October is a very important month for the LGBTQIA community. Between LGBT History month, National Coming Out Day and LGBT Center Awareness Day, this is a great opportunity for parents and educators to talk about notable LGBTQ figures in history to kids.
Growing up, I sadly did not have the opportunity to open a textbook and learn about these key figures and how they contributed to history. Many times I had to “read between the lines.” It was very rare when figures, such as Gertrude Stein, Bayard Rustin or Alice Walker, are showcased in a way where they are also identified as key LGBTQI individuals.
There are many ways to introduce kids to LGBTQ history and ways you can celebrate these amazing historical figures and as well as our traiblazing contemporaries:
1.) Find LGBTQ books for kids. Look for books that highlight LGBTQ families, friendships and amazing protagonists. There is something for every age group. How about diving into the Banned Books Month list? It’s a way to introduce kids about these important topics – all while supporting diverse voices. Many times fiction helps children jump into nonfiction reads. A range of books are currently available
2.) Look to news and current events. There are many ways to learn about key figures in LGBTQ history. Many classroom magazines are in partnership with key news outlets, such as The New York Times Upfront, and address key movements and milestones in LGBTQ for for numerous age ranges.
And if you are overwhelemed deciphering amongst the numerous media resources out there, always ask a librarian. More and more libraries are growing their LGBTQ section at the library every day.
3.) Go online and find resources. There are some great resources to talk to kids about LGBT History Month. Sites like www.lgbthistorymonth.com/ include shortform videos highlighting key icons, including many great authors and writers. I gurantee you will even learn a few things yourself. Listen to podcasts all about the importance of ensuring all diverse voices are heard - especially in children's literature.
These are just some literary tips to celebrate LGBTQ History month. Happy reading, everyone.
Photo Credit: NPCA