Letting illustration tell the individual hopes behind the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. When words aren't enough, let art speak instead.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I love Steven so much. If people or the world can not give me the chance and the freedom to continue living with him as my lover, then I am better off to die here in prison. Freedom without him is useless and meaningless.
-Tiwonge Chimbalanga


Tiwonge and Steven were released from prison by Malawi's president on "humanitarian grounds." This is wonderful news, and although their future as gay citizens of Malawi is still uncertain, it is great cause to celebrate for them! Hopefully this is just the first step in more gains for gay rights, and human rights, in Africa.


On May 20th, 2010 in Malawi, two men, Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, were sentenced to 14 years of hard labor because they had thrown themselves an engagement party. The official reason for the arrest was for "unnatural acts and gross indecency". The two men did not commit any lewd, public sexual acts or harm anyone, they simply had a ceremony to celebrate the fact that they are in love. They did not even intend the ceremony as a plea for gay rights, they just did not know what could happen to them as a result. Tiwonge said earlier this year in an interview, "I just wanted people to know we were in love."

The Malawian flag was created on July 6, 1964 when Malawi gained independence from Britain. The flag consists of three colors: Black, red, and green.

The black is symbolic of the black African people.

The red is symbolic of the blood shed in their fight for freedom.

The green is symbolic of nature.

Are Tiwonge and Steven any less black? Any less African?

Wasn't it also their freedom that was being fought for?

Who is to decide what is "natural"?

The rising sun on the flag is a symbol of the dawning of freedom and hope within the African continent. How can freedom truly be dawning, in Africa or anywhere else, when people are arrested for being in love? What do these symbols mean when they don't apply to every person within that country? What do our own symbols of freedom mean in light of the fact that not everyone can enjoy them?

Read the full article from the New York Times here:
Gay Couple in Malawi Receives Maximum Sentence

Writer/Illustrator: Evan Turk - Manhattan, New York

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Love You

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no
right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of
rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities
(and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).
-Ayn Rand

(From an actual e-mail correspondence between Steven and Torrey)

all i have to do
is be near you
to escape
to breath
to release
to revive
to find me.

all i have to do
is look at your face
and i know that dreams do come true-
for this i thank you.
for this i thank God.

all i have to do,
is look in your eyes
and i know that i have a whole new world,
a new place,
where i am free
where i am loved
where i am safe...

Writer - Steven & Torrey - Manhattan, New York
Illustrator - Julia Sverchuk - Brooklyn, New York

Sunday, May 2, 2010

American Dream

You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the
other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free.
Clarence Darrow

Proposition 8 was an amendment to the California Constitution which limited the definition of marriage to being between a man and a woman, taking rights away from same-sex couples that had been granted to them earlier that year.

The following is an excerpt from the testimony of Helen Zia, a journalist and a lesbian, from the ongoing trial towards the reversal of Proposition 8 and the reinstatement of same-sex marriage in California. The trial was, thankfully, transcribed by the site: Prop8TrialTracker.com because cameras were not allowed in the courtroom. Zia describes how her life changed when she was granted a real "marriage" rather than a "domestic partnership."

Helen Zia: Difference between night and day having marriage certificate than Domestic Partnership. Suddenly within those six months between time we were married to time invalidated, we had taste of being out of closet, of not being on back of bus. We tasted freedom. Our families related together quite differently. For brief moment in time, we experienced equality. We could go to fountain that was not for Gays and Lesbians only and we tasted water there and it was sweeter there. Our families came together in ways Domestic Partnership could not.

You can read the rest of her testimony HERE.

Writer: Helen Zia (Testimony in trial)
Illustrator: Evan Turk - Manhattan, New York

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

What is uttered from the heart alone, will win the hearts
of others to your own.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When you open your heart and show someone a piece of your soul, you have the power to open eyes, open minds, and open hearts.

When you allow your heart to be open, you have the power to understand.

Writer/Illustrator: Evan Turk - Manhattan, New York

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Heart Has No Borders

"The heart has its reasons that reason does not know."
-Blaise Pascal

When you draw lines in the heart it breaks.
When the heart breaks, it cries.
These tears water the hope that we can have love without borders.

Only society and its laws try to define lines in the heart, keeping the LGBT community separate and unrecognized. How can anyone limit who we will love and what gender they might be?

Writer/Illustrator - Laura Vila - New York, NY

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
-Wayne Dyer

My family and I are headed to Pittsburgh (go Steelers!) in about two months for a family function and my brother (who’s also gay) and his fiancĂ© will be approaching the often awkward situation of having to rent a hotel room with only one bed for two men. It’s a shame though, that we all have to stay in a hotel when we have so many relatives in Pittsburgh. I mean, there are about twelve different households we could stay in, but instead it’s off to the Holiday Inn.

There’s one particular house out of these twelve that I am especially sad to miss out on. It’s the house of my cousin and her husband. They are seven or eight years older than I am, and when I was younger, they were my idols. I wanted their apartment, their hobbies, and their lives. They were young and played roller hockey at midnight and let me drink beer. Now, only a few years later, they have two young children, don’t like anyone who doesn’t speak English, and adore Sarah Palin. Their young boy has to be all boy and the little girl is required to want to either be a ballerina or Elizabeth Hasselbeck when she grows up. The funny thing is, in actuality, the boy is the one who is interested in ballet.

Maybe then it’s a good thing to stay in the hotel, rather than stay in a house where a sensitive little boy is told that it’s wrong to cry and the girl is taught to only be a princess. They’re young, and who knows, maybe in ten years they’ll turn out to be the most hetero-normative kids on the planet. For the moment, however, it’s heartbreaking to hear a six-year-old boy whisper, “Don’t tell Dad I’m watching Cinderella. He doesn’t like that.”

I hope that some day we can just let the boys dance, and let the girls… well, do whatever it is that girls like to do.

Writer - Anonymous
Illustrator - Stephanie Tartick - New York, NY
www.stephanietartick.com (Coming soon!)