A ROW has broken out after a transgender "diaperful" artist was engaged to speak at an event for adults, teens and families at a library in England.

What is a “diaperful artist” exactly?

That's how Canadian artist Sophie Labelle's work is defined. The transgender cartoonist is known for the online comic strip, Assigned Male, which draws on the artist's trans experiences. Specifically, artwork includes anthropomorphic cartoon animals in nappies.


In a 2021 tweet, Labelle said it was "diaperful art...I have a kink. I indulge responsibly and I refuse to be shamed for it. The people shoving my art and my life into everyone's face are bad-faith actors looking for an excuse to shame a trans woman”.

What is the talk about and where is it taking place?

Sheffield Central Library is the venue on Monday evening with the library advising that Labelle is “a neurodivergent trans cartoonist and novelist” who will talk about the online comic and "The Best of Assigned Male" book, which was recently published by Hachette UK. The library state: “During her talk, she will speak about her art and activism, her artistic process, building community through art and growing up trans. Suitable for adults, teens and families.”


Concerns have been raised over the appropriateness of the event at which children as young as 13 could attend. Conservative MP Miriam Cates has written to Sheffield Council calling on it to reconsider the event. She said: 'Even the most cursory background checks on Sophie Labelle throw up serious safeguarding red flags. In no way can the work or ‘activism’ of this author be considered suitable for children.”

What does the author say?

In 2021 in response to criticism of diaper related art, Labelle tweeted: “In an effort to paint me as a villain, my harassers, after repeating ad nauseam that the art was sexual, found a picture from Google that I used as a reference for the diaper on one of the drawings. The drawing shows a dog swimming in a pool. I use random references fordrawings and posters all the time - that's what artists do.”

Labelle added that the images were on “my diaperfur blog” which “was tagged as 18+ and SFW because of the therapeutic and consensual aspect of it, and it's something private I did not want to be shared. Even though it isn't sexual, as anyone can see, this is not art that is meant to be shared in the general public, for various reasons. I remain angry at the people who have decided to spread it around and repost it everywhere in an effort to kinkshame me.”


Labelle tweeted: "For the past week, I've been under the constant fire of some of the most virulent transphobes from the country... They have targeted almost every single venue and organiser I've been working with", adding that it is "all reminding me of the importance of the kind of work I do".