Building an LGBT-Inclusive Family Library Hey that family is like mine!
Titles You are Familiar With? • Do your kids see themselves reflected in some of the books they read? • What do you have at home for your kids? • What do you read to your kids at different ages? • Does your public or school library have any LGBT parent books? • Did you read any books with an LGBT theme when you were a kid or teen? • Do you remember when the first books with LGBT parents were published?
Today’s Session • Exemplary books • Books you might not want to use • Handouts • Watch for stereotyping of people in illustrations and language • Speak up any time to offer your thoughts
Amazon Reviews • My daughter likes this book, she seems to get it. And its given her permission to talk about having two mommies. • I am a lesbian mother of three, and my children love this book! It makes them feel good to know that there are other kids like them, and to see it in print really validates their lives. • Hey, I'm a lesbian mom myself. I have two great kids. I was given this book as a gift. What a horrible book. Difficult to read, full of 1970s impossible to comprehend propaganda. Almost seems like the crazy right-wing wrote it, there is so much to object to. • Just because a book is written by us about us does not make it a good quality book.
About the anniversary edition: • A round of applause for Leslea Newman who realized that her book needed a revision for the 10th Anniversary Edition. She focused on the true message of the book, that the "most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other." She simplified the writing to better fit preschool audiences, but most importantly, removed the sections about how Mama Jane and Mama Kate got together and then conceived Heather. These were the sections that kept it out of preschools and other settings, in spite of the great message.
School Librarian – Tale of Two Daddies “One of my second grade girls LOVED A Tale of Two Daddies when we got it for the library. She and her two dads read it over and over! After the little girl checked it out, I ran it by my principal, the district library coordinator, and two school board members. All were fine with it. The look on the little girl's face, when I showed her the book, was priceless!”
Amazon Reviews • This book is the most wonderful book for two-mom family. It isn't preachy, nor does it point out that there's anything different about having two moms. This is a book that my son can read and recognize his family. • I love that she can see something which resembles her own family life in print. • Tricycle Press, Newman, and Thompson should all be highly commended for creating the first board-books representing same-sex families in a non-didactic way. • We read about all sorts of families, but it is nice to read a book that mirrors our own. • This is the two-dads children's book against which our family measures all others.
Banned Books List - ALA • 2010 #1. And Tango Makes Three, Reasons: homosexuality • 2009 #2. And Tango Makes Three, Reasons: homosexuality • 2008 #1. And Tango Makes Three, Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group • 2007 #1. And Tango Makes Three, Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, sexism, and unsuited to age group • 2006 #1. And Tango Makes Three, Reasons: anti-family, homosexuality, and unsuited to age group
King & King & Family Haan(King & King 2004 Banned Books #8 and 2003 #9 Reason: homosexuality)
Amazon Review • This book is fuel to the right wing fire and doesn't represent any of the creative ways LGBT people have created families.
Challenges by Reason (1990 - 2009) 10,676 challenges Office for Intellectual Freedom -ALA
Challenges by initiator (1990 - 2009) 10,676 challenges Office for Intellectual Freedom -ALA
Challenges by institution (1990 - 2009) 10,676 challenges Office for Intellectual Freedom -ALA
100 most frequently challenged books: 1990–1999 • Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz • Daddy’s Roommate, by Michael Willhoite • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou • The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain • Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck • Forever, by Judy Blume • Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson • Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman • The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009 • 1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling • 4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell • 20. King and King, by Linda de Haan • 21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee • 44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher • 48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
100 most frequently challenged books: 1990–1999 • 24. The New Joy of Gay Sex, by Charles Silverstein • 44. Annie on My Mind, by Nancy Garden • 63. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher • 74. Jack, by A.M. Homes • 75. Arizona Kid, by Ron Koertge
Librarians - Your New Best Friends • “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.” —Article 3, ALA, Library Bill of Rights • Collection Policies/Challenge Procedures • Reconsideration Policy (dated, stereotyping, heavy handed) • Where are the books shelved? Behind desk? In the “Problem Family” section along with “my father is in jail” books? In with the rest of the library books? • “We need books that depict and celebrate all our experiences.” –school librarian
Filtering in Schools • LGBT terms filtered in email messages and websites in many schools • Implications • Bullying resources • Research • It Gets Better, Trevor Project, COLAGE, PFLAG
Problems with LGBT Parent Books • Stereotyping • Heavy handed/didactic • Tragedy • Ruined relationships • Shame
Publisher’s Weekly Review • …a newspaper photo of a Carmen Miranda impersonator marching in a gay pride parade (" 'Coochy, coochy, coochy,' squealed Shelby"). • …"dressed up in black leather. Zippers and chains all over 'em. Dark glasses . . . Chaps!" • …caricatures of transvestites and "leather queens" (there's even a multibraceleted limp wrist on the book's cover), • Alas, this volume is stronger at defining stereotypes than at demolishing them.
Amazon Reviews • Why are two Moms always presented as a problem? I have an 11 year old son and a 6 year old daughter. In Kindergarten neither of them even had the concept that having two Moms was bad or that one or the other of us was or was not their real Mom. I sure don't want to introduce those ideas thru a childrens book. • One of the greatest parts of this book is that not only does Molly's two mothers explain to her that family's are based on love and commitment, but even her teacher takes time to explain to her students that families are different.
School Librarian Comment – Athletic Shorts • I strongly recommend the first Story in Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher. Angus Bethune has four great gay parents. • You will love it. I nominated it a few years ago for the Pennsylvania young readers award and many complained and in protest sent me the copy they had purchased. They came in handy since it was used in the middle school curriculum. Ray
Advances in LGBT Parent Books • Step parent/divorce/separation is a non-issue regarding gender, treated just like a heterosexual relationship • More common to have the LGBT parent part of a character as a non-issue, not making a statement, it just is part of the story • YA is going to find fault with something, it may be handy to point to LGBT issue, but could just as easily be the kind of car you drive, the clothes you wear
Missing from this collection • Transparents • IVF/donor sperm • Surrogate • Special Needs (parent or child) • LGBT grandparents • Others?
Your Comments/Ideas • Favorite LGBT parent books? • Books you’d never give another LGBT parent? • Input at local public library? • Advocating at your child’s school library and classroom?