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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On World AIDS Day, DOJ Says Tennessee Law Discriminates Against Those With HIV
The Department of Justice celebrated World AIDS Day by calling out a Tennessee law that discriminates against people with HIV.
The DOJ released a report Friday that the state’s aggravated prostitution law violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. A person arrested under the aggravated prostitution law is normally changed with a misdemeanor, and faces up to six months in prison and a $500 fine. However, if the person arrested has HIV, the crime becomes a felony, and if they’re convicted, they would face between three and 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
“Tennessee’s aggravated prostitution law is outdated, has no basis in science, discourages testing and further marginalizes people living with HIV,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “People living with HIV should not be treated as violent sex offenders for the rest of their lives solely because of their HIV status. The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are protected from discrimination.”
The law was originally passed in 1991. It classifies HIV-positive sex workers as violent sex offenders, according to WKRN-TV. This means that in addition to the sentence, those convicted are put on the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry, usually for the rest of their lives.
The DOJ advised the state—and particularly, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, which enforces the statute most frequently, the department says—to stop enforcing the law. It also calls on the state to repeal the law and remove anyone from the registry when aggravated prostitution is the only offense. If this doesn’t happen, Tennessee could face a lawsuit.
Tennessee isn’t the only state to have laws applying to only those living with HIV. In 1988, Michigan passed a law requiring those with HIV to disclose their status before sex, according to WLNS-TV. The law is still on the books, but was updated in 2019 to lift the requirement if the HIV-positive person has an undetectable viral load. The law now also requires proof that the person set out to transmit HIV.
Laws like these can work against public health efforts, according to the National Institutes of Health. The NIH says these types of laws can make people less likely to be tested for HIV, as people cannot be punished if they didn’t know their status. In addition, critics say, the laws can be used to further discriminate. A Canadian study found a disproportionate number of Black men had been charged under HIV exposure laws.
World AIDS Day was first launched in 1988 by the World Health Organization and the United Nations to highlight awareness of the then-relatively new disease. The theme of the 2023 World AIDS Day is “Let Communities Lead,” calling on community leaders to end the AIDS epidemic.
Featured image by UNIS Vienna/Flickr via Creative Commons License.
John Fetterman Says Bob Menendez ‘Senator for Egypt,’ Should Be Expelled Next
Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) called Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) a “senator for Egypt,” and said he needed to be expelled from Congress, much like the now-former Representative George Santos.
Fetterman appeared on The View on Friday. The live broadcast aired as Santos had been kicked out of the House. When host Joy Behar asked what he thought of the vote, Fetterman immediately replied, “I’m not surprised.”
“If you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate? And, you know, Santos’ kind of lies were almost, you know, funny,” Fetterman said. “Menendez, I think is really a senator for Egypt, you know, not New Jersey. So I really think he needs to go.”
Host Sunny Hostin then asked if Fetterman was uncomfortable with expelling Menendez, as, like with Santos, he had only been indicted, not convicted.
“He has the right for his day in court and all of it, but he doesn’t have the right to to have those kinds of votes and things. That’s not a right,” he said. “I think we need to make that kind of decision to send him out.”
This September, Menendez was indicted on corruption charges. He is accused of accepting bribes of cash, gold and a car, as well as giving “highly sensitive” information about U.S. Embassy staffers in Cairo to the Egyptian government, according to USA Today. Menendez was forced to step down as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was replaced by Ben Cardin, Maryland’s Democratic senator.
Menendez denied wrongdoing, and has refused to resign, despite many calls to do so from both Democrats and Republicans.
“For years, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly attempted to silence my voice and dig my political grave,” Menendez said in a statement following his indictment. “Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago, there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists.”
This is not Menendez’s first brush with the law. Menendez was indicted in 2015 on federal corruption charges. He was accused of helping Salomon Melgen, one of Menendez’s campaign contributors, by intervening in a dispute with federal regulators and helping Melgen get a port security contract in the Dominican Republic.
In 2017, Menendez’s trial ended with a hung jury, and the Department of Justice declined to retry the case, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Menendez denied all wrongdoing.
House Votes to Boot George Santos 311-114
Representative George Santos (R-NY) has been expelled from Congress following a 311-114 vote; two House members voted “present.”
The expulsion of Santos follows a debate on his fate on Thursday. The vote required a two-thirds majority, or 290 of the 435-seat chamber. This is Santos’ third vote of expulsion; last month, a vote failed with 31 Democrats voting against, according to The Hill.
While the vote was decisive, some notable Republicans voted to save Santos, including House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN).
“We’ve not whipped the vote and we wouldn’t,” Johnson told CNN Wednesday. “I trust that people will make that decision thoughtfully and in good faith. I personally have real reservations about doing this, I’m concerned about a precedent that may be set for that.”
Santos himself had harsh words for the House following the vote. Leaving the capitol building, he briefly spoke with reporters.
“The House spoke that’s their vote. They just set new dangerous precedent for themselves,” he told CNN. “Why would I want to stay here? To hell with this place.”
He then cut his time short, telling reporters, “You know what? As unofficially no longer a member of Congress, I no longer have to answer your questions.”
Santos also faces 23 federal charges, which include fraud, money laundering and misuse of campaign funds, according to CNN. He has pleaded not guilty. An Ethics Committee report found evidence that Santos used campaign funds for Botox and even an OnlyFans account.
On Thursday, Santos said he refused to resign because otherwise, “they win.”
“If I leave the bullies take place. This is bullying,” Santos said. “The reality of it is it’s all theater, theater for the cameras and theater for the microphones. Theater for the American people at the expense of the American people because no real work’s getting done.”
Santos also threatened to file a resolution to expel Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY). Bowman pulled a fire alarm in September. Bowman pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge, and said it was an accident. He said he thought the fire alarm would open a locked door as he rushed to a vote. Bowman paid a $1,000 fine.
There have only been six total expulsions from the House, including Santos. Santos is the only Republican to ever be expelled from the House.
The previous expulsion was in 2002, when Representative James Traficant (D-OH) was expelled after a 420-1 vote. Traficant had been convicted on 10 counts of corruption-related crimes.
Before Traficant, Representative Michael “Ozzie” Myers (D-PA) was the first representative of the modern era to be expelled. Myers got the boot following his conviction for accepting bribes. Myers couldn’t keep out of trouble; in 2022, he was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison on charges of election fraud.
Prior to Myers, the only expulsions from the House were in 1861, at the start of the Civil War. Henry Cornelius Burnett (D-KY), John William Reid (D-MO) and John Bullock Clark (Whig-MO) were all expelled for joining the Confederacy.
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