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Queer Families in Children's Literature

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Do you have any favorite books that depict queer families? I am interested in what books you know of--from board books to young adult novels. We have two picture books and one board book. I think we have a couple of young adult novels too, but I'm not sure what they are (they were my wife's) and I think they are for young teenagers. "In Our Mothers' House" is a wonderful picture book about a family with two moms (Marmee and Meema) and three kids (adopted). It's a really sweet book. My daughter loved it when she was about 8 years old, and still does.

And there is "And Tango Makes Three" which is a REALLY sweet true story about a penguin with two dads.


The board book we have is "Mommy, Mama, and Me," which is fun, because we are Mommy and Mama at our house. :)

post #2 of 22

I am giving your post a gentle bump so it can be seen!

post #3 of 22

Great thread, @CocoBird! We should add these to the Queer Parenting Resources list! @pokeyAC or @starling&diesel, is that something you could do?


Today I got two presents for Z's first Solstice (our preferred winter holiday):


What Makes A Baby by Cory Silverberg




The Family Book by Todd Parr


I also love And Tango Makes Three! I used to have a copy, but lost it to an ex, LOL.


You're inspiring me to start a wish list to share with friends & family: These folks will no doubt be bombarding my kid with books as gifts, and how great would it be if they gave him all the queer-family-friendly ones that I feel is so important for him to have?!

post #4 of 22
We've got two of those three (on our mothers' house is on the list for purchase eventually). We also have A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager, which is very sweet. I've noticed that a number of queer parent books are pretty poorly done--I don't know if they're self-published, or just that there's such slim pickings out there that publishers will take anything, but we were very disappointed with Emma and Meesha My Boy (which basically tells kids 'no' to everything they can think of) and The Different Dragon (which just seems like a forced storyline, especially the 2-mom part).

I would also say that if anyone out there is looking for a lesbian-friendly christmas story to read (sorry, dads, I don't know of a good one for you) you can find versions of The Night Before Christmas where the narrator looks gender-neutral and can be interpreted as a second mom. We have the version illustrated by Christopher Wormell, but if you flip through others you'll find some that don't feature beards or mustaches. We wanted a book to read as a holiday tradition, and it was nice to find that this one could fit the bill!
post #5 of 22
Thanks for reminding me @granite. I will have to update that when I get home tonight.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing you guys. smile.gif I'm excited about finding more queer friendly children's books!
post #7 of 22
My new audio story website has queer families!
Linky-poo in my signature.
We LOVE "What Makes a Baby"...
I could go on and on about YA books, but will have to come back to do that.
Need to go switch the laundry to the dryer.
post #8 of 22
I'll have to add your website! As soon as I am on a computer with a decent web browser. greensad.gif
post #9 of 22

Tulip the Birthday Wish Fairy and Backwards Day are both pretty good representations of trans kids.

post #10 of 22
Anyone have suggestions on books for young kids with trans parents?
post #11 of 22

Hi KnittingTigers! I have the same question.  :)

post #12 of 22

I think there are a couple with binary trans parents.... I haven't personally read any of the and what I remember of them, they rubbed me the wrong way. http://www.therainbowtimesmass.com/2013/03/21/transgender-parent-friendly-picture-books-for-young-children/ That has a list. Maybe some will work for your family.

I don't mean this flippantly- but the best option is to draw your own, which is something I'd like to do in the future.

post #13 of 22
Yeah, I tell lots of stories with trans characters, and have thought about writing one, but, um, I've got three kids and a crazy job. Someday...
post #14 of 22
Hi knittingtigers ... I'll edit some picture books as I go, changing pronouns or dispensing of them entirely. I gauge the feasibility of doing so by the pictures, and wing it, somewhat.
I wonder what you'd like to see in terms of
trans folk? Part of the storyline? Or as part of
the tapestry?
Trans folk who 'pass?' Or when people
confuse genders? I think the world needs
one for kids whose parents get read
incorrectly, no matter where they are on the
E often goes to battle for DP, with regards to people misreading her or calling her out on her choice of bathrooms.
I could easily do some audio stories on the theme.
post #15 of 22

I think we need some of all of the above. Stories where a character happens to be trans (these can be a little difficult in little kids' books unless the character is genderqueer, it's not always easy to make a character explicitly trans without making it a focus of a short book), kids who find out the parent they always knew as mommy is a trans woman, kids who are facing transition, kids who have a parent who passes, kids who has a parent that is closeted, kids who have a parent that isn't transitioning, kids with genderqueer parents, etc. I don't think the same book needs to cover everything, but maybe a series of books.


Because fairy tales are making a comeback and are a pretty big deal in kids' lives- I'd really like to "queer" fairy tales. Same-sex couples, princesses rescuing princes, characters with unspecified genders, genderqueer characters, etc.

post #16 of 22

oooh - SillySapling - I really like the idea of queering fairy tales!  I feel like that could be really interesting - and new takes on fairy tales are always fun. :)

post #17 of 22

Thanks. :) I considered doing it for my senior project, but with the politics at this school I really couldn't be bothered.

post #18 of 22
If you've got older kids, there are some queer retellings of fairy tales out there. Malinda Lo's Ash is Cinderella, and excellent. This piece has some more recommendations, but I think they're written for adults: http://www.thebookrat.com/2013/03/Queer-fairytale-retellings-piece.html
post #19 of 22

I realize this is a pretty old post but I am interested in finding some young adult books that have gay men depicted in them. I am straight but my 8 year old son has been commenting frequently about his interest in other males at school and has had a crush on another boy for some time now. I just want to have some books around that have positive gay men in them for him to read if he's interested. Specifically I would love something for the age group of around 2nd - 5th grade. I have found some suggestions online but wanted to see if there were any recommendations from anyone here. 

post #20 of 22
Hi shanna-cat! There is a link for resources at the top of the main forum page and it includes some info on books. This link below is from Rainbow Books. This is a list of books from 2013. They also have more info on the site. This might be a good place to start.
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