As LGBT Pride month winds down, here are 25 LGBT-themed childrenâ€™s books to continue the celebration of our diverse families.
The Williams Institute at UCLA School of LawÂ released research in 2013 showing that an estimated three million LGBT individuals have likely had a child and that 2 percent of Americans (roughly six million people) had an LGBT-identified parent.
As lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships become more accepted, so do our family units, as can be seen with the increasing number of childrenâ€™s books focusing on the topic. As schools across the country are closing for summer vacation, and LGBT Pride month is coming to an end, we’ve created a list of 25 LGBT-themed childrenâ€™s books to continue the celebration our diverse families. Check them out below.
Cedric grew up poor and honest on a pumpkin farm, and dreamt of becoming a knight. One day he showed his courage by tricking a would-be carriage thief, and earned the chance to make his dream come true. After years of training, Cedric set off to find an adventure of his own by battling a fire-breathing dragon to save a prince and a princess. However, it’s after the adventure that Cedric revealed that he’d like to marry the prince, and not the princess.Â The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived is a modern fairytale which sets out to prove that sometimes the bravest thing you can do is choose for yourself how your fairytale ends!
The story of Rosaline incorporates LGBT themes in a fun, fairytale adventure through the woods. To find her sweetheart, Rosaline must first get by a tricky witch, a hungry wolf, and a well-intentioned fairy godmother! This picture book for children and adults alike emphasizes the value of being true to yourself.Â
Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let’s draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He’s blue! This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone.
The Family Book celebrates the love we feel for our families and all the different varieties they come in. Whether you have two moms or two dads, a big family or a small family, a clean family or a messy one, Todd Parr assures readers that no matter what kind of family you have, every family is special in its own unique way.
When a queen is ready for retirement, she nags her son to get married in order to ascend the throne.Â The prince is presented with numerous eligible princesses, but none of them seem toÂ interest him. Then he meets Princess Madeleine and immediately becomes smitten…with her brother, Prince Lee.
Stella’s class is having a Mother’s Day celebration, but what’s a girl with two daddies to do? It’s not that she doesn’t have someone who helps her with her homework, or tucks her in at night. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her, and a whole gaggle of other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She just doesn’t have aÂ momÂ to invite to the party. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.
When the rain spoils Zakâ€™s plan for a safari adventure, he invites the reader on a very special tour of his family instead. Zak shows us how his parents met, fell in love, and wanted more than anything to have a babyâ€”so they decided to make one. In the first half of the book, Zak teaches us about his biological origins. Using simple but accurate language, we learn about sperm and egg cells, known-donors, donors from sperm banks, and instructions called genes that make up who we are. Zak’s enthusiasm, combined with his scientific curiosity and gratitude for his inherited “awesome genes” make him the perfect tour guide for this contemporary conception story. The second half of the book celebrates family. Gorgeous illustrations depict Zak and his two moms living the adventure of everyday life: eating meals together, playing at the beach, going for nature hikes and hanging out with friends and family. Zakâ€™s Safari aims to provide a starting place for many future conversations with your kids about their conception story and donor.Â
Moms, dads, sisters, brothers â€” and even Great Aunt Sue â€” appear in dozens of combinations, demonstrating all kinds of nontraditional families! Silly animals are cleverly depicted in framed portraits, and offer a warm celebration of family love.
When celebrating a special Christmas tradition things go awry. Papa, Dad, their amazing kid, and one fabulous grandmother work together and implement a plan to save Christmas for a child they have never met.
Nate loves aliens and he really wants to wear an alien costume for Purim, but his friends are all dressing as superheroes and he wants to fit in. What will he do? With the help of his two dads he makes a surprising decision.
From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink andÂ dressing up as a mermaidÂ and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her toÂ a doctorÂ who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz’s story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers,Â their parents, and teachers.
Square Zair Pair is a children’s picture book about embracing our differences. The story takes place in the magical land of Hanamandoo, a place where square and round Zairs live. Zairs do all things in pairs, one round with one square. But one day when two square Zairs pair for the first time, the others reject them before realizing different pairs of Zairs make their village stronger.
When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married! But their friends want to knowâ€”who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux? The answer is: It doesn’t matter. Because Worm loves worm.
Having Two Dads is double the fun! A beautifully illustrated, affirming story of life with Two Dads, written from the perspective of their adopted child.
At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.
Heatherâ€™s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, and two pets. And she also has two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesnâ€™t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same. It doesnâ€™t matter who makes up a family, the teacher says, because “the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love one another.”
This third book from the Some Families series is based on the true story of the Leffew family, daddy Brian, daddy Jay, Daniel and Selena. We follow them through the story of their adoption and learn how this family was formed.
A Peacock Among Pigeons is an LGBT-themed hardback children’s book that tells the tale of learning how to stand out when you can’t fit in. This children’s story teaches the importance of celebrating our differences and learning to love the feathers you live in.
Peter the peacock doesn’t know how it happened, but he found himself growing up in a flock of pigeons. Surrounded by a world of grey, he found himself feeling less than his peers and was embarrassed by his feathers. After he fails to blend in, he decides that it’s time to learn to fly on his own. Along the way, he meets new bird friends from all different flocks that teach him a lesson he will never forget.
Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with its mommies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there’s no limit to what a loving family can do together. Shares the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children.
This is in the same style as Mommy, Mama, and Me, but with two dads. Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with its daddies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there’s no limit to what a loving family can do together. Share the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children.
In the magical kingdom of Evergreen, beautiful Princess Elena is suddenly whisked away by an old woman. Undefeated champion Gallant and shy bookworm Earnest go on a quest to find “the greatest treasure in the land” so one of them can save and marry the princess. Â Along the way, Earnest and Gallant realize “the greatest treasure in the land” is not what they expected.Â
Dyson loves pink, sparkly things. Sometimes he wears dresses. Sometimes he wears jeans. He likes to wear his princess tiara, even when climbing trees. He’s a Princess Boy. Inspired by the author’s son, and by her own initial struggles to understand, this is a heart-warming book about unconditional love and one remarkable family. It is also a call for tolerance and an end to bullying and judgments. The world is a brighter place when we accept everyone for who they are.
This is a delightful story of little girl with two moms as she learns how to be nice to her cat. Follow along as Emma gets in trouble trying to play with Meesha Kitty and cheer as she learns to treat him with care.
William wants a doll – to hug, to feed, to tuck in, and kiss goodnight. “Don’t be a creep, ” says his brother. “Sissy, sissy, ” chants the boy next door. His father buys him trains and a basketball – but not the doll that William really wants. Then one day, someone comes along who understands why William should have his doll.
Thereâ€™s so much to do now that Uncle Mike and Steve are getting married. Follow Andy on this enjoyable journey as he talks about his uncle’s wedding, how it affects him, and the things he gets to do in preparation for the ceremony. Youâ€™ll laugh and smile as you read this adorable story about marriage and family. *Full disclosure – This book was written by me.*
Finally, for those of you who are not parents, but are interested in starting a family of your own, check out my book, Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood. It compares adoption, foster care, surrogacy, assisted reproduction, and co-parenting to help people make the best decision thatâ€™s right for them. It includes real-life examples, legal tips from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, advice from other same-sex couples, and much more! Happy reading and Happy Pride!
Authorâ€™s Note: While it is getting a little easier to find LGBT childrenâ€™s books, racial diversity in these book still has some catching up to do, especially when it comes to the inclusion of African American characters. A campaign called #WeNeedDiverseBooks was created a few years ago to address the lack of diversity in literature in regards to race, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities, religion, etc. To learn more about this campaign, visit weneeddiversebooks.org.
Book descriptions and images via Amazon
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Stalked by Nazis: How Extremists Tried to Stop Me From Reporting on Their Violence
Since last year, the neo-Nazi group 2119 has committed acts of violence targeting Jews, Black people, LGBTQ+ people and other perceived enemies.
I began reporting on 2119 in an effort to expose its actions. As I investigated the group’s leadership and activities, and publication of a two-part project neared, neo-Nazi threats against me escalated. Online harassment led to phone calls and doxxing, which devolved into death threats and, most recently, visits to my home.
My ordeal began in November, when 2119 called me out by name in profane Telegram posts laden with racism, antisemitism and homophobia.
RELATED ARTICLE: Inside the neo-Nazi hate network grooming children for a race war
Soon, I began receiving threatening phone calls and voicemails. Someone took pictures of me with a telephoto lens, private investigator-style, and posted them online. A pizza delivery showed up at my doorstep, unrequested, courtesy of 2119. And earlier this month, matters culminated with six avowed white supremacists standing in front of my house, holding burning traffic flares, their arms up in Nazi salutes. One held a sign warning me of “consequences.”
Harassment and even death threats are, unfortunately, an occupational hazard for journalists on this beat. The leader of the neo-Nazi terror group, Atomwaffen, unhappy about being the subject of a ProPublica story, conspired with others to carry out a swatting attack — a tactic in which the perpetrators place bogus calls for the purpose of eliciting a law enforcement response to the victim’s residence — on journalist A.C. Thompson.
Other examples abound: Journalist James LaPorta, for one, learned his name was on a hit list in the possession of a neo-Nazi accused of plotting race war. In another case, a journalist received a death threatfrom the leader of a Nazi group called Feuerkrieg Division to try to discourage them from reporting on his group.
I first ran across 2119, also known as Blood and Soil Crew, while combing through Telegram chats in December 2022. They’ve been firmly on my radar since the spring of 2023, when I began to tally up racist and antisemitic incidents and attacks made in 2119’s name. Starting in late October 2023, my editor let me spend significant time investigating what — and who — 2119 truly is.
Almost as soon as they became aware of my reporting, the 2119 members responded with hostility and threats in a naked attempt to stop me from reporting on what had become a multi-state campaign of racist, antisemitic and homophobic violence.
Four days before Thanksgiving, an anonymous Telegram channel published my professional headshot, home address and phone number.
This wasn’t the first time such a thing has happened during my many years covering neo-Nazis, and other extremists. Online posts that include my personal information have been a semi-regular occurrence for the past four years. What was notable this time is that 2119 members immediately amplified this doxxing, highlighting it to like-minded extremists on their Telegram channel.
The accompanying note included a complaint from 2119 that “the bastard above” — me — had “been found out to be harassing our boys.”
Over the next two months, their tactics would become ever more extreme — and strange.
‘You’re being watched’
Just before New Year’s Eve, I received a phone call from a restricted number at dinner time. Someone identifying himself as “Bozak” warned me that I was “being watched by international bricksters.”
I already knew by that time that “Bozak” was 2119 member Aiden Cuevas, but the caller hung up before I had an opportunity to confront him.
I understood this “bricksters” term as a reference to an antisemitic attack last summer in Pensacola, Fla., where another 2119 member, Waylon Fowler, threw a brick through the window of a Jewish center while two rabbis sat inside having dinner.
Written on the brick: a swastika and the words “No Jews.”
A couple minutes after the “Bozak” phone call, the same person made a transparent attempt at misdirection by calling back and leaving a voicemail. He claimed to be Thomas Rousseau, leader of the white power group Patriot Front, and again warned: “I’m letting you know that we have people on standby. You’re being watched. Quit messing with us.”
In early January, early on a Sunday afternoon, an unidentified 2119 member placed an order for a pizza delivery at my house. It’s clear a 2119 associate was parked down the street with a camera and a telephoto lens because, the following day, a 2119 member posted a photo on Telegram that shows me standing in my doorway.
The experience was unsettling, but their efforts at intimidation only confirmed in my mind that we had a story that was worth telling. Just as any investigative journalist would do in the course of reporting a story, I called the subjects to offer them an opportunity to be interviewed and to ask them questions.
I began calling 2119 members — and their parents. The response was an odd mixture of silence, defiance, confessions and pleas for understanding.
‘We’ll keep shooting’
But one particular interview — with Mathew Bair, a Marine Corps veteran who, at 34, is roughly twice the age of most of his fellow 2119 members — stood apart.
Bair readily confirmed much of my reporting about 2119’s activities and goals. And unlike some of his younger cohorts, he was unapologetic, even appearing to take pleasure in confirming some of the most unsavory aspects of 2119’s racist and antisemitic intentions.
As we came to the end of the interview, I dropped what I expected to be one of the most difficult questions.
I asked Bair about a video he had posted showing a flier with the words “Shoot your local judge” that includes a URL to the 2119 Telegram channel.
Bair danced around the question. He initially attempted to deflect by suggesting that the reference was to a specific firearm model — a Taurus Judge.
Regardless, he told me he wasn’t concerned about how a potential victim might interpret the message.
He might have left it at that — an ambiguous, vaguely worded threat shrouded in plausible deniability.
But instead he veered back to the more direct interpretation, mentioning that he is “close” to where an anti-feminist extremist went to a federal judge’s home New Jersey, in 2020, and fatally shother son.
Then, he casually tossed out the phrase “just like you live in the Raleigh/Durham area, right?”
As it so happens, I don’t live in that area. But the implication was clear: I could be a target, too.
A couple of days later, on Jan. 21, Bair forwarded a message from a private Telegram channel complaining about my reporting.
“Jordan Green, you have a healthy respect for a Taurus Judge now, yes?” the message concluded. “Keep phishing for minors and we’ll keep shooting our local Judge.”
A Telegram post forwarded by Mathew Bair on Jan. 21, 2024 contains an implied threat.
One might be tempted to chalk this up as nothing more than online bluster. But gun violence directed at journalists is very real. This became apparent when shots were fired into the home of an online news publisher in Tennessee last April.
Concurrent with Bair’s warning, an anonymous Telegram account patronized by avowed extremists doxxed me again — this time with the photo of me standing in my doorway when 2119 sent a pizza to my home.
A couple weeks later, the account posted more personal information about me, accompanied by a note: “It’s not over, yet. More to come soon.”
They weren’t lying.
Around 5 p.m. on Feb. 10, six Nazis approached my house on a quiet, residential street in Greensboro, N.C. They held burning traffic flares as they raised their arms in Nazi salutes.
Photos show that at least three of the men are subjects of my reporting on extremism.
Among them: Sean Kauffmann, leader of the Tennessee Active Club, stood in the middle holding a sign warning about a “consequence” for exercising freedom of the press. Flanking Kauffmann were David William Fair, leader of the Southern Sons Active Club, and Jarrett William Smith.
The three men have a history of glorifying and pursuing violence.
Kauffmann and Smith met through Terrorgram, a loose collective of Telegram channels that extol mass shooters, while promoting graphic violence and wildly flagrant racism, in 2019.
Smith, then a soldier in the Army, advised Kauffmann on how to hide firearms from law enforcement when Kauffmann was worried that the police would take them due to a custody dispute with an ex-partner.
According to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, sheriff’s deputies responding to a domestic violence incident in 2021 encountered Kauffmann waving around an assault rifle and later “received information that Kauffmann stated he was going to get into a shootout with police.”
Smith was arrested and charged with distributing information related to explosives and weapons of mass destruction in 2019, a couple months after his exchange with Kauffmann on Telegram. The government alleged that Smith shared information with others on Facebook about how to make improvised explosive devices and suggested to an FBI informant that then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) would make a suitable assassination target.
During his prosecution — for which he ultimately pleaded guilty and served 14 months in prison — federal prosecutors presented evidence that Smith stated in a text message that it was on “my bucket list to KO an antifa member” and advised other Telegram users on how to get away with committing arson against a Michigan podcaster.
The channel that helped organize the flash rally in front of my home followed with an eerie sequel. The subsequent post showed some of the protesters posing with a historical marker commemorating the Greensboro Massacre. The sign marks the site where a coalition of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members fatally shot five civil rights and labor activists near a public housing community in 1979.
The caption in the Telegram post emphasizes the point that the shooters were acquitted during state and federal criminal trials by arguing that they acted in self-defense.
The message to me isn’t subtle.
Jordan Green is a Raw Story investigative reporter who covers domestic extremism.
Image via Shutterstock
‘Handmaid’s Tale’: Biden Campaign Blasts Trump Christian Nationalism Plans
The Biden campaign is responding to a report from Politico detailing how Christian nationalism is intentionally being injected into the plans a right-wing think tank, part of a “conservative consortium,” is drafting for a potential second Trump presidential term.
“Spearheading the effort is Russell Vought, who served as Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget during his first term and has remained close to him. Vought, who is frequently cited as a potential chief of staff in a second Trump White House, is president of The Center for Renewing America think tank, a leading group in a conservative consortium preparing for a second Trump term,” Politico reported Tuesday. “Vought has a close affiliation with Christian nationalist William Wolfe, a former Trump administration official who has advocated for overturning same-sex marriage, ending abortion and reducing access to contraceptives.”
“Vought,” Politico adds, “is advising Project 2025, a governing agenda that would usher in one of the most conservative executive branches in modern American history. The effort is made up of a constellation of conservative groups run by Trump allies who’ve constructed a detailed plan to dismantle or overhaul key agencies in a second term. Among other principles, the project’s ‘Mandate for Leadership’ states that ‘freedom is defined by God, not man.'”
There are other far-right Christian nationalists in play.
“Trump is also talking about bringing his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a vocal proponent of Christian nationalism, back into office,” the Politico piece notes. “Flynn is currently focused on recruiting what he calls an ‘Army of God’ — as he barnstorms the country promoting his vision of putting Christianity at the center of American life.”
In 2022 PBS NewHour described Flynn as being “‘at the center’ of [a] new movement based on conspiracies and Christian nationalism.”
“He has drawn together election deniers, mask and vaccine opponents, insurrectionists, Proud Boys, and elected officials and leaders in state and local Republican parties.”
The Biden campaign’s senior spokesperson Lauren Hitt responded to the Politico report, saying in a statement, “This is straight out of the Handmaid’s Tale. Nationwide abortion bans, attacks on same-sex marriage, and restrictions on contraception – this is the horrifying reality being openly discussed by Team Trump and the likely architects of his second term agenda.”
“Every day Donald Trump openly supports an agenda of restricting Americans’ freedoms, dividing our country, and attacking our rights. That’s what he will do as president. It’s not who we are as Americans. Like they’ve done election after election,
Americans will reject Donald Trump and his out-of-touch extremism again this November.”
The Hill adds the Biden “campaign also pointed to a New York Times report that said Trump told advisers and allies that he favors a 16-week ban on abortion, a story that the Trump campaign pushed back on but didn’t contradict.”
USA TODAY’s White House correspondent Joey Garrison first reported Hitt’s statement.
‘BS’: Top Dem Senator Goes on Offense Against Republicans
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) is calling “BS” on Senate Republicans – and calling them out by name – over their continued failure to pass the Senate’s massive border and military funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan bill that he helped craft.
Sen. Murphy’s first target: top Trump MAGA surrogate Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), who told Fox News, “The left want an open, insecure border. The conservatives and common sense independents, we want a secure America. That means you have to control your back door.”
Scott: The left wants an open, insecure border. The conservatives and common sense independents, we want to secure America. That means you have to control your back door. pic.twitter.com/B18sow10au
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 20, 2024
Murphy did not hold back.
“Bullshit,” the Connecticut Democrat wrote on social media Tuesday. “We reached a bipartisan compromise to give the President enormous new powers to control the border. Almost every single Republican – including Sen. Scott – voted against it because Trump told them to keep the border a mess because it might help him politically.”
Senator Murphy’s second target was U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who claimed, “The recent bill would have been worse than doing nothing by codifying [Biden’s] open border policies into law.”
Americans want a secure border. The recent bill would have been worse than doing nothing by codifying @POTUS’s open border policies into law.
We didn’t want an immigration bill. We wanted something to force Biden to use the authority he has to secure the border.… pic.twitter.com/RKa3q12AS8
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) February 19, 2024
“Bullshit,” Sen. Murphy again responded. “The bipartisan border bill that Sen. Johnson’s party asked for and then voted against because Trump said so would have
Next, the Connecticut Democrat called out U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). writing, “also bullshit.”
Sen. Blackburn had claimed, “Even Secretary Mayorkas has said what’s happening at the southern border ‘certainly is a crisis.’ It’s past time the Biden administration put a stop to this madness. CLOSE the border.”
Sen. Murphy added, “Senator Blackburn knows the bill would have actually allowed the President to close parts of the border when crossings get too high. But who would book Republicans on cable news if the border was actually under control? That’s why they killed it.”
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