Maman TransA - Z
- France, Meaux
- Contact Persons / Persons Involved:
- Claire Lemaire
- Main Language Published:
The Maman Trans blog was launched in July 2017, the day after a public holiday. The author and ›Maman Trans‹ Claire Lemaire, is a graphic designer/ web designer so, logically, her medium of choice was the Internet. With humor and empathy, her comic blog presents the family life of a lesbian couple, one of whom is trans; and insofar it fills a gap in the dire lack of resources, in French, for and about trans* parents. Over the past two years, more than 1,000 people have joined the Facebook page. Feedback on the website is very encouraging, too, and certain stories are picked up by other blogs. Subjects raised in the cartoons are sometimes followed up in email exchanges or live chats.
»It’s a great pleasure to be able to support French group members who are often at the start of their transition with stories and illustrations for their children about trans*identity issues.«
- Content Focus:
These funny and touching excerpts from family life raise awareness and break the taboos arbitrarily imposed on trans*identity. The blog is aimed at the LGBTQI+ community as well as at allies who want a progressive education for their children, and also at children themselves, if aged 8+. The focus has broadened over time and now encompasses trans* people’s social and professional relations, questions of education and outreach, homo couples’ right to have children, and other overarching issues posed by heteronormativity.
- Organization and Decision-making Process:
Inspiration for the comics is drawn directly from everyday life. The family not only discusses the storylines but also grapples with them in depth, also from an educational angle. Besides the texts and illustrations for the blog, other trans*feminist projects are in the pipeline. When it comes to graphic novels based on social critiques and historical characters, accuracy and diverse viewpoints are crucial, says Claire Lemaire. For example, for the manuscript »Lou, Chronique des sexismes ordinaires,« exhibited in May 2018 at the EDF Foundation, she collaborated with three sociologists. The blog is a means to build cooperation on trans* and feminist issues: it led to Maman Tran’s participation in »Queeres Verlegen« in November 2018, and to her comic book for the exhibition »Sortir de l’hétérosexualité« in September 2019.
- Financing and Support:
Everything is down to self-exploitation aka private funds. There is no money for writing, for production, for printing, or for press and PR.
- Conditions and Political Situation:
There are a few publishers in France who bring out inclusive works, in the main those of well-known authors. But there appears to be only one independent publisher with a distinctly queer list: Hystériques & AssociéEs.
Zines or other formats such as blogs, Instagram, and YouTube are alternative and more easily accessible channels. Yet despite the huge number of initiatives on related issues, Maman Trans is the only project in the Paris region to cater specifically to parents and children dealing with trans*identity. The associations Transkids Belgique in Belgium and Pari-t in Paris support trans* children and there are a few projects that depend on volunteers and community fundraising, and some activist authors, among others, Laurier the Fox (France), and Sophie Labelle (Canada).
»I think the massive shift in individual and collective awareness now being given expression in blogs, podcasts, books, and the arts... increasingly highlights that incoherence reigns in the social and cultural mainstream. These media comprise a digital alternative that propels transitions in society.«