Our Work is Everywhere: An Illustrated Oral History of Queer and Trans Resistance (2021)


A visually stunning graphic non-fiction book on queer and trans resistance.

Over the past ten years, we have witnessed the rise of queer and trans communities that have defied and challenged those who have historically opposed them. Through bold, symbolic imagery and surrealist, overlapping landscapes, queer illustrator and curator Syan Rose shines a light on the faces and voices of these diverse, amorphous, messy, real, and imagined queer and trans communities.

In their own words, queer and trans organizers, artists, healers, comrades, and leaders speak honestly and authentically about their own experiences with power, love, pain, and magic to create a textured and nuanced portrait of queer and trans realities in America. The many themes include Black femme mental health, Pacific Islander authorship, fat queer performance art, disability and health care practice, sex worker activism, and much more. Accompanying the narratives are Rose’s startling and sinuous images that brings these leaders’ words to visual life.

Our Work Is Everywhere is a graphic non-fiction book that underscores the brilliance and passion of queer and trans resistance.

Includes a foreword by Lambda Literary Award-winning author and activist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, author of Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice.

From: Arsenal Pulp Press

Notes on This Title

In addition to a foreword by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Our Work is Everywhere includes interviews with Raven Taylor, Dusty Lamay, Caleb Luna, Nicole Arteaga, Vivi Veronica, Ceyenne Doroshow, Cyd Nova, Mirna Haidar, Phlegm, Amber Kim, Steph Niaupari, Jaye Sablan, the founding members of Trans Assistance Project (TAP), Anabel Khoo, Sze-Yang Ade-Lam, Geleni Fontaine, Ra Malika Imhotep, Nube F. Cruz, and Brenda Angelica Gutiérrez Mora.

The words for each segment range from poetry to interview transcripts.

The Queer Representation tags are minimally applied here. Most contributors do not explicitly state how they identify. However, the introduction states that all contributors are queer, and this is also evident throughout most of the interviews.

One segment, “-ita”, written by Steph Niaupari, is bilingual Spanish and English and includes a QR code to an American Sign Language translation by Emma V. Balderas on YouTube.

A couple segments include non-descriptive mentions of suicide, transphobia, or domestic violence.


2022 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Comics - Nominee


“Of course, there is one thread running through this work of graphic nonfiction, which is that all of Syan Rose’s subjects identify as LGBTQIA. A great strength of this work is how it displays the broad diversity that exists within this community, and the variety of experiences on which Our Work Is Everywhere sheds light is often eye-opening. In its most potent moments, it is incredibly moving.” (Source: Bomb Magazine)

“It’s a gorgeous collection of interviews with queer and trans artists, activists, and healers. The work and stories represented are messy and joyful, reflecting so many diverse experiences. Syan Rose’s art is luminous, bringing something new to each of the pieces collected. It’s a stunning book that showcases everything graphic storytelling can do.” (Source: Book Riot)

“The drawings throughout are exquisite, and while the swirling, hand-lettering is occasionally difficult to read, the book accomplishes its clear goal: visibility for the marginalized. As Stella, a member of the Trans Assistance Project, puts it, ‘It’s not just for my own happiness, it’s also because there are people who, just by seeing me, might be more kind to queer people in the future. Or if they are queer, they might feel less alone or come out sooner.’” (Source: Kirkus)

“For each piece, Syan Rose reinterprets the speakers’ words into expressionistic layouts, with dreamlike illustrations and a juxtaposition of poetry and prose. Though her hand-lettering and tendency to twist sentences into more visually pleasing curved lines sometimes impedes the readability, Syan Rose and her collaborators’ emotionality shines through. It’s an inspirational volume for current and aspiring queer community workers to ‘keep showing up’ to build a better world together.” (Source: Publishers Weekly)



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