Last year, the Mall of America was hit with hate after the mall hired a black Santa (I guess the fictional children’s character can only have one skin town).
Writer Daniel Kibblesmith then tweeted out a joke saying that when he and his wife had kids they would raise the children to believe in a Black, Gay Santa. He got so much support for that tweet that he eventually decided to write a children’s book about it.
Though the story was originally created as a joke, Kibblesmith intended (and succeeded) to make it a charming and sweet tale about love.
But of course, many don’t see it that way or don’t care. All they see is something different than what they’d like it to be.
KIbblesmith spoke with VICE about his book and about the predictable backlash from publishing it.
VICE: In the book, you touch on other political themes, like unionizing. Is this a children's book that's really for adults?
Daniel Kibblesmith: We see it as an all ages book; in stores it will be in the humor section. But our goal was to write something that any kind of family could theoretically enjoy at Christmas time, on any level. Maybe you're a childless couple who has these politics and thinks the book is charming and funny; maybe you're a new parent who wants to introduce a different kind of holiday tradition into your home, or just reinforce the idea that traditions like these are malleable, living things that every family interprets differently.
What are some of the best responses you've seen online?
My favorite comment was in March, when Time ran an article that said, basically, "A new book is going to portray Santa Claus as being gay and in an interracial relationship," and one of the first comments underneath the article was, "Stop rewriting history." That really spoke to me, because—of course—our official policy is that Santa Claus is real, he is black, he is married to a man and he lives at the North Pole. (Wink, wink.) But certainly some could argue that the legend of Santa Claus is best described as a legend, and we're not actually rewriting history as much as interpreting a story.
To buy the book for yourself, click here. Or, to read more of Kibblesmtih’s interview, click here.
h/t: VICE News