Welcome to Our Blog!!

This blog is a hate-free place, dedicated to the spreading of awareness and understanding of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Community, their shame experiences and their potential to be resilient. Our goal is to increase your empathy and compassion.

We do not claim to be experts on this topic, however, we recognize the importance of sharing what we can in the hope that at least one person feels compelled to re-evaluate their thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Teaching Acceptance and Tolerance

Did you know that there are between 2 million and 8 million gay and lesbian parents living, working, and raising children in the United States?
Did you know there are roughly 7 million children being raised by same-sex parents in the United States?

Beginning in the 1990s, with Leslea Newman wrote and published Heather Has Two Mommies, children's literature began featuring lesbian-coupled households raising a family. Heather Has Two Mommies is the story of a precious preschooler named Heather who is being raised by her two mommies, Mama Jane and Mama Kate - the story revolves around Heather learning that her family is different from all her schoolmate's families. The lesson in the book is that all families are different and very diverse, and what is important is the love they all have for one another. Leslea Newman was challenged by Senator Jesse Helms who called the story obscene, and eventually lead to the initiation of the federal ban on "teaching acceptance of homosexuality" from all schools that received federal funding.

Leslea Newman began a revolutionary concept. Love, tolerance, acceptance, and having a respect for diversity if learned in the early years of childhood. Unfortunately, most children today are not getting that lessen...hence, why we have sexism, racism, homophobia, ageism, and all the other -isms in the world today. Today, children's books featuring lesbian moms and their families serve to encourage diversity, and to teach children that all families are different but that all families love each other and they should be respected.

Hey, maybe these books could open the eyes of some adults too?
Here are a few suggestions...

ABC: A Family Alphabet Book by Bobbie Combs (ages 2-5)
Amy Asks a Question: Grandma, What's a Lesbian? by Jeanne Arnold (ages 4-8)
Felicia's Favorite Story by Leslea Newman (ages 4-8)
Is Your Family Like Mine? by Lois Abramchik (ages 4-8)
Molly's Family by Nancy Garden (ages 4-8)
Saturday is Pattyday by Leslea Newman (ages 3-8)
My Two Aunts by Deb Dixler (ages 3-8)
And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson (ages 4-8)

Just think about it for a minute?
A little food for thought...For each individual that learns the lessons these books have to offer, the more acceptable being gay will become, and we might one day be living in a world where there is little, if any at all, shame surrounding the identity of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders.

For more information on GLBT parenting, associated issues, and their strive for equality in the United States, and the world, please contact the Family Equality Council. Visit their blog in the "Our Connections" section!

All the children's book discussed here are available at Amazon.