Dear MakeBeliefsComix community,

With the launch of our new HELP 4 STUDENTS section, we ask school guidance counselors, social workers, educational therapists and psychologists to share with LGBTQ+ students the comic-making features of MakeBeliefsComix. They provide a powerful resource students can use to describe and document their lives and distinctive experiences. Our web site can provide a safe retreat for these students to write in comic-strip form the stories tracking their path in life. We developed this new feature as part of our efforts to be inclusive and helpful to all groups of people.

Finding a safe venue to express their feelings is particularly important for LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) teens who are almost five times as likely to attempt suicide, according to Christine Elgersma, senior editor, learning content, for Common Sense Education; she knows, she was a queer student herself.

And, according to a recent Education Week newsletter, ‘’One estimate from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found that close to 10 percent of the U.S. population of teens ages 13-17 are LGBTQ youth.’’ The report notes, "At a time when these students’ identities are being targeted by legislation across the country – such as bathroom bills, laws limiting classroom discussion on gender and sex, banned books featuring same-sex couples –advocates say there is a need for students to engage in conversations in class that address the lived experiences of all students."

These developments come on top of the pandemic and accompanied by increasing depression and suicidality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found between January and June of 2021 that nearly half of gay, lesbian and bisexual teens said they had contemplated suicide during the pandemic, compared with 14 percent of their heterosexual peers. LGBTQ youth are placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society, says the Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. Such stigma comes from politicians, media coverage and dinner table conversations.

One way to foster conversations to address these issues is for school support staff personnel to refer LGBTQ students to MakeBeliefsComix as a resource for them to talk about their lives by creating digital or even hand-drawn comic strips about their journey, their challenges, their difficulties and concerns. By their using our comic creator, youngsters take greater agency over their lives and understand themselves better. As well, their stories, if they choose to share them, can foster understanding among those outside their communities. Students can create their comics alone or with a counselor’s help, as a way to build bridges between the two.

A counselor, a social worker, a psychologist or educational therapist might suggest comic-making for individual students who have gender issues. In addition, narrating their lives through comic strips can be a constructive activity when gay and straight students gather together for their Gay-Straight Alliance meetings, GSA Clubs and ‘’Safe Place’’ Clubs. If an LGBTQ+ student is uncomfortable in sharing with others the comic strips they create about their life, there is no reason they should be compelled to. We must respect others’ desire for privacy if that is what is wanted.

We have learned that comic-creating works for other groups of youngsters with special needs and is effective for improving communications. For example, it has helped students with autism and those who are emotionally troubled to talk about things that upset them, such as bullying and violence expressed toward LGBTQ people and other groups.

This section offers you a sampler of the kinds of resources students can use, such as comic-making, printables, free interactive journaling e-books to help young people express what is deep within their hearts, and comic starters.

Remember, the purpose of our web site is to show young people they can find their voice and express their own ideas and thoughts in the form of comic strips. The site is a perfect vehicle for them to talk about their own lives. The comic characters on the site are diverse and include, for example, an evolving trans person evolving, as well as a variety of gender-neutral and trans figures who appear to be assessing how and who they want to be. If you are a student, you can select one of them to be your surrogate and represent you in the comic strip you create.

We hope the suggestions on this page get students started in comic making. Please send your feedback and suggestions to And, please share our site with your students, colleagues and professional groups. That is the way we build our community.

Thank you.
Bill Zimmerman


There are many topics students can express through their comic strips. Choose among the ideas that follow those which appeal to you or others that may be on your mind. Students can print each comic they complete to build their own personalized life-art portfolio, or keep them in a digital portfolio they set up on the web site in the saved comics section. This can provide a way for students to narrate their life stories – their accomplishments, defeats, and learning experiences and to reflect on how far they have come.

To make a comic go to the comic creation page here where you will find characters and comic templates.

We suggest you do not require a student to share what they have created with other students if they are not comfortable in doing so.

  • A comic strip about some of the ways you express yourself and your identity?
  • What are some parts of your identity you want to share with others and have them learn about?
  • What would make your school feel more like a welcoming community?
  • How does your family feel about your choices?
  • What are your own hopes and dreams for the future?
  • What gives you anxiety and how do you deal with it? How do you deal with mental illness or depression?
  • As a LGBTQ+ person, talk in your comic about how you came out or did not come out to your family in terms of sexual identity. How did you feel after coming out? How did you deal with your own fears or confusion? How did you find the courage to assert your view? What did family members say or not say? (It is said that 25 percent of LGBTQ+ teens say nonaccepting families are the most important challenge in their lives.)
  • Whom do you confide in? Whom do you trust? Create a comic strip about your best friend. Is there an angel in your life you would like to celebrate?
  • How would you like to be perceived by others? What kind of understanding and empathy do you seek from others in relating to you? What frustrations do you encounter daily or periodically? Let the comic character you choose speak for you in the comic strip.
  • How have people treated you since you came out? Have you been welcomed by others or suffered harassment and discrimination?
  • If you are a LGBTQ+ person, recount an experience of discrimination, derision, or bigotry directed at you. (Were you ridiculed? Bullied? Harassed online?) How have you dealt with such offenses? Any advice you offer in your comic strip will help others. Imagine you were confident enough to talk back to those who scorn or belittle you. What would you say to them?
  • Have you experienced anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes or threats?
  • What would you say to a young person who thinks they are LGBTQ+ but not sure?
  • Have you been affected by cyberbullying?
  • A comic strip about what you would like to accomplish in life or to make the world better?
  • A comic strip about finding people supportive of you and who even have come to your rescue at times. Write about them. Are there particularly hard times when you wished someone would step up to defend you?
  • Imagine bringing up a child who is LBGTQ+. What do you say to prepare them for the world they will encounter?
  • Imagine you possessed the secret to ending discrimination and violence. Can you share it?
  • What obstacles have you overcome in your life? What are the things for which you take pride?
  • A comic strip on whether schools should tell parents their child identifies as trans
  • Where do you seek comfort? In books? Music? Prayer? Friendships? Family? School?
  • Let’s say the people around you were more accepting of your differences. How would that change things for you?
  • Make believe people treated you with the respect you seek. What would that be like?
  • Write about whether or not you feel safe or accepted in school. Why or why not? What would make it better? (The Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network, reported that its latest biennial national school climate survey conducted in 2019 with more than 16,700 students, ages13-21, found that close to 60 percent of LGBTQ students felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, 42.5 percent because of their gender expression and 37.4 percent because of their gender.)
  • Where do you get your resilience to be able to go on and work through difficult problems?
  • How does one become strong?
  • How about a comic strip showing a day in your life?
  • The things that make you angry, and what can be done about them
  • How do you deal with difficult feelings?
  • Feel free to create a theme of your own and explore your own ideas in your comic strip.
  • Imagine you are the coach of you. What useful words do you give to yourself?
  • Imagine you are giving a pep talk to someone who is not confident about him- or herself. What is the most important thing you might say to them?
  • Imagine you could talk back to those who scorn you or make fun of you. What smart words would you say?
  • Imagine a world in which we accepted one another's differences. Think of what could then be achieved.
  • Does it seem at times that you fight a war each day, or is life much easier than that for you?


  • Imagine a world in which we could take a pill for hope each morning. How would our lives change?
  • Imagine you have an imaginary friend to whom you can share your deepest thoughts, fears and secrets? What would you say to such a trusted friend?
  • Imagine we could place all the hatred of the world in a giant box and send it to an unknown destination where it would fade away. What would flourish in its stead?
  • Make believe people treated you with the respect you seek. What would that be like?
  • Let’s say the people around you were more accepting of your differences. How would that change things for you?
  • Imagine living in a world in which tolerance overcame violence. What would the new generation of children be like in such a world? Could this ever happen?
  • What good words do you speak to yourself? Let your comic strip speak for you.

Try Our Printables!

In the printables section, there are many categories of interactive graphic printables that can be used by students for Social-Emotional Learning work (they are marked SEL). There also are interactive graphic printables displayed which deal with the issues of self-identity, bullying and feelings, kindness, emotions, fears, and smiles; they can be downloaded from printers or directly written on with users' digital devices, There also is an LGBTG+ category of printables






Free interactive e-books can easily be downloaded here. They encourage readers to express their deepest thoughts and feelings as they write their responses to a variety of friendly graphic writing prompts. Students can type directly from their digital devices onto the digital pages of the books. (One of my favorites is Fraidy Cats’ Book of Courage.)

Comic starterS

Free interactive e-books can easily be downloaded here. They encourage readers to express their deepest thoughts and feelings as they write their responses to a variety of friendly graphic writing prompts. Students can type directly from their digital devices onto the digital pages of the books. (One of my favorites is Fraidy Cats’ Book of Courage.)


Click on the panel below.


Click on the panel below.


Click on the panel below.