Written By: Trinity & DeShanna Neal
Illustrated by: Art Twink
For Ages: 4 years and up
Topics Covered: LGBTQ Youth, Transgender Youth, Family, Empowerment, Neurodiversity, Autism, Own Voices.
Summary: This book is absolutely phenomenal, made all the more powerful by it being a true & own voices story. Trinity is a young, Black, autistic girl and has a wonderful relationship with her family. She’s playing with her siblings one day when she tells her mom she can’t be a girl, because her hair is too short. Confused for a moment, Trinity’s mother points out her own short hair. Trinity explains that it’s different, because she’s transgender. She needs longer hair to feel more whole. Trinity’s mother, DeShanna, and one of Trinity’s siblings Lucien, go to the wig shop to find something for Trinity as a surprise. DeShanna loves and celebrates her daughter, and comes up with a plan that will help Trinity have hair that represents her.
I love many things about this story, and the empowering language is probably the number one aspect that I can’t say enough about. DeShanna unequivocally supports and celebrates her daughter, knowing that everything that makes her unique adds to her beauty. DeShanna trusts her children and recognizes that they know themselves the best. My Rainbow is a beautiful story that reflects Black trans youth and neurodiversity, and having Trinity and DeShanna write the book, and a QTPOC illustrator makes it that much more meaningful. Our literature should reflect the multifaceted lives of all global citizens, particularly those that are underrepresented and marginalized. I love the way DeShanna describes Trinity as a masterpiece, which is how every person should be described by the people that love them most. DeShanna is committed to ensuring her family is treated with love and respect both in and out of the home, and that other transgender children are understood and loved in their communities as well, which is truly such a beautiful goal that is unequivocally achieved by this book.
Trinity & DeShanna Neal
DeShanna and Trinity Neal are a mother-daughter team of writers, advocates for black and transgender rights and awareness, and have been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, The Advocate, and Essence. DeShanna and Trinity write to foster understanding between transgender, cisgender, and nonbinary children.
This photo is from 2017, and was found here!
Art Twink grew up drawing critters they thought up to comfort themselves and their friends, and that mission continues to this very day. For Art Twink, art is for creating community and safety in a world that offers very little of either. After 6 years of working in graphic apparel design for brands like Disney, Marvel, Nintendo, and Star Wars, Art Twink is well versed in the technical and commercial world of visual art. However, at heart Art Twink is a storyteller. They carry on the tradition of telling stories that inspire, validate, and comfort people and creatures in hard times as a trans artist of color.