Homebody

‘An uplifting, hopeful, empowering memoir that celebrates self-discovery and self-love’ – Alice Oseman, author of the bestselling Heartstopper series

An unmissable graphic novel perfect for fans of the global hit Heartstopper and Juno Dawson’s What’s the T?

Hello! I’m Theo. I like cats, Dungeons & Dragons . . . and I’m trans and non-binary.

Ever since I was young, I’ve been on a journey to explore who I am. To discover the things that make me . . . me.

Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to fit you into a box, to label you one way or another, but there is nothing more wonderful than finding your true authentic self, whoever you are. Whether you are transgender or cisgender, we are all searching for ways to make our houses feel like homes . . .

In Homebody, Theo tells the heartwarming story of discovering how to live life on their own terms through beautiful illustrations and lyrical text.

Macmillan

The way Theo looks back on their life so far is so honest and eloquent, figuring out how they feel about themselves as well as how to present themselves to the world on their own terms, and could really help teens and adults not only empathise but reflect on their own path and the journey they’re still on. I absolutely *adored* this book and wish everyone that has “concerns” about trans youth would read it to really think about what it means to be comfortable in yourself, something that many people take for granted especially as they get further away from the growing pains of their teen years. Some people will know themselves and hardly change, others will go through lots of different outward expressions before they feel that the world’s view of them matches their own, some are scared to express themselves honestly, while others still will think that they know themselves until they come across something new to them that opens their eyes to an aspect of themselves they’d neglected.

So much of it resonated with me: When I was a teenager I was frequently mistaken for a boy because of my short hair and baggy clothes and I had conversations with family and friends (not all, but enough) about how no one would ever love me if I didn’t change the way I looked…all the thoughts about what girls and boys should like and not fitting in and knowing that it *shouldn’t* matter what your hobbies are or what you wear wear or how you style your hair but that society will tell you that you’re getting it wrong because for some reason it *does* matter. I keep going back to the book because there are so many beautiful, insightful pages. Anyway, a boy did (does) love me, short hair and all, so listen to Theo’s advice below.

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to share some pages from the book, and also ask Theo a few questions:

Tell us about your new graphic novel 

Homebody is an uplifting and affirming graphic memoir about life outside of the gender binary. An honest and heartwarming look at the joy and beauty of finding yourself and the positive impact of living as your authentic self. Homebody speaks to a universal experience of exploring what makes us who we are, how we express that to the world and of the relationship we all have between our minds and bodies. Whether you are transgender, cisgender or still figuring it out, we are all searching for ways to make our houses feel like homes, and to come to a place of ease within ourselves.

Which advice would you pass on to your younger self?

Find the people who love and accept you for who you are, exactly as you are, you don’t have to change anything about yourself to be liked. Instead of trying to figure out what other people want or expect you to be, focus on being the person that you want to be and the rest will fall into place.

Homebody is such a unique book, but do you have any titles you could recommend for teens that devour your story?

I have a long list of graphic novels I love! But my top picks for teens who enjoyed Homebody would be: ‘The Girl From the Sea’ by Molly Knox Ostertag- a sweet coming of age sapphic romance with a sprinkle of fantasy.
‘Deadendia’ by Hamish Steele – a funny and imaginative series set in a theme park that’s connected to demonic realms, with a trans protagonist and great LGBTQ+ and neurodivergent representation.
‘Welcome to St Hell’ – a hilarious, honest and relatable autobiography from trans creator Lewis Hancox about his time at high school and figuring out his trans identity. 

Have you any other projects on the go that are developing into full books? After such a personal debut, what would you most like to write about?

I am currently working on my second graphic novel, which is going to be another fairly personal book actually! It’s based on my experiences of moving through the world as neurodivergent but not realising that until much later in life. Beyond that I would love to write fantasy as it’s one of my favourite genres to read.

Homebody is published today by Macmillan, aimed at age 14+

About Caroline Fielding

Chartered School Librarian, CILIP YLG London Chair, Bea-keeper

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