"Sam Orchard is committed to building a world where our many differences and complexities are celebrated. He writes comics, essays and children’s books, creates animated videos, podcasts, resources and social media campaigns with this aim.
His ongoing web comic 'Rooster Tails' has been running for nine years and is the only comic of its kind in Aotearoa. Written from his life as a queer transgender man, the comic explores themes of mental health, fat embodiment, nerd culture, trans lives, and caring for a food-obsessed cat. Sam is also the author of 'Family Portraits', a series of short comic stories that amplify the stories of intersectional identities within Aotearoa’s rainbow communities.
Sam’s recent activism projects include 'We Are Beneficiaries' and 'Out Loud Aotearoa'. As part of these he organized and engaged other artists and writers to drive social change in New Zealand. These projects gained international attention across social media and news sites, amplifying viewpoints which are often missing from public discourse. Sam’s comics and resources about sexuality, sex and gender have been used by NZ Human Rights Commission, the Asia Pacific Trans Network, the Intersex Trust of New Zealand, Gender Minorities, and internationally by SOGI advocates.
Sam will be talking about telling stories that celebrate difference, and using art to advocate for social change”