June is Pride Month! Taking place annually, Pride Month is a time for celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer identities that make up the LGBTQ+ population, and for recognizing the historical oppression this group has faced, the obstacles they have overcome, and the renewed threats to civil and personal equality in recent years. Additionally, Pride Month is a time for uplifting and celebrating the many voices and perspectives that make up LGBTQ+, as well as raising awareness about the bias and discrimination that LGBTQ+ communities continue to face to this day.
June marks a special time in LGBTQ+ history because it aligns with the anniversary of Stonewall on June 28, 1969. Also known as the “Stonewall Riots,” history was made when gay activists fought back against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn — a gay bar in New York City — giving rise to a Gay Rights movement in the United States, according to The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. During this period, many cities in the United States outlawed activities related to homosexuality, leading many gay and lesbian people to keep their sexual orientations a secret, only expressing themselves in safe spaces such as gay bars and clubs. Following resistance to the police raid, the Stonewall Riots led to a six-day long protest led by transgender women of color against laws that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people.
The following year in 1970, thousands gathered to honor the anniversary of Stonewall with a parade that took place from downtown to midtown Manhattan, marking the first Pride Parade. According to the Library of Congress, the parade also served as a space for activists to continue demonstrating against the decades of oppression against LGBTQ+ communities. Soon after, cities across the nation followed suit, with Pride Parades subsequently held on various days throughout June to commemorate the anniversary of Stonewall and to uplift the need for equality for LGBTQ+ groups.
In 1994, Pride Month became a month-long recognition when a group of education-based organizations in the United States proclaimed June as Pride Month. The following year, the General Assembly of the National Education Association added Pride Month to its list of commemorative months.
First 5 LA celebrates Pride Month as a critical aspect of embracing the diversity of families. To help your family take part in this month’s Pride celebrations and to support kids in learning about the importance of equality, we’ve compiled a list of educational resources and events taking place locally and online throughout the month of June. Check them out below:
LGBTQ+ Books & Resources
Children’s Books (Pre-K through early elementary)
And Tango Makes Three
By Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
The heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family. At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.
Daddy, Papa, and Me
By Leslea Newman
Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with its daddies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there’s no limit to what a loving family can do together. Share the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children.
Heather Has Two Mommies
By Leslea Newman
Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, and two pets. And she also has two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same. It doesn’t matter who makes up a family, the teacher says, because “the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love one another.”
Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution!: The Story of the Trans Women of Color Who Made LGBTQ+ History
By Joy Michael Ellison (Author), Teshika Silver (Illustrator)
This illustrated book introduces children to the story of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, the two transgender women of colour who helped kickstart the Stonewall Riots and dedicated their lives to fighting for LGBTQ+ equality. It introduces children to issues surrounding gender identity and diversity, accompanied by a reading guide and teaching materials to further the conversation.
The Family Book
By Todd Parr
The Family Book celebrates the love we feel for our families and all the different varieties they come in. Whether you have two moms or two dads, a big family or a small family, a clean family or a messy one, Todd Parr assures readers that no matter what kind of family you have, every family is special in its own unique way.
This Day in June
By Gayle E. Pitman
In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, This Day In June welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united. Also included is a Reading Guide chock-full of facts about LGBT history and culture, as well as a Note to Parents and Caregivers with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways. This Day In June is an excellent tool for teaching respect, acceptance, and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
By Marcus Ewert
Every night, Bailey dreams about magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows, dresses made of flowers, dresses made of windows. . . . Unfortunately, when Bailey’s awake, no one wants to hear about these beautiful dreams. Quite the contrary. “You’re a BOY!” Mother and Father tell Bailey. “You shouldn’t be thinking about dresses at all.” Then Bailey meets Laurel, an older girl who is touched and inspired by Bailey’s imagination and courage. In friendship, the two of them begin making dresses together. And Bailey’s dreams come true! This gorgeous picture book—a modern fairy tale about becoming the person you feel you are inside—will delight people of all ages
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. One child is worried that her family is just too different to explain but listens as her classmates talk about what makes their families special. One is raised by a grandmother, and another has two dads. One is full of stepsiblings, and another has a new baby. As one by one, her classmates describe who they live with and who loves them — family of every shape, size and every kind of relation — the child realizes that as long as her family is full of caring people, her family is special.
More Educational Materials for Families:
- Children’s World: LBGTQ+ Picture Books
- Queer Kid Stuff: Learning our LBGT’s
- Now You Know: Wanda Sykes Takes Us Through the History of LGBTQ+
- ADP: Why is June Pride Month?
Family Pride: What LGBT Families Should Know About Navigating Home, School, and Safety in Their Neighborhoods
By Michael Shelton
An invaluable portrait and roadmap on how to thrive as an LGBT family the overwhelming success of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” YouTube project aimed at queer youth highlighted that despite the progress made in gay rights, LGBT people are still at high risk of being victimized. While the national focus remains on the mistreatment of gay people in schools, the reality is that LGBT families also face hostility in various settings—professional, recreational, and social. This is especially evident in rural communities, where the majority of LGBT families live, isolated from support networks more commonly found in urban spaces. Family Pride is the first book for queer parents, families, and allies that emphasizes community safety. Drawing on his years as a dedicated community activist and on the experiences of LGBT parents, Michael Shelton offers concrete strategies that LGBT families can use to intervene in and resolve difficult community issues, teach their children resiliency skills, and find safe and respectful programs for their children.
Gender Born Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children
By Diane Ehrensaft
A groundbreaking guide to caring for children who live outside binary gender boxes
We are only beginning to understand gender. Is it inborn or learned? Can it be chosen—or even changed? Does it have to be one or the other? These questions may seem abstract—but for parents whose children live outside of gender “norms,” they are very real.
No two children who bend the “rules” of gender do so in quite the same way. Felicia threw away her frilly dresses at age three. Sam hid his interest in dolls and “girl things” until high school—when he finally confided his desire to become Sammi. And seven-year-old Maggie, who sports a boys’ basketball uniform and a long blond braid, identifies as “a boy in the front, and a girl in the back.” But all gender-nonconforming children have one thing in common—they need support to thrive in a society that still subscribes to a binary system of gender.
Dr. Diane Ehrensaft has worked with children like Felicia, Sam, and Maggie for over 30 years. In Gender Born, Gender Made, she offers parents, clinicians, and educators guidance on both the philosophical dilemmas and the practical, daily concerns of working with children who don’t fit a “typical” gender mold. She debunks outmoded approaches to gender nonconformity that may actually do children harm. And she offers a new framework for helping each child become his or her own unique, most gender-authentic person.
Rainbow Relatives: Real-World Stories and Advice on How to Talk to Kids about LGBTQ+ Families and Friends
By Sudi Karatas
Whether you have your own questions because you’re preparing to come out to your kids, or you aren’t sure how to explain to your kids why their uncle has a boyfriend or why their friend has two mommies, this book can help. With an entertaining and educational approach to educating yourself and your peers about the issues and topics surrounding the LGBTQ+ community, Rainbow Relatives will provide answers to your kids’ questions and help you raise them to be open-minded and accepting adults.
First and foremost, this book will help you approach the conversations you need to have and predict what you can expect from them. Author Sudi Karatas tells a variety of stories, such as that of a Mormon woman’s transition from fighting against gay rights to becoming a crusader for them. Also included are the voices of filmmakers, actors, musicians, mental health professionals, and more.
Through Rainbow Relatives, Karatas helps parents support, advocate for, and educate their children, relatives, and family friends.
The Gender Creative Child:Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes
By Diane Ehrensaft
In her groundbreaking first book, Gender Born, Gender Made, Dr. Diane Ehrensaft coined the term gender creative to describe children whose unique gender expression or sense of identity is not defined by a checkbox on their birth certificate. Now, with The Gender Creative Child, she returns to guide parents and professionals through the rapidly changing cultural, medical, and legal landscape of gender and identity.
In this up-to-date, comprehensive resource, Dr. Ehrensaft explains the interconnected effects of biology, nurture, and culture to explore why gender can be fluid, rather than binary. As an advocate for the gender affirmative model and with the expertise she has gained over three decades of pioneering work with children and families, she encourages caregivers to listen to each child, learn their particular needs, and support their quest for a true gender self. With a foreword by Norman Spack, MD, the director and cofounder of the Gender Management Service clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital, the first US clinic to medically treat transgender children.
The Gender Creative Child unlocks the door to a gender-expansive world, revealing pathways for positive change in our schools, our communities, and the world.
The Right to Be Parents: LGBT Families and the Transformation of Parenthood
By Carlos A. Ball
In 1975, California courts stripped a lesbian mother of her custody rights because she was living openly with another woman. Twenty years later, the Virginia Supreme Court did the same thing to another lesbian mother. In ordering that children be separated from their mothers, these courts ruled that it was not possible for a woman to be both a good parent and a lesbian. The Right to be Parents is the first book to provide a detailed history of how LGBT parents have turned to the courts to protect and defend their relationships with their children. Carlos A. Ball chronicles the stories of LGBT parents who, in seeking to gain legal recognition of and protection for their relationships with their children, have fundamentally changed how American law defines and regulates parenthood. Each chapter contains riveting human stories of determination and perseverance as LGBT parents challenge the widely-held view that having a same-sexual orientation, or that being a transsexual, renders individuals incapable of being good parents. To this day, some courts are still not able to look beyond sexual orientation and gender identity in order to fairly apply legal principles in cases involving LGBT parents and their children. Yet on the whole, Ball’s stories are of progress and transformation: as a result of these pioneering LGBT parent litigants, the law is increasingly recognizing the wide diversity in American familial structures. The Right to be Parents explores why and how that has come to be.
Family-Friendly Pride Events
- Los Angeles Public Library: Rainbow Bracelets – Celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer, Intersex, Asexual Pride month by making bracelets that show how beautiful diversity can be. Alma Reaves Woods – Watts Branch Library on Tuesday, June 21 at 3 p.m. (In-person)
- Los Angeles Public Library: Teen Grab-and-Go Crafts: Rainbow Garland – During the month of June, teens and tweens ages 11-18 years can pick up a craft kit with all the supplies needed to make a rainbow garland. Come to the Reference Desk during library hours to get your kit! North Hollywood Amelia Earhart Regional Library. (In-person)
- Los Angeles Public Library: Let’s Be Creative: Kids and Tweens Art Class – Let’s get creative! Art Instructor Kathy joins the library for a fun four-week art class for kids and tweens. Participants need not attend all four sessions. Seating will be limited to the first 20 artists. Tuesdays, June 14-July 5 at 1 p.m. (In-person)
- Los Angeles Public Library: Bingo Night With Drag Queen Pickle – Kick off the “Express Yourself” Summer Reading Challenge with a fabulous Bingo Night, hosted by Drag Queen Pickle. June 13 at 6:30 p.m. (In-person)
- The Queer Family Picnic: Meet new friends, bring the kiddos, pets, snacks & games at this family-friendly pride event at Elysian Park from June 18, 2 p.m.–5 p.m. (In-person)
- Metro Bike Share: Ride with Pride – Celebrate by joining Metro Bike Share for an inclusive and family-friendly group ride, co-presented with the LA County Bicycle Coalition and Metro’s Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) Program. Starts at Maubert & Vermont on June 12 from 2 p.m.–4 p.m. (In-person)
- Natural History Museum: Queer Family Day – Join NHM’s first-ever, Queer Family Day on Saturday, June 11 from 9:30 a.m.–2 p.m. for a rainbow-themed scavenger hunt, dino dance party, drag queen storytime, up-close encounters with behind-the-scenes museum collections, and more! (In-person)
- El Pueblo de Los Angeles: LA’s first tribes believed in “gay marriages, transgender lifestyles and that homosexuality was determined in utero” even going as far as celebrating homosexuals as “two spirited people and thought of them more as gifted than as outcasts.” Celebrate by visiting and looking for a plaque in the plaza area honoring these ancestors.
Resources for LGBTQ+ Families: