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LGBT Pride Month for Kids

June 28, 2016

In honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, and as a show of support for the families and friends of those killed in the Orlando Massacre, I've put together a list of books about LGBT people, important historical events, and books written to provide information and support to anyone who is questioning their sexual or gender identity. 

Because of the Orlando massacre, many children might be asking questions about what they’ve seen on the news or words they’ve heard on the radio. The titles listed here are for younger children (2nd grade and younger in most cases) and can help you explain what gay or lesbian families might look like and what it means to be transgender.

Books about Gender Identity and Challenging Traditional Gender Roles

The titles in this section are chosen because the main characters express interest in clothing, toys, hobbies, etc., that do not fit the societal norms for their gender. My favorite title on this list is Jacob's New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman. Jacob loves being the princess during the dress-up corner but Christopher says boys can't wear dresses. Jacob's mom helps him sew his very own dress - this is the point where I start to tear up - and gives him the self confidence to face Christopher the next day.

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Books about Diverse Families

The following titles introduce the concept of same sex parents or marriage between two people of the same sex. In Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman the children are discussing the jobs that their parents do. When Heather tells a classmate that she doesn't have a father, the teacher suggests that the students draw pictures of their families. After the students finish and display their artwork, Ms. Molly, Heather's teacher, sums up the message of this book and all of the others on this list with "It doesn't matter if your family has sisters or brothers or cousins or grandmas or grandpas or uncles or aunts. Each family is special. The most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other."

Books about Acceptance

Every person in the world is different and that's what makes us so great! We have different hair colors, religions, ethnicities, and a million other things that people can choose to identify us by. It's extremely important to teach your child about self-acceptance but it's also critical to teach children about accepting others. Not everyone is going to look the way you do or like the things you like but that's ok! The titles in this list include a dancing brontosaurus, a rat with a speech disorder, and several titles by one of my favorite authors, Todd Parr. If you've never read a book written by Todd Parr, you're missing out! His books are brightly colored, simply illustrated, very meaningful, and will have everyone giggling! It's Okay to Be Different is my favorite although the library does not really promote eating macaroni and cheese in the bathtub. If you want to try it, you're on your own! If you have no idea what I'm talking about - check out the book!

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Miss Terri has worked at three different branches of Nashville Public Library since 2002. She's currently the head of the Children's Department at the Green Hills Branch Library. When she isn’t working, she is usually hanging out with her dog Boo. Isn’t he cute?