March 2, 2022  •  By Christine Pasalo Norland

Hello Barkada Presents "Allowed"

"Allowed" is our new programming series in which invited artists and writers join me in conversation, to share aloud the influences and intentions behind their latest works. For our first episode, Hello Barkada welcomed cartoonist Trinidad Escobar to discuss her new comics collection Arrive In My Hands, published by Black Josei Press.

Be advised that this interview refers to mature topics as the work we're discussing is intended for readers who are 18+ years old. 

Thank you to everyone who attended the livestream on Thursday, March 10! The replay is currently available on the Hello Barkada Instagram feed and on the Hello Barkada YouTube Channel with closed captions. For a synopsis of each episode in the series, visit our "Allowed" page.

Photo of Filipina American cartoonist Trinidad Escobar.


Brown-toned text that says "Allowed" is set inside merged black conversation bubbles. Surrounding text in black repeats the event information.



As the Founder and President of a young organization who is also a woman of color and a second generation American, I'm hyperaware of the hold that the imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy (coined by bell hooks) has on access, platform, and progress. Such a system aggressively suggests daily that I should want to operate at a much larger scale than I'm at, and because I don't have the capital for the "right" resources to be at that level, I shouldn't expect to be impactful. In that system, I'm set up to wait my turn or worse–not have a turn.

Thing is: I operate on the scale of one. If the work of Hello Barkada validates one person or gives one person a new frame of reference that empowers them to (continue to) move forward by their own permission, their own creativity, their own saavy and with the intent to practice learning, accompliceship, and humanity, then what I'm doing and how I'm doing it is enough. This is what disruption looks like. We will build together and in the time needed to maintain balance and mental wellness. If I'm able to impact one person, and that person moves on to impact another, then we're–as Sharon Lee De La Cruz says–scaffolding


The title of this new programming series intentionally rides the fact that "allowed" and "aloud" are homophones. Since founding, it's been my goal to find a way to give artists and writers of marginalized communities another accessible platform from which to share their work, drive, insight, grievances, and hopes; a platform that mutually gives followers, readers, and viewers of our communities another resource of reassurance, inspiration, and recharging. When I changed the question from "How can I afford a subscription to Zoom or StreamYard?" to "What is readily available to me now that has the potential to reach?", I allowed myself to seek out radical possibilities (a la bell hooks) that also gave way to building coalitions. It began (and will continue) with contributing panels to like-minded organizations: Women in Comics Collective International, Virtuous Con. It began (and will continue) with appearing on a monthly Instagram Live series hosted by a like-minded founder and friend: Happy Hour Chat with Jade Seaberry of DiverseToons.

Now, here we are! "Allowed" will launch via Instagram Live for many reasons, namely:

So, you see: In this system, neither I nor you need to wait our turn. You might say that in this system, there are no turns, no line to stand in. In this system, we are not obligated to follow the way of "should." We are simply allowed to begin.


Hello Barkada operates thanks to our clients, the generous contributions of Barkada Patrons, and those who've purchased our zine.

Help Hello Barkada continue to provide platform and opportunities to artists and writers from marginalized communities by hiring Christine on a contract basis, making a contribution to the organization's crowd fund, and/or buying a copy of our inaugural zine!


Text in black says "You May Also Like" followed by a black line break.
White text says, "Allowed special panel edition. What does it take for creators to publish stories that excite them while being treated as humans, not machines? Writers and editors Amanda Meadows, Jamila Rowser, and Kiara Valdez discuss on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET." Text on a darkened side-by-side photos of Amanda, Jamila, and Kiara.
Darkened collage of screenshots taken of Steenz from the second episode of Allowed. White text reads, "Allowed, with Steenz! The award-winning cartoonist discusses their new book Heart Takes the Stage and the ways they infuse their style and perspective into the 'Heart of the City' comic strip."