There are two big monthly celebrations related to the LGBTQ+ community: Pride Month happens in June and LGBT History Month happens in October. This booklist will provide picture book recommendations that can be read during these monthly events (and throughout the year) as a way to introduce kids to a new community, validate their journeys, or learn about a history they may not know.
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But First, Some History
Before we get to the booklist, let’s talk about the history of these two celebrations, Pride Month in June and LGBT History Month in October.
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LGBTQ Pride Month in June
According to the Library of Congress, the first Pride march happened on June 28, 1970, in New York City. This was the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. The march was planned to allow the community an opportunity to protest many things: housing discrimination, anti-homosexual laws, and more.
What is the Stonewall uprising? The morning of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, and started pulling people out. People resisted the police and began fighting back. This event kicked off neighborhood riots that went on for three days. Stonewall began the gay rights movement, with many organizations forming soon after.
related post: Visiting Stonewall National Monument in New York
If you want to learn more about these marches and demonstrations, the Library of Congress has collections from Lili Vincenz and Frank Kameny, two activists involved in the planning of the first Pride march. There are even a few videos from the first Pride march!
You can also check out GLBT Historical Society, an educational nonprofit organization that “collects, preserves, exhibits and makes accessible to the public materials and knowledge to support and promote understanding of LGBTQ history, culture, and arts in all their diversity.”
LGBT History Month in October
Rodney Wilson, a high school history teacher in Missouri, created LGBT History Month in 1994. The month is meant to celebrate the people of the LGBT community by highlighting role models and icons. The month of October was chosen because public schools are in session (unlike in June for Pride Month), and it included other existing traditions like Coming Out Day (October 11) and the anniversary of the first march on Washington for gay and lesbian rights in 1979. You can read more about LGBT History Month in this article from the University of Central Florida.
GLAAD also has an article that explains LGBT History Month. It contains additional links to relevant websites and articles (perfect for a research project for older kids).
Then there’s what seems like the official LGBT History Month website! They share about the beginnings of the month-long celebration but, more importantly, they share all kinds of media about different LGBTQ+ icons throughout the month of October. They also have archives of the icons they have already shared. This is a great resource for learning about important figures at home but could also be super helpful when creating a bulletin board display or sending out digital information (like on a media center website, classroom newsletter, or storytime video).
Picture Book Recommendations
What are Your Words?: A Book About Pronouns by Katherine Locke
This is one of my favorite picture books about pronouns. It makes it super accessible to understand the concept of using different pronouns because it ties it to the idea of other kinds of “labels” or descriptors we use everyday without thinking about it. For example, in one of the illustrations, there’s a few different “labels” above the characters’ heads, like mechanic, confident, loud, curious, baker, and more!
Neither by Airlie Anderson
This was a beautiful picture book abut the feeling of in-between and not fitting in. The majority of the book is abut the main character being told they do not fit into the existing groups of “This” and “That”, and having to move away to find a place where they belong.
The special part of this book is when someone from “This” and someone from “That” also leave their groups and end up in the same place as Neither. There’s a moment when Neither gets to verbalize being upset at being told to leave by the “This” and “That” groups. It’s not always a moment that gets to occur real-life, so seeing it in the book was very interesting and a great part of the story.
Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman
This picture book focuses on clothing and gender nonconformity. It’s got quite a bit of text, so it might be hard to read with really little ones, plus the story happens in a daycare / school setting.
Jacob loves wearing dresses but there’s a classmate that doesn’t share the same sentiment and takes several opportunities to ruin Jacob’s day. This picture book stood out to me because it depicted some realistic interactions between Jacob and his family. Mom had to think about whether to let Jacob wear a dress to school, not because she didn’t support him but we can tell that she is worried about the behavior from other kids. In the end, she brings out her sewing machine and helps Jacob create a dress. When Jacob shows off the dress to Dad, there’s a verbalization in differences of opinion about how to dress while still showing support to Jacob.
While there is no strong resolution between Jacob and the classmate, the ending shows Jacob happy and secure in his choice to wear a dress.
A few more Pride & LGBTQ Picture Books
Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with these picture books during Pride Month in June and LGBT History Month in October and all the days in-between!
This booklist provides picture book recommendations that can be read during these monthly events and throughout the year. Whether you’re introducing kids to a new community, validating their journeys, or teaching them about a history they may not know, these picture books are sure to be enjoyed!
This is a picture book post about
9 Picture Books for Pride Month.