As an out and proud gay man, I believe it's my duty to encourage people of all ages to read about LGBTQ history and culture. It's important to learn about the numerous milestones we have made as a community - and the many things we must still fight for to gain full equality.
It's so refreshing to see the amount of book options young people have today to understand the LGBTQ experience that I did not have access to as a child.
One of the best things you can do for a child is emphasize a sampling of diverse reads.
Here are some great Scholastic titles for you to read along with your children, tweens and teens to educate you and your family about our ever-growing, diverse America.
- Monday is One Day by Arthur Levine. An excellent picture book highlighting all types of famlies. It's a love note from a working parent to their child.
- Drama by Raina Telgemeier. If you did theater in middle-school or high school, you will appreciate this book full of great characters dealing with friendships, crushes and teen angst.
- Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg. This book debates the common obstacle of tokenism and being solely labeled as the "gay kid" in a group of friends. What defines us as we discover autonomy in our teenage years?
- The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves by Sarah Moon and James Lecesne. Written by notable authors, it's a fantastic message to tweens and teenagers that "it gets better."
- Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick. I loved this book. This fantastic Cinderella-meets-Project Runway read is laugh-out-loud funny.
- The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson - A thrilling YA novel about a dystopian future in Brazil featuring a dynamic charcter named Gil.
Other great book suggestions that I have personally read and shared with my family include:
- And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
- The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived by Daniel Errico
- My Uncle's Wedding by Eric Ross
- The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Be sure to also check out these award-winning titles:
* This year's Lambda Literary Award Winners
* This year's American Library Association Stonewall Book Awards
This just a small sampling. Be sure to find titles that hilghlight all aspects of the LGBTQ community including race, gender identity, socioeconomics and more. Please share your suggestions in the comments below.
To all my fellow LGBTQ brothers and sisters and our allies - #HappyPride!