Books to boost LGBTQI Inclusion

Published on Tuesday, 21 July 2020
Last updated on Wednesday, 21 October 2020

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Research published in The Conversation in 2018 documenting the experiences of LGBTQI families entering schools highlighted the overwhelming fact that these families wanted to be both visible and treated like any other family in their school community. 

However, treating an LGBTQI family the same as all other families does not mean business as usual and will generally require a change in practice. For example  forms may needed to be changed to reflect that not all families have a mother and a father, rituals around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day may need to be adjusted and early discussions about where babies come from may also need to be revised to accommodate different family structures.

The parents overwhelmingly said they wanted their schools to use books, images and examples in their curriculum to reflect the existence of diverse family structures.

To this end here are 10 gorgeous picture books which are a joy to share and will also make your bookshelf more inclusive of the diverse range of families in our community.  

Worm Loves Worm by JJ Austrian

When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married! But their friends want to know—who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux? The answer is: It doesn't matter. Because worm loves worm.

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino

Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. But most of all, Morris loves wearing the tangerine dress in his classroom’s dress-up corner. The children in Morris’s class don’t understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls. And Morris certainly isn’t. 

Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

Whether you have two mums, two dads, one parent, or one of each, there's one thing that makes a family a family... and that's love.

Phoenix Goes to School by Michelle Finch and Phoenix Finch

Phoenix wants to wear her favourite purple dress to express her gender, but she is scared of being bullied on her first day of school. Follow as she arrives at school, makes friends, stands up for herself, and helps us learn to be true to who we really are. 

Molly’s Family by Nancy Garden

What makes a family? Molly draws her family: Mommy, Mama Lu, and her puppy, Sam. But when Tommy looks at her picture, he tells her it's not of a family. You can't have a mommy and a mama, he says. Molly doesn't know what to think; no one else in her class has two mothers. Molly's dilemma, sensitively explored in words and art, shows readers that even if a family is different from others, it can still be happy, loving, and real.

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let's draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can't be red, no matter how hard he tries! 

The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish Swish by Lil Hot Mess

This book encourages readers to boldly be exactly who they are. Written by a founding member of the nationally recognized Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), this fabulous picture book offers a quirky twist on a classic nursery rhyme. The story plays off "The Wheels on the Bus" as it follows a drag queen who performs her routine in front of an awe-struck audience.

Papa, Daddy and Riley by Seamus Kirst

Riley is Papa's princess and Daddy's dragon. She loves her two fathers! When Riley's classmate asks her which dad is her real one, Riley is confused. She doesn't want to have to pick one or the other. Families are made of love in this heart-warming story that shows there are lots of ways to be part of one.

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

While riding the train with his Nana, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train carriage. When Julian gets home all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies and making his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Nana think about the mess he makes – and even more importantly – what will she think about how Julian sees himself?

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff

When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl's room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realised he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of life that didn't fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new life. Then Mum and Dad announce that they're going to have another baby.


LGBTQ Book List for Children – No time For Flashcards

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