Join Kayla as she discusses LGBTQ+ titles for all ages to include in your collections--including some new 2021 releases--as well as display and programming ideas to help you gear up for Pride month at your library.
1. READ WITH PRIDE
CONTINUING EDUCATION COORDINATOR
MISSISSIPPI LIBRARY COMMISSION
LGBTQ+ READS & PROGRAMMING IDEAS
I’m Kayla Martin-Gant.
I’m the Continuing Education Coordinator for
the Mississippi Library Commission.
I’m also a former YA, reference, and genealogy
librarian (though not all at once, thankfully).
4. Whenever Ari's Uncle Lior comes to visit, they ask Ari one
question: "What are your words?
Some days Ari uses she/her. Other days Ari uses he/him.
But on the day of the neighborhood's big summer bash,
Ari doesn't know what words to use. On the way to the
party, Ari and Lior meet lots of neighbors and learn the
words each of them use to describe themselves,
including pronouns like she/her, he/him, they/them,
ey/em, and ze/zir.
As Ari tries on different pronouns, they discover that it's
okay to not know your words right away--sometimes you
have to wait for your words to find you.
What Are Your Words?
A Book About Pronouns
by Katherine Locke
Anne Passchier (Illustrator)
5. In this deeply moving and empowering true
story, young readers will trace the life of the
Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978
with social activist Harvey Milk and designer
Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and
its role in today’s world.
Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring
text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven
Salerno’s evocative images, combine to tell
this remarkable—and undertold—story.
A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.
Pride: The Story of Harvey
Milk and the Rainbow Flag
by Rob Sanders
Steven Salerno (Illustrator)
6. Casey loves to play with his blocks, puzzles, and dump truck,
but he also loves things that sparkle, shimmer, and glitter.
When his older sister, Jessie, shows off her new shimmery
skirt, Casey wants to wear a shimmery skirt too. When Jessie
comes home from a party with glittery nails, Casey wants
glittery nails too. And when Abuelita visits wearing an armful
of sparkly bracelets, Casey gets one to wear, just like Jessie.
The adults in Casey's life embrace his interests, but Jessie
isn't so sure. Boys aren't supposed to wear sparkly, glittery,
shimmery things. Then, when older boys at the library tease
Casey for wearing -girl- things, Jessie realizes that Casey has
the right to be himself and wear whatever he wants.
Why can't both she and Casey love all things shimmery,
glittery, and sparkly?
by Lesléa Newman
Maria Mola (Illustrator)
7. Once upon a time, in a kingdom far from here, there
was a prince in line to take the throne, so his parents
set out to find him a kind and worthy bride. The three
of them traveled the land far and wide, but the prince
didn't quite find what he was looking for in the
princesses they met.
While they were away, a terrible dragon threatened
their land, and all the soldiers fled. The prince rushed
back to save his kingdom from the perilous beast and
was met by a brave knight in a suit of brightly shining
armor. Together they fought the dragon and
discovered that special something the prince was
looking for all along.
Prince & Knight
by Daniel Haack
Stevia Lewis (Illustrator)
8. Once in a faraway kingdom, a strong, brave
maiden is invited to attend the prince's royal
ball…but she’s definitely not as excited to go
as everyone else.
After her mother convinces her to make an
appearance, she makes a huge impression
on everyone present, from the villagers to
the king and queen.
But she ends up finding true love in a most
Maiden & Princess
by Daniel Haack &
Becca Human (Illustrator)
9. Susan thinks her little sister Jackie has the
best giggle! She can't wait for Jackie to get
older so they can do all sorts of things like
play forest fairies and be explorers together.
But as Jackie grows, she doesn't want to
play those games. She wants to play with
mud and be a super bug!
Jackie also doesn't like dresses or her long
hair, and she would rather be called Jack.
Jack (Not Jackie)
by Erica Silverman
Holly Hatam (Illustrator)
11. Ana-Marie Jin, the reigning US Juvenile figure skating
champion, is not a frilly dress kind of kid. So, when Ana
learns next season's program will be princess themed,
doubt forms fast.
Once Ana meets Hayden, a transgender boy new to the
rink, thoughts about the program and gender identity
begin to take center stage. And when Hayden mistakes
Ana for a boy, Ana doesn't correct him and finds comfort
in this boyish identity when he's around.
As their friendship develops, Ana realizes that it's tricky
juggling two different identities on one slippery sheet of
ice. And with a major competition approaching, Ana must
decide whether telling everyone the truth is worth risking
years of hard work and sacrifice.
Ana on the Edge
by A.J. Sass (2020)
12. Rick's never questioned much. He's gone along with his best
friend Jeff even when Jeff's acted like a bully and a jerk. He's
let his father joke with him about which hot girls he might
want to date even though that kind of talk always makes
him uncomfortable. And he hasn't given his own identity
much thought, because everyone else around him seemed
to have figured it out.
But now Rick's gotten to middle school, and new doors are
opening. One of them leads to the school's Rainbow
Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities
congregate, including Melissa, the girl who sits in front of
Rick in class and seems to have her life together. Rick wants
his own life to be that ... understood.
Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making
some new ones.
Note: Check out this post from Alex Gino on how to talk
about the title and character name.
by Alex Gino (2020)
13. Rahul Kapoor is heading into seventh grade in a small town
in Indiana. The start of middle school is making him feel
increasingly anxious, so his grandfather, gives him some
well-meaning advice: Find one thing you’re really good at.
And become the BEST at it.
Those four little words sear themselves into Rahul’s brain.
While he’s not quite sure what that special thing is, he is
convinced that once he finds it, bullies like Brent will stop
torturing him at school. And he won’t be worried about
staring too long at his classmate Justin. With his best friend,
Chelsea, by his side, Rahul is ready to crush this challenge. . .
But what if he discovers he isn’t the best at anything?
The Best At It
by Maulik Pancholy (2019)
14. When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old
Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed and her family of
five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the
aftermath of the storm--and worse, her notebook
filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has
Mysteriously, Ivy's drawings begin to reappear in her
locker with notes from someone telling her to open
up about her identity. Ivy thinks--and hopes--that this
someone might be her classmate, another girl for
whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find
the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World
by Ashley Herring Blake (2018)
15. Melly only joined the school band because her best
friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet
Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she
doesn’t feel like a mouse.
Now, she and Olivia are about to spend the next two
weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in
the Michigan woods.
But this summer brings big changes for Melly: her
parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly
finds herself falling for a girl at camp named Adeline.
To top it off, Melly's not sure she has what it takes to be
a real rock 'n' roll drummer. Will she be able to make
music from all the noise in her heart?
Drum Roll, Please
by Lisa Jenn Bigelow (2018)
16. Jeremiah wants a normal summer with his dad, who
just moved into an apartment with his new boyfriend,
Michael. It’s soon clear that his dad is getting closer to
Michael’s group of friends, which would be great if it
wasn’t making Jeremiah feel invisible.
Fortunately, there’s Sage, the only other kid in their
hipster neighborhood. Although Sage is quirky, their
friendship is cemented at the Pride festival when
Jeremiah finds out Sage has two moms. Two moms
–like he might have two dads if he doesn’t put a stop
to Michael. Enter Mr. Keeler, the grouchy old smoker
downstairs who has an ongoing feud with Michael.
It's looking like this is going to be a long summer.
Second Dad Summer
by Benjamin Klas (2020)
17. Zenobia July is starting a new life in Maine. She used to
spend most of her time behind a computer screen, but
now she's coming out of her shell and discovering a
community of friends. People used to tell her she was a
boy; now she's able to live openly as the girl she always
knew she was.
When someone anonymously posts hateful memes on
her school's website, Zenobia knows she's the one with
the abilities to solve the mystery, all while wrestling with
the challenges of a new school, a new family, and
coming to grips with presenting her true gender for the
first time. Timely and touching, Zenobia July is, at its
heart, a story about finding home.
by Lisa Bunker (2019)
18. Hurricane Child
by Kacen Callender (2018)
Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and Caroline has
had her share of bad luck lately. She's hated and bullied, a
spirit only she can see won't stop following her, and—worst
of all—Caroline's mother left home and never came back.
But when a new student named Kalinda arrives, Caroline's
luck begins to turn around. Kalinda, a solemn girl with a
special smile for everyone, becomes Caroline’s only friend—
and her crush. Caroline must find the strength to confront
her feelings for Kalinda, brave the spirit stalking her through
the islands, and face the reason her mother abandoned her.
Together, Caroline and Kalinda must set out in a hurricane
to find Caroline's mother—before Caroline loses her forever.
19. Too Bright to See
by Kyle Lukoff (April 2021)
It's the summer before middle school and eleven-year-old
Bug's best friend Moira has decided the two of them need
to use the next few months to prepare. Except Bug doesn’t
want to spend time trying to understand how to be a girl.
Besides, there's something more important to worry about:
A ghost is haunting Bug's eerie old house in rural Vermont...
and maybe haunting Bug in particular.
As Bug begins to untangle the mystery of who this ghost is
and what they're trying to say, an altogether different truth
comes to light--Bug is transgender.
20. Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea
by Ashley Herring Blake (May 2021)
After her Mum's death, Hazel, her other mother and
her little sister, Peach, have lived all over the country,
never settling anywhere for more than a few months.
When the family arrives in Rose Harbor, Maine, there’s
a wildness to the small town that feels like magic.
Then Mama runs into an old childhood friend, with a
daughter named Lemon, who can't stop rambling on
about the Rose Maid, a 150-year-old mermaid myth.
Soon, Hazel finds herself just as obsessed with the Rose
Maid—because what if magic were real? Can grief really
change you so much you aren’t even yourself anymore?
21. Thanks A Lot, Universe
by Chad Lucas (May 2021)
Brian has always been anxious. His dad tries to get him
to stand up for himself and his mom helps as much as
she can, but after he and his brother are placed in foster
care, Brian starts having panic attacks. And he doesn’t
know if things will ever be “normal” again.
Ezra’s always been popular. He’s friends with most of the
kids on his basketball team—even Brian, who usually
keeps to himself. But now, some of his friends have been
acting differently, and Brian seems to be pulling away.
Ezra wants to help, but he worries if he’s too nice to
Brian, his friends will realize that he has a crush on him.
But when Brian and his brother run away, Ezra has no
choice but to take the leap and reach out. Both boys
have to decide if they’re willing to risk sharing parts of
themselves they’d rather hide. But if they can be brave,
they might find the best in themselves—and each other.
22. Flight of the Puffin
by Ann Braden (May 2021)
Libby comes from a long line of bullies. She wants to be
different, but sometimes that doesn’t work out. Now she's
suspended again. On the opposite side of the country lives
Vincent, who’s trying hard not to get stuffed into lockers at
his new school. But that’s not working out too well either.
Nearby is T, who couldn’t take living at home anymore
and ran away. And then there’s Jack, a big-hearted kid so
engaged in the fight to keep his small rural school open
that he’s lost focus on the ones who need him most.
Four kids. Four different lives…and then one card with a
message of hope, helping each kid summon the thing
they need. But best of all, it makes each one realize they
matter—and that they're not flying solo anymore.
24. Yadriel has summoned a ghost. Now he can't get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting
his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove
himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best
friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets
out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the
school's resident bad boy, and he’s not about to go quietly
into death. He's determined to figure out what happened
and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no
choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both
get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with
Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
by Aiden Thomas (2020)
25. Liz has always believed she's too black, too poor, too awkward
to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town.
But it's okay -- Liz has a plan that will get her out of Indiana,
forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in
their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.
But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly
falls through, Liz's plans come crashing down…until she's
reminded of her school's scholarship for prom king and
queen. Despite her fear of the spotlight she's willing to do
whatever it takes to get to Pennington.
The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl
in school, Mack. She's smart, funny, and just as much of an
outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will
falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or
make them come true?
You Should See Me in a Crown
by Leah Johnson (2020)
26. A stirring, bold, and moving anthology of stories
and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors as well as
brand new talent, giving their unique responses
to the broad theme of pride.
Each story features an illustration by an artist who
identies as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK
IS GAY and CLEAN.
Edited by Juno Dawson (2019)
27. After losing spectacularly to her ex-girlfriend in their first
game since their breakup, Scottie Zajac gets into a fender
bender with the worst possible person: her nemesis, the
incredibly beautiful and incredibly mean Irene Abraham.
Things only get worse when their nosey moms get
involved and the girls are forced to carpool together until
Irene’s car gets out of the shop.
Their bumpy start only gets bumpier the more time they
spend together. But when an opportunity presents itself
for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex (and climb her
school’s social ladder at the same time), she bribes Irene
into playing along.
Hijinks, heartbreak, and a fake-dating scheme for the ages!
She Drives Me Crazy
by Kelly Quindlen (April 2021)
28. When Liam Cooper's older brother Ethan is killed in a
hit-and-run, Liam has to not only learn to face the world
without one of the people he loved the most, but also
face the fading relationship with his two best friends.
Feeling more alone and isolated than ever, Liam finds
themself sharing time with Marcus, Ethan's best friend,
and through Marcus, Liam finds the one person that
seems to know exactly what they're going through, for
the better, and the worse.
This book is about grief. But it's also about why we live.
Why we have to keep moving on, and why we should.
The Ghosts We Keep
by Mason Deaver (June 2021)
29. Emma is a die-hard romantic. She loves a meet-cute Netflix
movie, her pet, Lady Catulet, and dreaming up the Gay Rom
Com of her heart for the film festival competition she and
her friends are entering. If only they’d listen to her ideas.
Sophia is pragmatic. She’s big into boycotts, namely 1)
relationships, 2) teen boys, and 3) Emma’s nauseating ideas.
Forget starry-eyed romance, Sophia knows what will win:
an artistic film with a message.
Cue the drama. The movie is doomed before they even start
shooting . . . until a real-life plot twist unfolds behind the
camera when Emma and Sophia start seeing each other
through a different lens. Suddenly their rivalry is starting to
feel like an actual rom-com.
I Think I Love You
by Auriane Desombre (March 2021)
30. On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called
Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating,
and beautiful… so she agrees to join him for a night on
Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead
they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She
makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the
lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—
the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself,
as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy
find the courage to survive this night—and make sure
everyone else does, too?
by K. Ancrum (June 2021)
31. Jake Livingston is one of the only Black kids at St. Clair
Prep, one of the others being his infinitely more popular
older brother. It’s hard enough fitting in but to make
matters worse and more complicated, Jake can see the
dead. In fact, he sees the dead around him all the time.
Most are harmless. Stuck in their death loops as they
relive their deaths over and over again, they don’t
interact often with people.
But then Jake meets Sawyer, a troubled teen who shot
and killed six kids at a local high school last year before
taking his own life. Now a powerful, vengeful ghost, he
has plans for his afterlife–plans that include Jake.
Suddenly, everything Jake knows about ghosts and the
rules to life itself go out the window as Sawyer begins
haunting him and bodies turn up in his neighborhood.
High school soon becomes a survival game–one Jake is
not sure he’s going to win..
The Taking of Jake Livingston
by Ryan Douglass (July 2021)
32. Jeremy Harkiss, cheer captain and student body president,
won’t let coming out as a transgender boy ruin his senior
year. Instead of bowing to the bigots and outdated school
administration, Jeremy decides to make some noise—and
how better than by challenging his all-star ex-boyfriend,
Lukas, for the title of Homecoming King?
Lukas Rivers, football star and head of the Homecoming
Committee, is just trying to find order in his life after his
older brother’s funeral and the loss long-term girlfriend—
who turned out to be a boy. But when Jeremy threatens to
steal his crown, Lukas kick starts a plot to sabotage
When both boys take their rivalry too far, the dance is on
the verge of being canceled. To save Homecoming, they’ll
have to face the hurt they’re both hiding—and the lingering
butterflies they can’t deny.
May the Best Man Win
by Z.R. Ellor (May 2021)
33. Eleanor Zarrin has been estranged from her family for
years. When she flees boarding school after a horrifying
incident, she goes to the only place she thinks is safe: the
home she left behind. But she struggles to fit in with her
monstrous relatives, who prowl the woods around the
family estate and read fortunes in the guts of birds.
Eleanor finds herself desperately trying to hold the family
together — in order to save them all, Eleanor must learn
to embrace her family of monsters and tame the
darkness inside her.
What Big Teeth
by Rose Szabo (February 2021)
35. Gideon the Ninth
by Tamsyn Muir (2019)
The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer
needs a swordswoman.
Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more
time for undead nonsense. She’s ready to abandon a life of
servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse, but her
childhood nemesis won't set her free without a service.
Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth
House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned
into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his
loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark
succeeds, she’ll become an immortal, all-powerful servant of
the Resurrection . . . but no necromancer can ascend without
their cavalier. Without Gideon's sword, Harrow will fail, and the
Ninth House will die.
Of course, some things are better left dead.
36. The Binding
by Bridget Collins (2019)
Books are dangerous things in this world, a place vaguely
reminiscent of 19th-century England. People visit book binders
to rid themselves of painful or treacherous memories. Once
their stories have been told and bound between the pages of
a book, the slate is wiped clean, and their memories lose the
power to hurt or haunt them.
After having suffered some sort of mental collapse, Emmett
Farmer is sent to the workshop of one such binder to live and
work as her apprentice. Leaving behind home and family,
Emmett slowly regains his health while learning the binding
trade. He is forbidden to enter the locked room where books
are stored, so he spends many months marbling end pages,
tooling leather book covers, and gilding edges. But his
curiosity is piqued by the people who come and go from the
inner sanctum, and the arrival of the lordly Lucian Darnay,
with whom he senses a connection, changes everything.
37. The House in the Cerulean Sea
by T.J. Klune (2020)
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a
tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case
Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he
spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in
government-sanctioned orphanages. Summoned suddenly
by Extremely Upper Management, Linus is given a curious
and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island
Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside.
Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not
they’re likely to bring about the end of days. But the children
aren’t the only secret the island keeps.
Their caretaker is the charming, enigmatic Arthur Parnassus,
who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and
Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus
must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
38. This is How You Lose the Time War
by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (2019)
In the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant
finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.
Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival
agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for
their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a
battlefield boast, grows into something more.
Something epic. Something romantic.
Something that could change the past and the future.
Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for
each of them. There's still a war going on, after all.
And someone has to win that war.
39. Lone Stars
by Justin Deabler (February 2021)
Julian Warner, a father at last, wrestles with a question
his husband posed: what will you tell our son about the
people you came from, now that they're gone?
Finding the answers takes Julian back in time…from the
Eisenhower administration’s immigration border raids, an
epistolary love affair during the Vietnam War, crumbling
marriages, queer migrations to Cambridge and New York,
all the way up to the disorienting polarization of Obama's
In these answers, there lies a hope: that by uncloseting
ourselves—as immigrants, smart women, gay people—
we can find power in empathy.
40. Honey Girl
by Morgan Rogers (February 2021)
Grace is a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified
high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to
Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose
name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.
This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military
father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she
doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree.
Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations,
a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace
flees with the wife she barely knows…and falls hard for
her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto.
But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face
what she’s been running from all along—the fears that
make us human, the family scars that need to heal and
the longing for connection, especially when navigating
the messiness of adulthood.
41. Winter’s Orbit
by Everina Maxwell (February 2021)
While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system
through treaties and political alliances, several planets,
including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat's rule.
When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean
widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with
Taam's cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the
rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.
But when it comes to light that Prince Taam's death may
not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be
a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings
and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of
the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an
interplanetary war... all while dealing with their growing
feelings for each other.
42. One Last Stop
by Casey McQuiston (June 2021)
For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York
City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and
cinematic love stories don't exist, and the only smart way to go
through life is alone. And there's certainly no chance of her
subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge
through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there's this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane
with her rough edges and soft smile, showing up in a leather
jacket to save August's day when she needed it most.
August's subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but
pretty soon, she discovers there's one big problem: Jane doesn't
just look like an old school punk rocker. She's literally displaced
in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use
everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her.
44. As a nonbinary, transmasculine parent, Krys Malcolm Belc
has thought a lot about the interplay between parenthood
and gender. Giving birth to his son clarified his gender
identity and allowed him to project a more masculine self.
And yet, when his partner Anna adopted Samson, the legal
documents listed Belc as “the natural mother of the child.”
By considering how the experiences contained under the
umbrella of “motherhood” don’t fully align with Belc’s own
experience, this memoir journeys both toward and through
common perceptions of what it means to have a body and
how that body can influence the perception of a family.
The Natural Mother of the Child
by Krys Malcolm Belc (June 2021)
45. In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and activist
George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and
college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories
of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea
marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual
relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the
trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.
This memoir is both a primer for teens eager to be allies as
well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color,
and covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity,
brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and
Black joy. Johnson's emotionally frank style of writing will
appeal directly to young adults.
All Boys Aren’t Blue
by George M. Johnson (2020)
46. History sounds really official. Like it's all fact. Like it's
definitely what happened.
But that's not necessarily true. History was crafted by the
people who recorded it. And sometimes, those historians
were biased against, didn't see, or couldn't even imagine
anyone different from themselves.
That means that history has often left out the stories of
LGBTQIA+ people: men who loved men, women who loved
women, people who loved without regard to gender, and
people who lived outside gender boundaries. Historians
have even censored the lives and loves of some of the
world's most famous people, from William Shakespeare
and Pharaoh Hatshepsut to Eleanor Roosevelt.
No Way, They Were Gay?
Hidden Lives and Secret Loves
by Lee Wind (April 2021)
47. Why has music so often served as an accomplice to
transcendent expressions of gender?
Why did the query "is he musical?" become code, in
the twentieth century, for "is he gay?“
Why is music so inherently queer?
For Sasha Geffen, the answers lie, in part, in music's
intrinsic quality of subliminal expression which allows
rigid gender roles to fall away in a sensual, ambiguous
exchange between performer and listener. Glitter Up
the Dark traces the history of this gender fluidity in pop
music from the early 20th century to the present day.
Glitter Up the Dark:
How Pop Music Broke the Binary
by Sasha Geffen (2020)
54. BADGES & PINS
∎ Canva tutorial + design session
∎ Hand-drawn/created or printed
∎ Don’t have a button-maker?
Check with your local library
commission or invest in one
of your own—they’re good for
other library programs, too!
Pins with pronouns + flag colors are
from PricklyCactusCollage on Etsy
∎ Use a variety of colors
for different genders
and orientations, or
make a full rainbow
∎ Great as a take-and-
make project, too.
∎ Get the how-to link at
Two of Wands here
∎ Q&A with teens + queer community leaders/organizations
∎ Programming for parents, grandparents, guardians,
teachers, etc. who want to learn more about the LGBTQ+
community but feel a bit adrift
∎ LGBTQ+ history panels/discussions
57. OTHER IDEAS
∎ Melted Crayon art projects: easily adapted for different age groups (and with
younger kids you can tie in picture books that utilize the colors-as-identities
metaphor) and ability levels, generally cheap, easy, and fun.
∎ Poster contests for LGBTQ+ media: throw in different elements like a minimalist
requirement or done in specific colors for an extra spin.
∎ Create Your Own Playlist projects: Great for multiple age groups, but teens often
LOVE this kind of program. They can create playlists based on their own
experiences, general pride-themed playlists, or even playlists for their favorite
queer characters, relationships, or stories. They can share them with one
another, create album art, etc.
59. ELEMENTS & THEMES
∎ Pennant banners, pride flags, and streamers make for easy, cheap, and/or DIY
decorations no matter the area dimensions you’re working with.
∎ Be sure to include audiobooks, DVDs, graphic novels, and large type books in
your displays whenever possible.
∎ Create a Pride-themed playlist on YouTube and use a QR code to link people. If
your library has a Spotify account, you can have a collaborative playlist, too.
∎ Create a digital display that includes LGBTQ+ history videos, music videos from
famous queer musicians, an art gallery featuring queer artists, and interesting
articles, essays, and other ephemera from around the internet.
∎ For more ideas or tips on how to find this stuff, feel free to contact me!
Special thanks to all the people who made and released these
awesome resources for free:
∎ Presentation template by SlidesCarnival
∎ Photographs by Unsplash
Notas del editor
Filled with bright, graphic illustrations, this simple and poignant story about finding yourself is the perfect introduction to gender-inclusive pronouns for readers of all ages.
Here is a sweet, heartwarming story about acceptance, respect, and the freedom to be yourself in a world where any gender expression should be celebrated. Sparkly things are for everyone to enjoy!
Note: Liam uses he/they pronouns
Get Out meets Danielle Vega in this YA horror where survival is not a guarantee.
Lone Stars follows the arc of four generations of a Texan family in a changing America.
Starting with early blues and the Beatles and continuing with performers such as David Bowie, Prince, Missy Elliot, and Frank Ocean, Geffen explores how artists have used music, fashion, language, and technology to break out of the confines mandated by gender essentialism and establish the voice as the primary expression of gender transgression. From glam rock and punk to disco, techno, and hip-hop, music helped set the stage for today's conversations about trans rights and recognition of nonbinary and third-gender identities.
Most of these programs are already doable or easily adaptable for most if not all ages short of toddlers/pre-K, and they're easy to either a) make as low-key as you want in order to avoid pushback or b) easily defended by their educational/cultural value.