflict to display that. For “HRT Tales” in Transphoria, I knew I needed a strong and self-reflective voice to dissect such a personal topic. A large part of the process really is guess-and-check. Talk to your friends and editors as you forge scripts and you’ll figure out what you like as you write. Storytelling is a messy process, so just keep getting ideas down and practice shaping it into the best version you want it to be.

Kat: It’s different each time. Sometimes there’s a specific type of character that inspires us, but most of the time it’s a concept that helps shape the characters and their world. We love creating twists on stories you may be familiar with and putting them on their head – finding a new hook for it.

Phil: Writing with collaborators definitely helps! Most stories, characters, and plotlines start as a conversation. And being able to bounce ideas off of another person really helps to flesh out a character in detail before a single word makes it onto the page.

Are there any specific comic book artists or writers who have influenced your style or storytelling approach? How have they inspired you?

Kat: Depends on the book. Like Father, Like Daughter was influenced by my love of early 2000s superhero adventures, but then our WEBTOON Slice of Life is inspired by the Yuri genre as a whole – while putting an American spin on it.I feel like everything I’ve ever digested and loved over the years has inspired my work as a whole!

Dan: Honestly, I’m a big Sandman fan, specifically because of the way the art reflects the narration. It’s probably more aligned with my Bi Visibility story, “Portrait of the Vampire,” when it comes to genre, but Sandman really made me contemplate just how much the different levels of comic creation should come together cohesively. The way different artists and styles are used throughout this one immortal being’s various lifetimes helped me conceptualize and appreciate cohesion throughout the comic process– from script to ink to colors to lettering. “The Song of Orpheus” special issue specifically will always be a favorite. Stylistically, it was perfect for a Greek myth retelling and pretty different from the other issues in terms of looks; and, without spoiling the ending for readers, I’ll just say that Neil Gaiman really knows how to nail an ending, and that’s something I always pay attention to– especially when structurally approaching a story’s theme.

How do you envision your work impacting readers, particularly those who identify as LGBTQ+? What messages or emotions do you hope to convey through your stories?

Dan: I hope Transphoria gets into the hands of every kind of trans person out there– every identity, every label, or even label-rejecting, reader who enjoys queer storytelling. Same for non-trans people– I hope that they not only get to hear perspectives they might be unfamiliar with, but also get to see that trans representation can exist in so many different ways. My story specifically, “HRT Tales,” discusses mainstream culture’s current views on gender-affirming care and I hope all readers can come out of it better informed and inspired to understand the value of these treatments. Overall, I also hope Transphoria shows just how endless and exceptional trans themes and trans storytelling is.

Kat: With Slice of Life specifically we always wanted to show the multi-faceted emotions that come from not just being queer, but just being a teen. We hope that these different journeys towards adulthood will touch people either because they relate to the characters or are empathetic towards them.

Phil: We always strive to communicate the (seemingly-but-not-really) antithetical ideas that (1.) no two people are the same, so there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to be queer or to be yourself; and (2.) other people have gone through similar experiences and you are not alone. Every person is unique and on their own journey. And there’s rarely a linear path to self-discovery. It’s okay and expected to have hiccups and missteps. But you should also take comfort in the fact that everybody has their own journeys. Some similar to yours, and some vastly different.

Who is your favorite Federation Captain, and why?

Dan: I am forever loyal to The Original Series, so I have to say I’m always a James T. Kirk fan. TOS had a million charms that worked so well, and Kirk balancing out Spock and McCoy with his openness and optimism makes him really endearing to me. I also really vibe with TOS’s and William Shatner’s eccentricities and the absolute camp of ‘60s style Starfleet. He definitely embodied the classic Star Trek mission for what we can make the future be and Shatner really brought the Enterprise to life.

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