Pen and Paper: two things that are made for each other. Nia King has developed a leadership role among queer and transgender women by spreading social justice for feminism around the world. King’s determination and perseverance for this cause leaves little doubt that she is the correct position.
King is a queer, mixed race, illustrator and activist from Boston, Massachusetts. Last Thursday in Stevenson Hall, King presented her most recent book, “Queer and Trans Artists of Color” to students and staff participating in the Feminist Lecture Series, hosted by the Women and Gender Studies Department.
King identifies as a mixed-race queer woman of color and understands first hand that women are not all alike. With our culture slowly diverting away from our constant ideals and turning to a diverse culture, King sheds light that is necessary for the acceptance of a growing community.
“I feel my first book isn’t like any other novel out there. It’s unique in the way that it’s not about queer, transgender, and [women of color] but it is written by them. I get asked to speak at colleges and the thought that my work and its importance is being seen is everything,” said King.
According to King, she felt it was difficult at first when interviewing different women in the world for her book because a lot that was said could have been taken negatively by other women.
“I felt a huge responsibility to my community and also to my readers. I wanted information to be understood and when writing my first book I didn’t want certain phrases to be taken offensively,” said King.
It was difficult not to make any serious mistakes when publishing her first novel. Even when finishing her book, King struggled with publishing her work. After hearing a friend having their book about pizza published with the popular publishing company, Simon and Schuster, King tried contacting them for similar assistance for her own novel.
Within a short period of time King heard back from the company saying her novel was too much of a risk for them and that they wouldn’t be publishing her book.
“I think it’s good for her not letting anyone, including publishing companies stop her from putting her work out there letting readers hear not only her own story but others as well. I’m so glad stuff like this is coming out in the open and being hear about because this isn’t something you hear about everyday,” said sophomore Belen Aguilar. “This is the kind of stuff that lives in the shadows and because of her it is brought back into the light.”
The initial experience of her book not getting published was crushing, but also gave her more determination than ever according to King. She explained the value of independence.
The freedom of having complete creative control has led her to publishing useful information on queer and transgender women without fear of limitations.
“I have personal relationships with the individual readers that are interested in my book. I receive great pleasure with individually mailing the copies of my book. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was owned by a big publisher, so I’m happy I didn’t go down that path,” King said.