Celebrating Pride: Education & Awareness

Published Monday, June 7, 2021

June marks Pride Month—a time to celebrate and raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community and the variety of ways people express their identity and love! As our Summer Reading theme this year is "Reading Colors Your World," what better time is there to feature the colors of the rainbow Pride flag?

In coordination with our Social Work Intern, Karagan, we will highlight a new topic each week, accompanied by two youth books (a mix of fiction, nonfiction, and age range) and a resource to provide information for LGBTQ+ youth and families, allies, and those just wanting to learn more. Check back to this blog for added content throughout the month, as well as our Facebook and Instagram!

If you are looking for more information or books to check out, visit our LGBTQ+ Youth Resources page.

Week 4: Gender Identity

Non-Binary & Gender Identities

Read about different gender identities, as well as pronouns that individuals may prefer, provided by APA Division 44: the Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

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Identity and Gender
by Charlie Ogden

Identities are the ways that people think about and see themselves. Family, culture, and values shape our identities, but it is important to be happy with who you are. Gender often makes up a large part of our identity. Whether male or female, a person's gender is more about which sex they strongly identify themselves as being. An activity encourages further discussion.

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Peanut Goes for the Gold
by Jonathan Van Ness

Peanut just has their own unique way of doing things. Whether it's cartwheeling during basketball practice or cutting their own hair, this little guinea pig puts their own special twist on life. So when Peanut decides to be a rhythmic gymnast, they come up with a routine that they know is absolutely perfect, because it is absolutely, one hundred percent Peanut.

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Week 3: LGBTQ+ Parenting & Families

5 Facts about LGBTQ+ Parenting & Families

This week, we are highlighting facts about LGBTQ+ families from Williams Institute at UCLA.

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A Family is a Family is a Family
by Sara O’Leary

When a teacher asks the children in her class to think about what makes their families special, the answers are all different in many ways — but the same in the one way that matters most of all.

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The Family Book
by Todd Parr

The family book celebrates all kinds of families and shows how each is special in its own way.

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Week 2: Definitions

7 LGBTQ+ Definitions

This week, we offer 7 definitions of terms falling under the LGBTQ umbrella. Visit the Safe Zone Project for additional vocab and more learning resources!

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Pride Colors
by Robin Stevenson

In this photographic concept book, babies and toddlers are introduced to the PRIDE flag and the meaning behind each color.

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This Day In June
by Gayle E. Pitman

A picture book illustrating a Pride parade. The endmatter serves as a primer on LGBT history and culture and explains the references made in the story.

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Week 1: Mental Health & LGBTQ+ Youth

LGBTQ+ Mental Health Facts

It is critical to bring awareness to this topic so we can better advocate for LGBTQ+ youth. LGBTQ+ individuals, specifically youth, often face heightened struggles with mental and emotional health. This week, we’re sharing LGBTQ+ youth mental health facts, provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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It Feels Good to Be Yourself
by Theresa Thorn

Introduces the concept of gender identity and gives children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.

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Darius the Great is Not Okay
by Adib Khorram

Clinically-depressed Darius Kellner, a high school sophomore, travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor, Sohrab, who changes his life.

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About the Author

Kristen is a Youth Services Librarian and has been working at EPL since 2013. She is a wannabe gardener who loves movies, the night sky, and avoiding the claws of her cat. Her reading interests tend toward short stories, as well as novels that are a blend of eerie, insightful, and magical.