Let's be real: Breakups are a painful part of life. That pain is universal, too; whether you're queer or heterosexual, when your relationship ends, you're probably going experience a world of hurt. People use all kinds of coping mechanisms to recover from a breakup, of course: Spending more time with friends, taking up new hobbies, crying into your pillow, etc. Recently, I came upon an awesome project by Nawwal Moustafa, lesbian Breakup Coloring Book 'Chin Up, Dreamboat' which uses humor to illustrate the aftermath of a lesbian breakup.
Moustafa, who currently has a Kickstarter campaign for the project, puts her mission behind the coloring book simply: "We love each other, and sometimes we don't work out. And sometimes it's funny." Interestingly, Moustafa is right: many mental health professionals agree that humor can be a healthy coping mechanism for getting over a breakup. Adult coloring books, too, have become a recent hit: perhaps because people love nostalgia, or perhaps because coloring is shown to relieve stress and anxiety.
In terms of Moustafa's project specifically, I have to admit, I love the queer visibility it offers. In fact, when it comes to relationships in general, heteronormativity often dictates how we talk about love. When it comes to breakups, too, the queer community can exist a little in the shadows, as we aren't always mentioned in discussions of serious issues, like domestic violence or emotional abuse. Of course, breakups can happen for any number of reasons, not all of which are based in violence. I just love seeing queer couples normalized in our media, and the more appearances we have of couples doing normal things (which sometimes includes breaking up), the better.
As Moustafa herself points out in the description of the project, you don't need to be queer to use the book, or relate to the images. Moustafa notes, "If you've ever loved and lost, you will find something to relate to!" which is (sad) but true. Here are a few images from the book, which you can order now on Kickstarter.
For Those Moments When Life Imitates Art
For Those Moments When You Simply Can't Even Anymore
And For Those Moments You Need A Little Encouragement
(Yes, in some bundles, you can even have illustrations from the coloring book on bags and shirts!)
Images: Nawwal Moustafa/Kickstarter (3)