June's status as LGBTQ+ Pride Month grants us the coveted opportunity to celebrate queer literature of all kinds, but there’s also nothing wrong with focusing on books that share a particular tonal thread. After a slew of viral tweets in 2018 the month after Pride has jokingly been dubbed Wrath Month as a way to celebrate queer rage, something that is arguably the reason we have Pride Month at all in the first place.
Happy Pride Month everyone!!! To kick off celebrating the many different LGBTQIA+ stories out there, I have put together a list of kids books (illustrated & board) that feature diverse families in all different forms. There are titles on this list that go over a whole bunch of different families at once as well as stories that focus on one individual family.
For the latter, I have focused particularly on stories with queer family members. Seeing queer kids, parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles of all different races, genders, and with disabilities in these stories is incredibly powerful and something I never saw as a little kid but wish I had. I hope these books will be a positive presence on your shelves and help the kids in your life better understand their own families as well as the families in their communities.
Months ago, before Covid made a nuisance of itself, and kids left their houses for school, I got a call at the info desk from a local middle schooler. This child had a few questions to ask me for a school project.
I’m not sure what I expected -- maybe help finding books on a topic they were studying. I settled in. These unexpected conversations are my favorite part about working at a bookstore, and while I’m certainly not a tutor, I’m pretty confident in my ability to at least find the right book to send a middle schooler in the right direction.
In 1994, in a southern Baptist household on a dead-end street of nine houses, I felt one way and one way only: alone. Where I grew up, queer was a crime. If you were lucky you were ignored and if your luck ran out, you were punished. It felt like the only option was to keep your head down and mouth shut. I was fifteen years old and knew exactly who I was but struggled to articulate my identity.
Photo by yoav hornung
Courtney shares her first encounter with LGBTQ+ literature.