Hey Friends! I have gotten a lot of questions regarding the #IYGAGAM project and what it is all about. So, buckle up for today’s ride! 🤠
As most of you have read//know (if not, head over to “About the Project” and get educated), I am finishing up my Master of Art in Publishing degree. And as most of you who know me personally know that riding motorcycles and being a feminist are two other jobs I take seriously (aside being a really cool mom//auntie.)
Growing up, I was raised with a passion for cars and motorcycles, and I loved going fast. The more horsepower, the better! So I have 4 sisters (biological; I have SO MANY friends that I consider brothers and sisters, one of which I will mention about further down). But growing up, I had vastly different experiences than all of them. One of which is the amount of time spent tinkering on cars.
I spent a LOT of time with my dad during my childhood. It was just us for a long time, and the constant thing in our lives (before and after he married and had more kids) was cars and motorcycles. His passion for the open road runs deep in my gypsy veins.
Summers were spent at a dumpy little mechanic shop in Houston. I learned how to drive before I was 6 (with help, obviously because reaching the pedals is STILL a difficult task). I learned how to change car tires and the oil at 8. Ever take a whole dash off a Volvo S60? Don’t lose the tiny pieces because it won’t go back the same without them.
As much as I hated those summers as a kid, I value the time spent in that dumpy shop. Because if it wasn't for those summers I spent reading ACE Automotive Technology books, and being the go-fer, I wouldn't have the knowledge I have now. And I probably wouldn't have the immense passion for cars and bikes I have now.
I didn’t know it then, but the little artistic bookworm tomboy who rode bikes and liked working on cars, was destined for great things. As time progressed and I started researching for this project, I was taken aback over the amount of motorcycle and automotive books geared toward young boys and not girls.
Fast-forward to about three years ago and enter my niece Kamryn. As the youngest of three (and the only girl), Kamy reminded me of, well me. With a mechanically inclined daddy, Kamy is on the fast-track to becoming a speed demoness. With a passion for riding anything with a motor, Kamy has proven repeatedly that she likes to go fast (especially with her Aunt Katt).
Which brings me to the title of this post: why #IYGAGAM?
It’s simple: representation matters. When any gender sees their gender doing something that is “outside the norm” from their gender, something amazing happens. People who live “outside the norm” are the ones people look up to, the ones people see leading by an example: to live the life that makes them happy.
Motorcycles mean freedom from the everyday mundane. Motorcycles give me a happiness that no words can describe. I cannot imagine not being able to share that passion with other sisters of the asphalt road.
So again, why #IYGAGAM? I wish I had books like this one when I was a little girl. I probably wouldn't have felt as alone as I did. I would have probably pursued my passions more readily and not wait until I was older and more comfortable in my skin.
#IYGAGAM is more than just a children's book. It is a passion project of mine that I have wanted to happen for a very long time, it was just getting the timing right. A project that proves to young girls that you can do anything you set your mind to. Even if it means taking the "boy's toys." And that is just what Kamy and I intend to do! (I mean come on! Who can say no to that face!) 🙃
Till next time, keep the rubber side down and your shiny sides up!