Sensible FootWear – A Girl’s Guide

Kate Charlesworth (born 1950) is a British cartoonist and artist who has produced comics and illustrations since the 1970s. Her work has appeared in LGBT publications such as The Pink PaperGay News, and AARGH. She has produced science comics for New Scientist (“Life, the Universe and (Almost) Everything”) and The Independent.

In 2015, her graphic novel Sally Heathcote: Suffragette was included in a list published by The Guardian of the “top 10 books about revolutionaries”.

She has now published what is a graphic memoir and LGBT+ history book in one and I love it! She realised that as she had been doing cartoons mainly about LGBT+ life since the 1970s so she had quite a grasp of LGBT+ history. In reflecting how she coped with being a lesbian in those years she hit upon a winning project. Kate takes us through her life’s journey, her coming to terms with being a lesbian, the politics, the art, friendships and challenges.

“The personal is political and What is most personal is most universal.” – Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy

So in following her journey, I am reminded of my own as we are about the same age however I am sure that younger lesbians will find many echoes of their lives reflected here as well. She is unflinching in her honesty and records what so many of us have had to deal with in coming out to our families.  She also uncovers the harm of internalised homophobia.

The history pages are fascinating and I learnt new stories and was reminded of old stories and issues I had forgotten.

She takes us through the decades from the 1950s to the present and uses different visual styles to differentiate. It is a triumph to cram so much of our complex history in picture form and will I think, make it a very important book that will inspire people to find out more.  As she says she cant do it all, “May my omissions serve as a starting point for telling more stories, for making more books and comics and sharing the love.”

Kate’s visual style is varied and delightful and brings in little details so worth going back and checking out the pages several times. So treat yourself and buy it, you won’t be disappointed!