Best Picture Books to Share with Children on Gender Identity, Gender Expression and to Build a Foundation for Conversations
The “Don’t Say Gay” law is set to go into effect here in Florida on July 1st. This is a “grave abuse of power,” as NPR puts it, an abuse of power that will hurt kids in Florida — most especially kids who are already vulnerable — but in reality all Florida kids. It will hurt Florida teachers — who I think we can all agree have enough on their plates right now and instead of this, deserve more independence and respect.
And it will hurt Floridians, who trust our leaders to uphold our democracy. A democratic state should not be in the business of censorship or book banning — that is what authoritarian states do, states like Putin’s Russia, not Florida in 2022.
My nephew was talking with his friends in class in middle school about the new law and was told by his teacher not to discuss it, as she “didn’t want to get in trouble.” This chilling effect is expected to be widespread.
To assist those who want to talk to children on issues related to gender identity and gender expression, we have done an exhaustive search and curated the best of the best picture books that explore these topics for kids age 3 to 10 — in groups of five books.
We’ve also curated books to help build a foundation for these conversations, books that address gender stereotypes or approach the topics through metaphor. We’ve detailed some of our picks here — the curation titles link to all five recommended books on each topic. Enjoy!