Avid readers know just how powerful stories can be: Through them, children have the opportunity to experience our wonderfully diverse world in entirely new ways, and learn about the many different ways others feel.
It’s exactly why giving kids access to books that introduce LGBTQIA+ characters and their unique storylines is so important. These books show kids who are going through similar experiences that they’re not alone, and give children who aren’t the chance to better understand those who are. (The LGBTQIA acronym includes initials for “intersex” and “asexual” or “allied”; allies are those who support the community.)
“The ability for a child to see themselves, a peer, or a family member reflected in a book is priceless,” says Kieran Slattery, a fifth-grade teacher who identifies as a queer transgender man in western Massachusetts. “For some, it can be truly life-changing. It can mean the difference between feeling devastatingly alone to feeling like there’s a place for them in the world.”