Centerstone Releases New Student Comic About LGBTQ+ Identity

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Nashville, TN – Centerstone, a national leader in behavioral health and addiction services, announces the release of its seventh themed comic.

Spark Unmasked addresses issues of identity among LGBTQ+ youth and is now available for free reading at centerstone.org/comics.




Centerstone Comics is part of the organization’s prevention services that educate and empower young people to make positive decisions when faced with common real-life issues.

In an accessible way, each new story explores a complex topic with the help of superhero Spark (actually a teenage girl named Amber Hernandez). The series also addressed bullying, depression and suicide, online safety, sexting, underage drug and alcohol use.

Unmasked Spark features Aspen, a college student whose pronouns are they/them. Struggling to fit in at school, Aspen befriends Amber (Spark) who helps them connect with a teacher, Ms. Aliada.

“I’ve worked with many LGBTQ+ youth on campus and with several outreach programs,” Aliada says. “I want you to feel safe and heard, but I know there’s more to it than just asking an ally to listen.”

Aspen gains confidence by learning about organizations that will connect them to various social supports and opportunities.

“I’ve heard of GLAAD, but not GLSEN,” Aspen says. “He says they want students to have the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education. I like this.”

Develop Unmasked Spark, Centerstone has teamed up with writer Allison Chaney Whitmore in Los Angeles as well as pencil and ink artist Carola Borelli, colorist Agnese Pozza and letterer Roberto Megna, all based in Italy. Centerstone’s Pride+ employee resource group was also consulted on the project.

“We are delighted to bring Unmasked Spark and important conversations within the LGBTQ+ community with a wider audience,” said Amanda McGeshick, Centerstone program manager. “Our organization meets many young people whose mental health suffers due to stigma and discrimination in this space. We hope this new resource will be useful to students, families, and community leaders around the world. »


The release of Unmasked Spark coincides with National Free Comic Book Day on May 7. In addition to centerstonecomics.orgcomic book fans can find Unmasked Spark Going through Tapas and Webtoons. Physical copies will also be given out in June at the Upper Cumberland Pride and Nashville Pride festivals in Tennessee.

About the center stone

center stone is a not-for-profit health system that provides mental health and addictions treatment. Services are available nationwide through the operation of outpatient clinics, residential programs, the use of telehealth, and an inpatient hospital. Centerstone also offers specialized programs for the military community, therapeutic foster families, children’s services and employee assistance programs.

Centerstone’s research institute provides guidance through research and technology, leveraging best practices for use in all our communities. The Centerstone Foundation secures philanthropic resources to support the work and mission of providing care that changes people’s lives.

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