Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



MOMBIAN LGBTQ-inclusive kids' books: Resources, actions
by Dana Rudolph

This article shared 773 times since Wed Mar 14, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

One of the most common questions I see from new LGBTQ parents is "Where can I find LGBTQ-inclusive books for my kids?" Here's one resource you should know—along with some thoughts on the state of LGBTQ-inclusive kids' books.

The American Library Association's latest annual Rainbow Book List, announced last month, is intended "to aid youth and those working with youth in selecting high-quality books" that have "significant and authentic GLBTQ content." It includes nearly 50 fiction and nonfiction titles for infants through young adults, from 18 publishers ( ).

The Rainbow List committee said on its website that this year they "noted an increase in a range of gender and sexual identities across the queer spectrum," including books that explored asexuality, bisexuality, and gender fluidity. A number of books also included stronger treatments of the intersections of race, class and disability. One negative, though, was a decline in novels with explicitly transgender characters.

I also noticed the worrying trend that only two of the books featured families with LGBTQ parents. Last year's list had only three. That's not the list's fault; for the past several years, published books about children with LGBTQ parents have been scarce ( especially for younger ages ), and stories about LGBTQ children and youth ( particularly transgender and genderqueer ones ) have been in the ascendant. Prior to that, it was the other way around, and I am glad publishers have been redressing the imbalance. Going forward, however, I hope more publishers can put out multiple books within a year that cover both ( and more ) aspects of our community.

There are other gaps to address, too. Writer and activist Alli Harper, in a January piece at M Is for Movement, wrote of the need for more "everyday" kids' books featuring same-sex parents—ones that aren't "issue based," i.e., "about or focused on the existence of the same-sex parents."

That's an approach I've also been trying to uplift for years. But as the Rainbow List shows, children's books with same-sex parents ( or any LGBTQ parents, for that matter ), issue-based or not, have been few in recent years, especially from major publishers with marketing and distribution power. Harper rightly calls on the publishing behemoths to step up.

Some progress has been made through a number of books that show families with same-sex parents doing everyday things as part of a celebration of many types of families. These books are critical, both at home and in schools, where "Family" often forms a curriculum unit in younger grades. But we can't confine children's encounters with LGBTQ families to brief glimpses like this, however important it is for them to see us there.

The difficulty with "everyday" books, too, is that even when published, they may not be catalogued as having LGBTQ content, and thus escape the notice of many who want them. ( The upside, though, is that such books may inadvertently be picked up by families who could benefit from the windows they open. ) This speaks to the need for increased communication between publishers, librarians and the wider LGBTQ community.

And although Harper focuses on the need for "everyday books," she also acknowledges "We must increase content across the board." That bears repeating. Children can still benefit from books that address specific situations kids of LGBTQ parents ( and LGBTQ children ) may encounter, and from nonfiction books that explore queer culture and history.

There is still a role, too, for smaller presses and self-published works. The small, feminist Lollipop Power Press, for example, published the very first LGBTQ-inclusive children's book, Jane Severance's When Megan Went Away ( 1979 ). Smaller publishers may feel more able to take a chance on content that is potentially controversial or that may ( at least initially ) speak to a niche audience.

Reflecting on all this, I would offer these actions and ideas:

—If you're a children's author, write books that include LGBTQ people and families—both "everyday" stories and ( if you have the expertise ) ones that thoughtfully cover aspects of LGBTQ families' specific experiences. First, however, read what's already out there so you don't duplicate what exists. Seek advice from other authors and professional organizations if you're new to the field.

—If you're a teacher or librarian, get these books into your collections. Visit for advice if you're worried about negative reactions from parents or administrators.

—If you're a parent or anyone with a kid in your life, and have the means, buy these books for them. Ask your local library and/or bookstores to stock them.

—Submit the names of new, LGBTQ-inclusive titles to the Rainbow Book List for consideration. ( Note that they do not accept recommendations from authors, publishers, agents, or anyone who could gain directly from the recommendation. )

—Rate and review these books at your favorite online bookstore( s ).

—If you work at a literary agency or children's publisher, seek stories that feature LGBTQ people and families, and actively market them to LGBTQ families. ( They can and should be read by more than just us, but we'll be a loyal and fervent cheering squad. ) Reach out to national and local LGBTQ parent groups or community centers to connect with families who can act as a sounding board and source of ideas.

For those seeking LGBTQ-inclusive children's books, try:

—Rainbow Book List: As mentioned above.

—My own annotated selections at .

—Rainbow Family Collections, by Jamie Campbell Naidoo, an extensive annotated list ( through its 2012 publication date ) for children up to grade five.

—Welcoming Schools book lists: .

Let's do what we can to spread and grow the stories.

Dana Rudolph is the founder and publisher of Mombian ( ), a GLAAD Media Award-winning blog and resource directory for LGBTQ parents.

This article shared 773 times since Wed Mar 14, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Activist Peter Staley's Memoir 'Never Silent' is a real-life thriller 2021-10-13
--From - "Attention must be paid to such a man." — Arthur Miller Peter Staley's much-anticipated new memoir, Never Silent, opens with almost unbearable nail-biting suspense, sweeping us into the behind-the-scenes machinations of an ACT UP takeover of ...

Gay News

Achy Obejas' bilingual poetry book Boomerang/Bumeran explores immigration, liberation 2021-10-11
By Max Lubbers - Achy Obejas is a Cuban-American writer, translator and activist. Boomerang/Bumerán, her newest book, confronts questions of immigration, love and liberation. Like a boomerang, these ideas return throughout the collection, even ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Victory Institute, LGBTQ books, youth items, NASA, LGBTQ Nation 2021-10-10
- LGBTQ Victory Institute and nine additional candidate-training organizations announced a partnership with Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, to provide a native-to-mobile tool to encourage young people to run for office, a press release noted. ...

Gay News

Book about musician Tori Amos' works coming out 2021-10-07
- The book Tori Amos: every album, every song—by rock journalist Lisa Torem—will be out in the United States on Friday, Oct. 29, courtesy of Sonic Bond Publishing. In 1992, Amos—an acclaimed singer, pianist and composer—achieved fame ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Thirteen Days 2021-09-29
- Thirteen Days. adapted by Brian Pastor from the book by Robert F. Kennedy At: City Lit Theatre at Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1030 West Bryn Mawr Ave., Tickets: $27-$32. Runs through: Oct. 24 Palace Intrigue has been ...

Gay News

Lambda Literary to expand LGBTQ Writers in Schools Program in New York City schools 2021-09-27
--From a press release - New York, NY — Today, Lambda Literary announced that New York City has quadrupled its investment in the organization's LGBTQ Writers in Schools program, increasing funding from $100,000 to $400,000 to reach 10,000 students and provide ...

Gay News

Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson on new book, 'Our Fair Share' 2021-09-22
- In Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson's new book, Our Fair Share: How One Small Change Can Create a More Equitable American Economy, he posits that receiving a Citizen Dividend will help all U.S. residents achieve ...

Gay News

BOOKS 'Mission Possible' released before 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' anniversary 2021-09-20
- C. Dixon Osburn, co-founder and former CEO of the Servicmembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), has written Mission Possible: The Story of the Repealing 'Don't Ask Don't Tell. This is the inside story of SLDN, which was ...

Gay News

Women & Children First hosting virtual event with Anita Hill on Sept. 29 2021-09-11
- Anita Hill—the University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University who played a major role in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas—will be part ...

Gay News

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame announces 2021 class of new inductees 2021-08-18
--From a press release - Chicago, August 17, 2021 — The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame (CLHOF) announced that its 2021 Class of Inductees will include Frank London Brown, Jeanette Howard Foster, Carlos Cortez, and Gene Wolfe. The inductees will be ...

Gay News

Chicago-area author releases book about gay, autistic African-American 2021-08-18
- PenPower Book Marketing Services and Chicago-area author Jaire Sims have released his debut young adult novel, Getting By, which was named a finalist in the African American (Fiction) category in the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book ...

Gay News

Printers Row Lit Fest returns to Chicago Sept. 11-12 2021-08-12
--From a press release - CHICAGO (August 12, 2021) Printers Row Lit Fest, the largest free outdoor literary showcase in the Midwest, returns for its 36th year with 100% free programming for book lovers the weekend after Labor Day, Saturday, Sept. ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Rent 2021-08-10
- Playwright: book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson At: Possibilities Theatre Company at NorthCenter Town Square, 4100 N. Damen Ave. Tickets: suggested donation $20; or ...

Gay News

Equality Illinois' new deputy director talks goals, position and books 2021-08-01
- On July 15, Mony Ruiz-Velasco officially started in the new position of Equality Illinois' deputy director. Ruiz-Velasco is an experienced attorney who has worked for immigrants rights for many years, and has even been the legal ...

Gay News

Gerber/Hart comedy benefit Sept. 18 2021-07-31
- Gerber/Hart Library and Archives, 6500 N. Clark St.. will host a comedy benefit, "Stacks of Laughter," on Saturday, Sept. 18. At 6 p.m., there will be a VIP reception with local historian John D'Emilio. Also, a ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.