June is Gay Pride month. Throughout June many events, festivals, and parades will take place all over the world with the rainbow flag displayed as a symbol of pride and acceptance. Gay Pride month is an excellent opportunity to teach about tolerance, self-acceptance, differences, and similarities.
Here are some of my favorite books for children and adults that assures the reader they are special in their own unique way.
Sewing the Rainbow
I was really moved by a new children’s storybook Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag. This book shares Gilbert Baker’s journey from childhood in a town where he didn’t fit into finding his authentic self in a community that accepted him for who he was which inspired him to create the rainbow flag.
This book is entirely different from the two below in that Gilbert did not grow up in a community of acceptance; quite the opposite. Gilbert loved watching his grandma sew colorful garments, but he didn’t fit in there. He joined the Army but found that he didn’t fit in there either. It wasn’t until Gilbert moved to San Francisco that he evolved. There are fascinating and heartbreaking details about Gilbert Baker’s life provided in the “Readers Notes” at the end of the story.
Though written for young children ages 5-10, I believe children of all ages will find this to be a compelling story that promotes self-acceptance as well as acceptance of others.
I really loved the story. The takeaway message from this beautifully illustrated true story is that whenever you see a rainbow flag, “you’ll know that it’s okay to be your colorful, sparkly, glittery self.”
A tale of two families
Kids are naturally curious when they see their friend’s family structure is different than their own. And when kids are interested, they don’t hesitate to ask questions. That’s why I delight in these two books about growing up in a non-traditional family.
Each book is a springboard for discussion and helps children feel comfortable explaining their home life to others while encouraging kids from “traditional” homes to be more accepting. The best part is that the books offer an opportunity to show functional similarities between families rather than differences.
For example, in A Tale of Two Mommies, the children ask practical questions such as:
Which mom coaches your T-ball team?
Which Mom’s there when you’ve had a bad dream?
Mommy is the coach of my T-ball team.
Both mommies are there when I’ve had a bad dream.
And in A Tale of Two Daddies, the same questions are presented and discussed:
Which dad helps when your team needs a coach?
Which dad cooks you eggs and toast?
Daddy Is my soccer coach.
Be resilient, grow and thrive
What a great resource to help LGBTQ embrace themselves and move beyond life’s obstacles. The Queer and Transgender Resilience Workbook: Skills for Navigating Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression is chock full of resilience activities to explore one’s uniqueness related to gender and sexual orientation identities.
I hope you find these resources helpful. Have a look at our online shop for more resources for both children and adults on topics such as LGBTQ, Gay Pride, Self Help, Child Therapy, Mindfulness, Addiction, Recovery and more.