In a society where there are countless opportunities for children to be influenced by outside media, ideals, and negativity, it's not longer an option to start your child's education about inclusivity at a young age — it's necessary. To teach your child about diversity and acceptance in a way they understand, I suggest turning to my favorite teaching aid: books. There are tons of wonderful books that teach kids about LGBTQ families. And although any time of year is perfect to teach your children about LGBTQ families and how to be an ally, June is an especially wonderful time of year to kickstart your child's education because it's National LGBTQ Pride Month.
The best part about books that teach kids about LGBTQ families, is that they offer children the opportunity to read about different kinds of families. These books share with children the beautiful fact that not everyone comes from a "traditional" family, and that, regardless of what kind of family you come from, your family is beautiful, loving, and just as important as anyone else's family. Showing your children the rich diversity of blended families in the world at a young age will not only teach them how to be inclusive, but also how to celebrate diversity. Not sure where to start? Read on for 11 books to teach your child about LGBTQ families.
1'ABC: A Family Alphabet Book' by Bobbie Combs
ABC: A Family Alphabet Book is a phenomenal alphabet book that doesn't aim to explain same-sex families, but simply includes them. Rather than going out of its way to point out that the family is an LGBTQ family, the book focuses on all of the different things families do together, including a mix of same-ex parents, single parents, and bi-racial families.
2'10,000 Dresses' by Marcus Ewert
Marcus Ewert has crafted a beautiful story about a little boy named Bailey who dreams of beautiful dresses every night. He tries to tell his family about his dreams, but they brush them off reminding Bailey he is a boy, and that boys don't dream of dresses. Bailey doesn't feel like a boy, but his family isn't accepting of this. When Bailey meets Laurel, an older girl who accepts Bailey as she is, the two begin making dresses together. 10,000 Dresses is a creative tale about acceptance, and a wonderful way to open up the discussion of transgender issues with your children.
3'And Tango Makes Three' by Justin Richardson
The true story of two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo who didn't have much interest in the female penguins, but loved one another. In And Tango Makes Three, children learn about two male penguins who match and prepare for a baby just like any other pair of penguins.
4'This Day In June' by Gayle E. Pitman
This Day In June is an exciting, colorful book about a pride parade. If you've never been to a pride parade, share this book with your children to see what you're missing. You and your children can both learn a lot while experiencing the joy of a pride parade.
5'A Tale Of Two Mommies' by Vanita Oelschlager
Told through the eyes of two children asking a child with two mothers how his family works, A Tale of Two Mommies teaches children that families, made up of any number or gender of parents, is just like any other.
6'Heather Has Two Mommies' by Lesléa Newman
When this book was published in the '80s, it was the first of its kind. Perhaps the best known picture book about a family with same sex parents, the illustrations and emphasis on the the fact that Heather Has Two Mommies may be a bit outdated, but it's a groundbreaking piece of children's literature nonetheless.
7'The Misadventures Of Family Fletcher' by Dana Alison Levy
Featuring two fathers and four adopted sons, The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher teaches children that no family is ever perfect, that making mistakes is simply a part of growing up, and that sometimes, what you expect to care about least becomes the thing you care about most.
8'I Am Jazz' by Jessica Herthel
Based on a real life little girl named Jazz, I Am Jazz introduces children to the concept of what being transgender means. Broken down in a way that children can learn and understand easily, this book makes gender identity a household term, so that children can explore their own identities.
9'One Dad, Two Dad, Brown Dad, Blue Dads' by Johnny Valentine
Fun and witty, One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dad looks at a young boy with two blue dads in comparison to his friend who comes from a more conventional family. Full of questions, the book explains with help from Lou that two blue dads are the same as any other dads, and that his family isn't so different from his friend's.
10'Donovan's Big Day' by Lesléa Newman
Donovan's mom is getting married, and he's the ring bearer. In Donovan's Big Day, children see that kids and parents in same-sex families are just like kids and parents in any family.
11'In Our Mothers' House' by Patricia Polacco
Though there may not be a dad in Marmee and Meema's house, there's more than enough love to go around. In Our Mothers' House shows that, while not all of their neighbors accept or understand their family, they are perfect just the way they are. Weaving in the important topics adoption, multicultural families, and same-sex parents, this book is not to be missed.