I can finally officially announce that I can cross GET MY FIRST NOVEL DEAL off my career to-do list! JAY’S GAY AGENDA is going to be published in the summer of 2021. Here’s the deal announcement:You might remember me mentioning this novel last year while I was working on it in the spring of 2019. I wanted a fun, carefree, romance-filled romp for queer teens as we headed into the politically divisive year of 2020. While this isn’t going to be pubbed this year, there are still so many LGBTQ+ stories coming out in the coming months that I can’t wait to read and will be sharing here. Here’s to a new decade full of all kinds of queer voices!

I am so incredibly thankful to my new editor, Megan Ilnitzki, for seeing Jay and getting his story from the get-go, and for my agent, Brent Taylor, for making this all happen! Ah!

I’ll be sashaying and prancing around my house for the next forever.

Because of You

Not only are these the words that make up the title of one of my favorite Kelly Clarkson songs, but they are also inspired by Michelle Williams’s epic Emmy speech. I am a sucker for awards shows, and it’s moments like Williams’s big win that make me such a fan. If you didn’t get a chance to see her speech, here you go:

This speech ties into a really great surprise I had on the interwebs a couple weeks ago seeing that the author name on my book, WHOBERT WHOVER, had been changed to Jason June on all sites where my book was listed for sale.

Then I logged onto my Author Portal at Simon & Schuster and was greeted by this:

The name on my whole account had been changed, meaning the magical fairy of acceptance and love who changed my name for WHOBERT online had to be at S&S too.

So all this ties into Michelle Williams’s speech where she calls on companies to help out underrepresented voices when they let those companies know what they need to succeed because someday they might say thank you for helping them succeed *because* of their workplace. This is totally one of those moments. I want to give a huge thank you to Simon & Schuster, and especially my editor Karen Wojtyla, for not batting an eye when I said I wanted to change my author name to reflect my genderqueer identity. Instead I heard a resounding “YES”, and felt loved and embraced and like S&S wanted me to succeed. I know a lot of the time in the book world it can seem like the business part and the publishing part and the authoring part are all so separate, but it was the most uplifting experience when all these parts came together to rally behind me in a moment that really mattered in my life. Here’s to that continuing to happen for writers of all backgrounds in the years to come.

New Name, Who Dis

If you came here expecting to see the name Jason Gallaher and are now scratching your head wondering who in the blazes Jason June is, have no fear! It is I! I’ve officially changed my artist name from Jason Gallaher to Jason June to reflect who I am as a genderqueer person. I explain more about where the name came from and what it means to me in this Twitter thread:


Thanks for all your love and support, everyone! I’m excited for this new chapter of my story!


Jason June

Whobert Turns 2, Two Ways

It’s so stinkin’ hard for me to believe that WHOBERT WHOVER, OWL DETECTIVE turns two years old this month. The time flew by much like Whobert does: fast, and without any clue as to what the future holds. It was that mystery that led to the absolute best surprise this past week. A wonderful friend of mine asked me to sign a copy of WHOBERT for a new baby acquaintance they were about to make. When I flipped to the title page to sign, I saw on the copyright page a tiny number two. Cut to me looking like this:

If you’ve ever wondered what the little row of numbers means on a copyright page, those digits are used to tell people what printing a book is in. The lowest number in the row indicates how many times a book has gone to print. It’s a tiny, itty bitty number, but a big deal for an author or illustrator because the higher that number gets, the more copies are making it out into the world. That little two on Whobert’s copyright page means he got a second printing, and I had no idea! To see what I’m talking about, check out my Whobert Highlight on Instagram here and click to the last two videos.

WHOBERT didn’t exactly fly off the shelves, but it was really magnificent to find out that slowly but surely people are finding their way to Whobert’s wacky forest, and even two years after he hatched people still want to see him completely screw up the who-who-dunnit. You know those moments when terrible clichés are actually true? Clichés like, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”? This is one of those moments, and I ain’t mad at it!

Thanks for all the support, everybody, and for keeping Whobert alive and well!

Happy Whobert-versary!


Teacher & Librarian Love Tuesday!

Teachers! Librarians! Tuesdays are for new books…FOR YOU!

Every Tuesday I’ll be giving a copy of WHOBERT WHOVER, OWL DETECTIVE to a teacher or librarian as a thank you for being the super heroes of the literary world!

Here’s how it works:

Each Tuesday I will send out a Teacher & Librarian Love Tuesday (#TLLT) tweet. You can find me on Twitter here. All you gotta do is follow me on Twitter, then comment on that week’s #TLLT post by the end of the day. One random commenter will be selected and notified the following Wednesday. This will be going on until…forever! Because your awesomeness never stops!

Hooray, and thank you for all that you do in spreading the love of literacy and authors!




OMG, where have I been?!

I was holed away in my house writing for the past few months. Most notably, I had one of those THIS IS THE ONE Aha Moments where a gay YA rom-com came to me almost fully fleshed out. I could hear the characters, see them, and I knew I had to tell their story.

Cut to me in a cave, blinded by light having just now emerged after I sent that YA manuscript to my agent yesterday morning.

I adore this YA so much, y’all. It’s called JAY’S GAY AGENDA. I posted a Twitter thread about it that you can read here. The main point of the thread is that I LOVE THIS STORY WITH ALL MY HEART, but it may be an impossible dream to get this manuscript published. It’s set in Fall 2020, and many publishers already have their Fall 2020 lists full. But I’m so going to try and make this happen.

JAY follows the title character, the only out student at a rural high school, as he finally gets to experience his gay firsts when his mom moves his family to the big city his senior year. It’s full of crushes and kisses and mishaps and mistakes. It’s the story of finding balance between romance and friendship.

But why 2020? 2020 will be a very intense year with the presidential election. Something that always makes me cringe during campaigns is that the LGBTQ community is used as a tool by politicians of both parties to get votes. It’s unsettling when your sexuality is constantly politicized, and I imagine many teens in the LGBTQ community will be stressed because of this. I hope JAY can be an escape for these readers, a reminder that a world exists in which they don’t have to be someone else’s tool, but a person who gets to experience love and lust and all the things that come with that.

If this doesn’t work out, I’m still so happy that Jay’s story came to me. You hear a lot in the writing world that no writing is wasted. JAY has already given me so much. It was so uplifting to write, remembering the excitement that comes with all those firsts. It also opened in me this huge passion for YA, and more ideas are starting to pour out of me.

So I may be heading back into the writing cave soon! But in the meantime, I’ll be posting a bit more about the journey of JAY and some firsts of my own I experienced while writing it.



First Purse

I bought my first purse today. For me. And it was one of the most liberating experiences of my life.

This is not a groundbreaking moment for humans. Many men have carried purses before and I’m sure they will after me. But in that moment walking out of the store carrying my brand new bag (and it’s pink to boot), I felt like I had taken a step closer to me. For about…ever, I haven’t really felt right in the very limited selection of men’s clothing and accessories that are offered in store after store after store. Putting on a pair of jeans always felt off. I never thought they looked right, and always enviably looked on to the women’s sections that were vastly larger than the section I was “supposed” to shop in. I wanted the selection of colors, I wanted the options of pants that didn’t just hang off my chicken legs or sit oddly around my hips, and most of all, I wanted a bag that made everything I wore pop.

When I was in high school that kind of gender fluidity in clothing was not allowed. I distinctly remember when messenger bags became a thing and boys who carried them were made fun of for carrying a “murse.” For those who might not have been privy to the fashion trends of the early-2000s, messenger bags are essentially cloth briefcases with a long strap. Apparently that strap triggered blaring alarms in the Heteronormative Headquarters of America and sent the modified briefcase into purse territory, making it a *huge no-no* for anyone with a penis to carry. So I retired my messenger bag for a backpack and never again thought of expressing myself through fashion in anything that could remotely be considered feminine because of what people might say.

Until recently.

Within the last year, something shifted. After going through my 20s still not being satisfied with my look or the limited options for men,  I took a step into what those Heteronormative Headquarters would call Enemy Territory. I looked through racks of women’s pants and tried on a few pairs. I would be lying if I said there weren’t feelings of shame mixed in with elation at seeing what something other than jeans or trousers looked like on my body. Eventually the elation won out.

The first pant style I’ve embraced from the women’s section that I feel fit me better than any pair of jeans ever did are leggings. I like that they hug my legs instead of hang off them and that they go real well with my favorite style of boot. But I still let the Gender Police influence my outfit decisions by pairing those leggings with oversized shirts so the shirt sort of swallowed me up. And while I longingly saved pages of purses on the internet that I would have liked to pair with my new outfits, I still never, ever, ever would have thought of actually carrying one out in public. They are so glaringly obvious, and it doesn’t matter how oversized that oversized shirt gets, it ain’t never gonna cover up the purse that *boy* is carrying.

Then I came across Jen Wang’s graphic novel THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER. As the name suggests, it’s about a prince and the relationship that develops with a dressmaker. His dressmaker. The prince dresses in drag at nights because he can’t help the part of him that is so drawn to expressing himself through women’s fashion. Like me, the prince is scared gender-restricting-pantsless at the thought of anyone figuring out his secret. But, without giving too much away because I want you all to read this book and whoop and gasp and laugh and cry at everything that happens in this book, ultimately the prince is happiest when he’s just himself. And I absolutely adore how Wang shows that the clothing you decide to wear has nothing to do with being a “correct” man or woman, but everything to do with how you feel best expressing yourself. The restraints on what we say a man or woman can wear are just arbitrary.

THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER was the first major piece of art I’d consumed that really made me think I could be brave enough to wear or carry whatever I want, whenever I want. Then the very next week I saw the documentary The Gospel According to André about André Leon Talley, a legendary fashion icon and longtime editor of Vogue. I fell in love with his personality and sense of epic caftan style when he was a judge on America’s Next Top Model a few years ago. In the documentary, you see photos of André throughout his life and hear him tell stories about growing up in the South as a flashy and flamboyant young black man. Despite the looks and hatred that came his way, André stayed true to himself and turned into the legend that he is now.

The back-to-back “you be you” messages in THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER and The Gospel According to André made me wonder why on God’s green culottes I was worrying so much about what other people thought about what I wore.

So I went out and bought that nowhere-to-hide purse, and I’m never looking back. I’m only looking forward. Forward to this whole new section of clothing options that my head and my heart now realize I can finally utilize and embrace however I want. Forward to hopefully becoming an inspiration like Jen Wang and André Leon Talley and their work was for me. All the manuscripts I have on submission right now are in some way about gender inclusivity, body acceptance, the power of femininity and accepting all sexualities. I hope to be an example for boys and girls and kids who don’t identify with either of those genders who feel constrained by what Heteronormative Headquarters tell them are the “right” things to wear, the “right” way to express themselves, the “right” way to express their gender, the “right” way to express their heart.

And I’ll do it one purse and one book at a time.