I recently interviewed Dr. Bethy Leonardi from A Queer Endeavor about how to raise kids who are LGTBQIA+ affirming. (You can listen above!)It’s full of great advice and real heart, so it’s worth the half hour even if you’re well acquainted with this work. Here I’m just going to chronicle some of the resources she mentions, as well as a few I’ve used.
One of the things Bethy says is that a great place to start is with kids books. Here are some that I’ve used and loved at home and at church and they’re all available in our church library:
I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings tells Jazz’s story as a trans child and includes perfect description, “I have a girl brain but a boy body.”
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson is about of two male penguins and a baby who become a family.
Sparkle Boy by Leslea Newman can open a conversation about gender identities and encourages us to question why some things are “boy” things and some are “girl” things. It’s about a little boy who loves to wear sparkles and necklaces. It’s also a very sweet story about siblings as his sister eventually stands up for him in the end.
Families, Families, Families by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang This book explores the many ways families can look different, ranging from “some have pets,” to “some have two mommies.”
Resources and community groups mentioned in the interview
Riley on Marketing video on YouTube, which Bethy mentions as one teachers use with kids to talk about why some stuff is for girls and why other stuff is for boys
Kevin Kumashiro is an education consultant whose written several books, including Bethy references his work in general as a good resource for teachers.
A Queer Endeavor
Out Boulder County and advocacy for Boulder County’s LGBTQ communities
Queer Asterisk provides a variety of therapuetic services for people “who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer/questioning, pan, intersex, agender/asexual or non-conforming and their allies
PFLAG provides “support, education, and advocacy for the families, friends, and allies of lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people, as well as for the LGBTQI community itself.”
Safe Schools Coalition Fosters inclusive communities within the St. Vrain School District. There’s also a Boulder County School District chapter.
“5 Ways to Make Classrooms More Inclusive” This interview with Bethy appeared on NPR not too long before I was scheduled to interview her and, honestly, I was temporarily overwhelmed about interviewing someone who’d made national news. It’s a good quick tips article and the suggestions could be adapted for home, work or church.
The great thing about today’s world is that there’s a ton of resources out there for supporting people along the gender and sexuality spectrum. For parents, this is important not only because we want to raise kids who are compassionate and justice oriented but because we might also be creating the environment in which our children will experience the love and acceptance they need to grow more fully into themselves. I always love to discover new resources, please email me if there’s one you like.