Just after the election last November came a package in the mail from the American Psychological Association.
The office was curious as to its contents. The timing could not have been any better with questions swirling as the mental health of a newly elected President.
Much to our surprise, a graphic novel appeared from the package. I present to you, “Either Way: Story of a Gay Kid” by Sandra Levins with illustrations from Euan Cook.
Advertised as a coming-of-age coming out story, “Either Way” deals with issues such as civil rights, marriage equality, military life, bullying in schools and friendships forged through struggle. It is published by Magination Press, an imprint of the APA – the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychologists in the U.S.
“Ya know, I think it’s okay to be gay. Or not. Either way, it’s okay,” Ana Sanchez tells Cael after rescuing the young boy from a trash dumpster he had been stuffed into by schoolyard bullies.
Cael, the book’s main character, suffers embarrassment and rejection at school when he reveals his feelings for another boy and admits to not enjoying fishing. He eventually gains confidence in his true nature and delivers an ace report to his history class. Cook, an illustrated based in London, provides a vivid account of Cael as he travels his journey to self-discovery.
“From day one I knew there was something different about me,” Cael says.
Along with Cael’s story, readers get a history lesson on major moments in the gay rights march. Devin Clark’s fictional tale also provides a heroic example of life for a gay solider.
Levins, an Iowa grandmother, is the author of award-winning books such as “Eli’s Lie-O-Meter: A Story About Telling the Truth;” “Bumblebee Bike;” “Was It the Chocolate Pudding? A Story For Little Kids About Divorce;” and “Do You Sing Twinkle? A Story About Remarriage and New Family.”
More Info: www.apa.org/pubs/magination