Transgender woman looking for comics to help LGBTQ youth

The Billy Ireland Comic Book Library and Museum, located on the Ohio State Campus, houses the largest collection of comic book artwork in the world.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Acceptance. It’s what we always want others to give us, but we often fail to give ourselves.

His story begins at 10 years old. That’s when Maggie Dahlstrom knew.

“At the time, everything I read, being trans meant losing your whole family,” she said.

Acceptance, for her, didn’t come until years later. Even then, she says, to hold on to what was important, she had to let go.

“With the time I spent in the closet, I had a pretty good idea of ​​how things would go and people who would stop talking to me, I expected them to stop talking to me. , and they did,” she said. “And the people who haven’t, I have a better relationship with them than ever.”

The reality of being trans, she says, and for many LGBTQ people, is being afraid of being alone. But, she was never alone.

She has always loved to read. The comics, she says, spoke to her through words and pictures.

“Comics have always been a very important part of my life,” she said. “I had no idea queer comics had been around for very long.”

Each thin page brought a new depth of meaning.

A new meaning to acceptance.

“Finding out that there were people like me talking about things that I had experienced in this medium that had been so important to me for so long was eye-opening,” Dahlstrom said.

A revelation found within herself that she now gives to others.

At the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, the world’s largest collection of comics and comic book art, Dahlstrom, on a 10-week research fellowship from the Ohio State Undergraduate Research Library, is currently researching on hundreds of queer comics and will create a web resource of queer literacy in history.

“If you don’t know what’s going on, having comics can be extremely helpful in organizing your thoughts and putting them on paper and finding other people,” she said.

Help dispel ignorance and misconceptions while bringing positivity to the online conversation.

“Gay people deserve basic rights,” she said. “Queer people deserve to see themselves in the media and not have to wonder what’s wrong with me, why am I like this, what’s going on that I’m not like everyone else. world because being queer is okay. Being queer is good.

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