11 LGBTQ-Friendly Children’s Books That’ll Open Up Your Kids’ Minds & Hearts
June is Pride Month, which means it’s the perfect time to add LGBTQ-friendly children's books into your kiddos’ library. Reading a book together can open up a larger conversation about the vitally important and topical matter of equal rights.
LGBTQ rights certainly have come a long way since the days of the Stonewall Riots that took place on June 28, 1969 (which is why, in fact, we celebrate Pride during the month of June, according to USA Today) but there is still a long way to go. The Trump Administration is pushing for adoption agencies to have the right to reject same-sex couples, per NBC News, (which is especially heartbreaking because the only chance many gay couples have of being parents is via adoption). With the Supreme Court deciding whether or not Title VII of the Civil Rights Act “protects gay and transgender people from employment discrimination,” per the Washington Examiner, it's clear that these issues are still with us today. That's why we need to teach our kids how to be allies, now and for the rest of their lives.
Now is a great time to stock up on these 11 children's books with powerful LGBTQ messages that every kid — and adult — should hear (and check out these children’s books starring black characters to your little one’s bookshelf, too.)
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1. A Day In the Life of Marlon Bundo
I was delighted when John Oliver released this parody book about a little gay bunny named Marlon Bundo, who lives with "Grampa, Mike Pence — the Vice President of the United States." The adorable book's powerful message about tolerance and advocacy is anything but a laughing matter though. It's a truly inspirational tale.
2. This Day In June
Reading this book about an inclusive Pride celebration is a great way to introduce your child to Pride Month, and LGBTQ history and culture in general. The book comes with a 'Note to Parents and Caregivers' with pointers on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity.
3. I Am Jazz
This touching, biographical book by Jazz Jennings can help teach your kids about being transgender. Jennings, a trans woman and now an advocate for trans kids, first rose to national prominence after she was interviewed by Barbara Walters back in 2007.
4. Julián is a Mermaid
This fantastic debut book from writer-illustrator Jessica Love made quite a splash when it was released. It tells the tale of a young boy named Julián, who is mesmerized by three women he sees dressed as mermaids on the subway. After dressing up as a mermaid himself, his accepting abuelo takes him to Coney Island's famous Mermaid Parade.
5. Red: A Crayon's Story
This sweet, funny book by Michael Hall tells the story of a "red" crayon who is actually blue. It's a great lesson about staying true to who you are, regardless of labels.
6. And Tango Makes Three
This award-winning children's book lovingly depicts a same-sex family. It tells the heartwarming true tale about two male penguins living at the Central Park Zoo. Thanks to a loving zoo keeper, the penguins were able to raise their own baby, a penguin named Tango, together.
7. Donovan's Big Day
This book follows Donovan, a boy who's about to serve as ring bearer in his two moms' wedding. It's a joyous read and a great way to introduce your child to the concept of same sex marriage.
8. The Family Book
This book introduces children to the many ways you can be a family — two dads, two moms, a big family, a small family, even a messy family. It's all about loving your own special family makeup.
9. My Princess Boy
Cheryl Kilodavis writes about her own son and her own initial struggle to understand why he loved pink, sparkly things. In the end, it's a story of acceptance and a reminder to love everyone for being just who they are.
10. Who Are You? The Kid's Guide to Gender Identity
Written for kids ages 5 and up, this straightforward storybook explains gender identity in an easy-to-understand way. The book also includes a short page-by-page guide for adults that elaborates on key concepts and highlights helpful discussion points.
11. The ABC's of LGBT+
This book by YouTube star Ashley Mardell is an Amazon #1 bestseller for good reason. It teaches teens and parents alike how to talk about gender and sexual identity, and with its helpful infographics and personal anecdotes, it's a great resource for understanding the nuances of both.
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