In a land far, far away, women fell in love with other women and it was perfectly alright.
The second children’s book in an inclusive series about LGBTQ adventurers debuts in June 2018, after their November Kickstarter campaign raised $4,000 more than their $40,000 goal. Readers have been waiting for this story for a very long time.
The Maiden Voyage is a fairytale following a fisherman’s daughter, Ru, who is given a treasure map by her father and joins a crew of sailors, captained by the charismatic Freya. Throughout their adventures and escapades together, the two fall in love.
“It’s important for young people to feel included, that they have a place in the world and something they can relate to in Maiden Voyage” co-author Jaimee Poipoi told NBC News. “If they can identify themselves within a story, that empowers them to be who they are.”
The book comes on the heels of Promised Land – an illustrated love story between a prince and a farmer – created by Maiden Voyage’s other co-authors Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris. The book was also funded through a Kickstarter campaign. A Kindle edition of this story can be found on Amazon.
A 2011 Florida State University study found that children’s books are severely lacking female characters, let alone LGBTQ characters. Male characters, unsurprisingly, dominated.
The Maiden Voyage is trying to turn these statistics on their heads, highlighting brave and badass LGBTQ and POC characters in their books.
“Girls need to grow up knowing they can be a powerful queen, a brave sea captain, or anything else they set their minds to,” Harris told Upworthy.
For these three authors, giving children representation in the media will offer them the confidence to explore who they truly want to become when they grow up.
“We invite you to step aboard and join us on this journey to bring a little more kindness and love into the world,” their Kickstarter reads. “Because love is love, and everyone deserves to live happily ever after.”