ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carol Thompson Gardner grew up on the prairies with the forest as her backyard and the hay fields as her playground. Creating all kinds of characters and convincing her sister and friends to play their assigned roles. Her love for, and studies in English Literature and Creative Writing have assisted her over the years in bringing awareness and movement toward a diverse and inclusive culture. Carol has been a part of the LGBTQ+ community since she was a young adult and it is with deepest gratitude for this embrace, that she return this love and compassion back to her community through her voice. Carol lives on the west coast of British Columbia with her partner Bodhi and their little dog, Bear. Lilly Loves Beards is her first book.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. Bodhi and I were invited to speak and bring Lilly with us to share our message of family acceptance and love on November 22, 2020 with the Alberni Valley United Church. Please check out this powerful service, Lilly’s message and listen to Bodhi’s reflection called Homecoming. Thank you Rev. Minnie and AVUC for your warm welcome, arms of love and embracing hearts. LOVE is a family value we wish to activate!
This photo I took is from a 2019 Pride Festival we attended with Lilly. The message is clear. A little Spirit-Pride child, the words beside them, “Stop The Fight!” The fight inside our own minds, inside our own hearts, inside our own families, inside our own communities and ultimately inside our own human family! Let’s walk together, holding the hands & hearts of our little Spirit-Pride children/youth and teach peace!
Please pop in (click Podcast above) and listen to our conversation on The Island Vortex with Molly Wilder. We discuss the book, my inspiration behind Lilly, who the character is and why her voice is so important right now in our gender-expansive world.
Lilly is the main character in my new children’s book. Lilly is an inspirational, self-determined, cheerful little 5 year old that loves beards, just like her Papa!
I was inspired to write this book after hearing a little 5 year old’s story from a small farming town in Saskatchewan. They were self-reliant, cheerful and extemely determined. Determined to tear out their barretes, strip off their dresses on Sunday mornings, have short hair, work on the farm with their Papa and avoid anything deemed pretty. A little farm kid that simply loved their Papa, and explicitly remembers the small icicles which hung from his beard on those cold winter mornings as they did chores together. “Squirting cow’s milk into the mouths of the farm kittens was the most fun,” they said. It became quite clear that the love for their little fringe jacket, their cowboy boots, their cowboy hat and their cowboy cut wrangler jeans was who they were, just like their Papa. Lilly (my main character) was given life in an urban environment because eventually, this is where the little 5 year old farm kid had to move to find acceptance and love.
If all children did not have to navigate labels from birth onward, who would you be? Imagine, a unique authentic self standing in your own mirror reaching for that elusive liberation. I celebrate the day when our differences are honoured, accepted and included in all of human family.