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Amazing Iowa Series

$ 20.00 

Founded in 2018, Amazing Iowa is a repository of resources dedicated to celebrating and sharing the stories of people who have influenced Iowa for the better. In some special way, these amazing people have expanded ​equality and fought for justice throughout the state and beyond. ​Knowing their stories helps us to do the same today. Available for purchase on RAYGUN's website, in their stores, and other locally-owned Iowa bookstores.

All over the United States, intensifying ignorance and targeted attacks on LGBTQIA+ communities are sending a message to young people that queer and trans people don't belong. Of course, this could NOT be further from the truth. There always have been and always will be incredible LGBTQIA+ people existing, surviving, and thriving in every community.

To help shed light on this vibrant history for young people comes From Here & Queer: A Love Letter to LGBTQIA+ Youth. Illustrated in vibrant colors and written in rhyming prose for a young audience, the book follows a loving adult as they introduce a discouraged child to over 80 LGBTQIA+ people from different generations, backgrounds, and lines of work in their local community. Though the book never specifically mentions it, ALL of these people are from or live in Iowa, a state where elected officials are passing some of the harshest anti-gay and transphobic legislation in the country.

To be clear: this book is not just for Iowans—it's for everyone, everywhere who wants to spread queer cheer and help educate kids about the world around them. Resources at the end of the book encourage readers to find out more about local LGBTQIA+ history wherever they live, and how to support organizations advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights, health, safety, joy, and justice in their own communities.

Are you outraged that it's currently against the law in Iowa to teach  students in public schools that the state or the nation is  "fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist"? Are you disturbed by  school board members' gross ignorance and abuse of power as they ban  books? Are you tired of state and local leaders attacking marginalized,  vulnerable youth and teachers? Yeah, we are, too.

So, we brought together historians, community leaders, activists, and educators to write a book. And not just any book, but stunningly illustrated, engaging, story-packed resource designed specifically for young adults in Iowa and beyond to  learn about the complex diversity within the state, be inspired by the  longstanding resistance to systemic racism in Iowa, and be equipped to  become the next generation of leaders guided by facts, curiosity, and  compassion.

These are old fights. Keeping our history alive is one of the best defenses we have.  And we need your help!

A Collective of Iowa Educators, Activists, Historians, and Community Leaders
ART BY Jameson Malone and Cameron Gray