Sam & Aaron is a short illustrated story following the puppy love shared by two young grade-school aged boys. It is a story without an antagonist or conflict and dwells on the innocence and excitement of first love.
This story exists because like many gay people, my first experiences with love and attraction were gnarled with confusion, fear, and shame. In my personal journey, these negative emotions and ideals sent me into a deep and painful spiral that lasted all though my teenage years. Even after coming out as an adult the effects of my years of mental and emotional self-abuse persisted, barring me from meaningful relationships and truly trusting my emotions. I lived this half life going into my twenties until I couldn’t handle another day and decided something had to be done.
Creating Sam & Aaron was my way of healing from this trauma. I took various experiences from my childhood and re-imagined them being lived by two boys who weren’t limited by the fears and misunderstandings that I was growing up. That they could feel love and embrace it without restriction.
In this way, I was be able to show myself a better world for kids like the one I was. And while it certainly displays an ideal future, it was important to me that the story remain grounded and believable.That it wasn’t a fantasy but a hopeful view of a world I hope to see for future generations.
If you are interested in learning more about the story or its creation, visit the blog on GaryDoesThings.com. You can also follow me on Twitter (@GaryDoesThings) and Facebook.
Thanks to a bunch of wonderful people, I was able to raise enough funds with a Kickstarter to publish the story as a book and send to libraries and pride centers. I’m currently in the process of finalizing the book for print.