Comic artist’s work shows his pride

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

A comic artist is mak­ing sure he cel­e­brates peo­ple from all cor­ners of the queer com­mu­nity this Pride fes­ti­val.

Pt Che­va­lier’s Sam Or­chard is part of a col­lec­tive of artists show­ing their Pride­themed works in the Rain­bowYOUTH Pride Art Ex­hi­bi­tion.

Or­chard is a queer trans* man and says he writes comics which at­tempt to show dif­fer­ent parts of the Les­bian, Gay, Bi­sex­ual, Trans­gen­der, Queer (LGBTQ) com­mu­nity.

‘‘The comic is a bit about high­light­ing that a lot of the time we say LGBT but ac­tu­ally peo­ple only mean white les­bians and gays, or even white mid­dle-class les­bians and gays.

‘‘So it’s about say­ing: what are the ways racism, clas­sism and trans­pho­bia im­pact on our com­mu­nity as well?

‘‘Be­cause it does – we’re part of the wider world,’’ Or­chard says.

‘‘Sto­ries I like to talk about is that we’re dif­fer­ent and that’s great, dif­fer­ence is won­der­ful so it’s not about try­ing to be the same.

‘‘What’s been re­ally cool in the last 10 years is there’s been heaps more gay and les­bian char­ac­ters come out on tele­vi­sion . . . it’s only now that bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der char­ac­ters are com­ing out that have a lot more com­plex­ity and are treated out­side of their stereo­types.’’

Or­chard is re­fer­ring to Naya Rivera, who plays bi­sex­ual char­ac­ter San­tana on Glee and actress Lav­erne Cox from Or­ange is the new black. Last year, Cox be­came the first trans* per­son to fea­ture on the cover of Time mag­a­zine.

Or­chard re­leased three is­sues of his comic se­ries Fam­ily Por­traits last Septem­ber, af­ter suc­cess­fully rais­ing the cap­i­tal on­line.

The comics fea­ture real sto­ries from the queer and trans* com­mu­ni­ties, all linked to­gether by Or­chard’s own story about tran­si­tion­ing and sex­u­al­ity. Or­chard crowd­funded al­most US$10,000 on­line for the comic se­ries, which cov­ered a print run of three is­sues.

The 30-year-old also trav­elled to the United States where he toured comic con­ven­tions.

Sam Or­chard’s work will be on show in the Rain­bowYOUTH Pride Art Exhi- bi­tion 2015. The free event is held at Stu­dio One Toi Tu, 1 Pon­sonby Rd un­til Fe­bru­ary 26.

Photo: JESS ETHERIDGE

Cel­e­brat­ing ev­ery­one: Comic artist Sam Or­chard will dis­play his work in the Rain­bowYOUTH Pride Art Ex­hi­bi­tion this month. Go to auck­landcity har­bournews.co.nz and click Lat­est Edi­tion to hear Sam Or­chard speak on the im­por­tance of com­ing out.

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