So, my local library is driving me a wee bit mad because they’ve gone and purchased a tonne of LBGTQ+ and Pride books which are really overtly about Pride parades etc, even board books in the section for 2-3 year olds, like this Gay-B-C one:
The Gay BCs story time with Kiimia - YouTube and one called “Pride123”.
My kids who love their ABCs and rainbows keep wanting to issue them, and asking a load of questions… and they’re really tricky to answer, because my 2 and 4 year old don’t know about sex yet so how can I explain bisexual in an honest way? And my 2 year old boy adores wearing pink tutu dresses and loves Minnie Mouse, but I can’t easily explain trans without explaining social constructs around gender as well and I really don’t want my boy thinking he’s trans when the actual issue is just that society is too limiting on how it thinks boys and girls should act and dress (I have tried to discuss it clearly as people’s bodies not matching whether they’re actually a girl or body, but still feel like that’s pretty confusing age 2!) And to talk about why we have Pride parades I also have to talk about how some people are NOT accepting of other people, which is quite a negative conversation.
So it’s got me wondering, what picture books do you know of that are really awesome at being inclusive (whether of other sexualities, genders, religions, cultures, disabilities or physical differences) WITHOUT being ABOUT it? It would be lovely to have more books where there’s a family with two Dads but the story is age-appropriate and it’s just not a big deal, that sort of thing?
I used to teach Kindergarten and my absolute favorite book to read to them was I Am Enough by [name_f]Grace[/name_f] Byers. It’s a very simple book with not a lot of narrative, but a big amount of heart and a great message for people of all ages.
Also, I know that this wasn’t the point of your post and I sincerely apologize if I’m utterly out of line, but you don’t have to explain sexualities to your kiddos in the context of sex. Whenever my students or — when I was a young child with same-sex parents before it was even marginally accepted or even considered as an option — other kids asked about it, I just answered their questions in an honest and age-appropriate way.
For example, one of my students once asked why another girl in the class had two moms. I said something along the lines of: “X has two moms because they fell in love and loved each other so much that they wanted to have a baby to share that love with, so they had X. Girls can love girls and boys can love boys, or they can love both or neither. There are a lot of ways people can make a family, but the thing that matters most is how much everyone in the family loves each other.”
It doesn’t have to be about sex, although I do think there are age-appropriate ways to talk about that as well.
Also, I just want to reassure you that your children will not decide they are trans or gay or anything else just because they learn that some people are. As long as you keep the conversation going about how what makes someone’s gender isn’t what they wear or how they express themselves or anything like that, but instead it’s how they feel inside, then I don’t think you will have a big issue.