WEBCOMIC: Snow Days

horace-abigail_webcomic1_web

It’s finally arrived! Introducing Horace and Abigail, the monthly webcomic – brought to you by Tilted Windmills. Follow the adventures of Horace the transgender tortoise and Abigail the wheelchair-using mouse as they navigate their daily lives. This particular comic was inspired by the unusual amount of snow we had in Vancouver last December and the harrowing adventures we had trying to drag Athena’s wheelchair through it.

To find out about the origins of Horace and Abigail listen to the Tilted Windmills podcast.

Want to get notified when future episodes are published? Subscribe to the Tilted Windmills mailing list.

Stefan and Athena

PODCAST: Introducing “Horace & Abigail”

Tilted Windmills, the podcast has arrived.

Listen to the inaugural Tilted Windmills podcast episode, in which I interview Athena Cooper, co-creator of the Tilted Windmills universe, about our soon-to-be-launched monthly webcomic Horace and Abigail. The webcomic follows the adventures of a transgender tortoise with anxiety issues, and a disabled mouse with a penchant for optimism in the face of adversity. Find out what inspired us to create this webcomic, Athena’s artistic influences, and more.

And remember: to stay up to date with the latest in Tilted Windmills news, including new webcomic and podcast episodes, subscribe to our newsletter.

Thanks for listening!

Stefan

Why We’re Here: Find Your Heart(h)

find your heart(h)What do I have to offer?

It is a question that often bubbles up within our minds when we are at our lowest. In those times, the answer that seems to echo back from the darkness is… nothing. You have nothing to offer because you are not enough.

You are not successful enough… or beautiful enough… or strong enough… or smart enough… or able enough… and on and on. This is one more insidious faces of depression and despair.

As someone with a disability, I too have sometimes found myself ensnared within our society’s prevailing narrative that people with disabilities can only ever be a burden upon others because there is nothing of worth that they have to offer. I found it was easier to push back this feeling in areas like my career where what I had to offer was obvious and tangible. In my relationships with others though—particularly when I pictured myself in a romantic relationship—it was something that I had a harder time wrapping my head around.

I remember the early hours of one morning last year when this changed for me though. I was lying beside my partner who, even in the dark, I could see was tensed and agitated in his sleep. I remember watching his tensed form for a time and then taking the hand he had stretched toward me in his sleep. When my hand touched his, much to my surprise, he unconsciously bent his whole frame to curl around our joined hands. Stefan is 6’1″ to my 3’7″ so that’s a whole lot of frame. I had this bizarre feeling of being both tiny and immense all that the same time. It was like I was a hearth that he was curling himself around as he sought the warmth and light of another soul to help him push back the darkness.

In that moment, which ultimately inspired this painting, I realized every single person, regardless of their station in life or the body that they were born into is already everything that they need to be. I was enough, just as I was… just as we all are.

All of us can offer a smile… a kind word… a shared laugh… a compassionate shoulder… a moment of connection with another person. It sounds like such an insignificant thing, but it is perhaps one of the most profound and potentially even lifesaving gifts that you can offer someone—particularly someone in need.

And someday, should I ever find myself down that spiral of “not enough” again, I can only hope that there will be someone to take my hand in the dark too.

Find your heart.

Find your hearth.


Find Your Heart(h)

Concept and Design by: Athena

Learning to “THEY”: Embracing the gender neutral pronoun

they-gnm-canvasOur latest T-shirt design is a simple challenge to the way we speak. The third person “they” has become a pronoun of choice for many who embrace an identity somewhere in-between or outside of the gender binary; people who define themselves as gender creative, gender fluid, genderqueer, or any of the other emergent gender terms that exist alongside the man and woman labels. Gender in the 21st century no longer comes in two flavours, nor has it ever, really — although awareness of the many minority gender expressions are only now starting to gain true visibility in popular culture.

Language is an important tool that can promote inclusiveness, awareness, and acceptance. And if you are wondering how to use the singular “they” pronoun in this way, here are some examples:

Sam is a 21 year old university student and prospective nurse. They hope to specialize working with transgender and queer youth once they graduate. Having been born with an intersex condition, Sam has always felt different from their peers. They do not identify as male or female, preferring the label bi-gender. Their parents are fully supportive, as are their siblings, and Sam is a happy, well-adjusted adult.

Bruce is a 45 year old lawyer and transgender activist. Fifteen years ago they transitioned from female to male and they have had all their legal documents updated accordingly. However, lately Bruce has come to strongly identify as genderqueer, meaning they don’t consider themselves to be one gender or another, instead existing outside of the gender binary altogether. Bruce is working towards having gender boxes removed from legal and government forms, such as passports, as they do not believe that these types of check boxes serve any useful purpose other than discriminating against those who do not fit into the options provided.

Violet is an eight year old girl who was born male. Violet likes to play with dolls and their mother’s makeup but they also enjoy playing hockey with their two brothers. Violet is not their legal name, but it is the name they prefer to go by. For now Violet goes to school as a boy and is a girl at home, although eventually they hope to be recognized as a girl at school too. Violet isn’t yet sure if they want to go on hormone blockers as they approach puberty.

It may take some getting used to for those who have not had a lot of opportunity using pronouns other than “he” or “she” to refer to individuals, but “they” is a surprisingly versatile and handy pronoun to have in our toolbox. All it takes is a little practice.

Join us in promoting the use of inclusive language. Buy your “they” t-shirt today!

THEY

Concept by: Stefan // Design by: Athena