Welcome to Family Equality’s Book Nook, a comprehensive list of the best LGBTQ+ books for the whole family!
Whether you’re searching for your child’s first picture book or a young adult novel that your tween will devour, Family Equality’s Book Nook is a list of our favorite books that represent diverse families in a loving and respectful way.
Check out the search portal below to discover what new LGBTQ+ books you need to add to your at-home, local, or school libraries!
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Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?
In 2005, Dan Bucatinsky and his partner, Don Roos, found themselves in an L.A. delivery room, decked out in disposable scrubs from shower cap to booties, to welcome their adopted baby girl—launching their frantic yet memorable adventures into fatherhood. Two and a half years later, the same birth mother—a heroically generous, pack-a-day teen with a passion for Bridezilla marathons and Mountain Dew—delivered a son into the couple’s arms. In Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight? Bucatinsky moves deftly from sidesplitting stories about where kids put their fingers to the realization that his athletic son might just grow up to be straight and finally to a reflection on losing his own father just as he’s becoming one. Bucatinsky’s soul-baring and honest stories tap into that all-encompassing, and very human, hunger to be a parent—and the lifechanging and often ridiculous road to getting there.
Family Pride: What LGBT Families Should Know About Navigating Home, School, and Safety in Their Neighborhoods
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.
Finding Our Families
Wendy Kramer & Naomi Cahn, J.D.
The first comprehensive book that offers invaluable step-by-step advice for families with donor-conceived children. Wendy Kramer, founder and director of the Donor Sibling Registry, and Naomi Cahn, family and reproductive law professor, have compiled a comprehensive and thorough guide for the growing community of families with donor-conceived children. Kramer and Cahn believe that all donor-conceived children’s desire to know their genetic family must be honored, and in Finding Our Families, they offer advice on how to foster healthy relationships within immediate families and their larger donor family networks based on openness and acceptance. With honesty and compassion, the authors offer thoughtful strategies and inspirational stories to help parents answer their own, and their children’s, questions and concerns that will surely arise, including:
• How to support your children’s curiosity and desire to know about their ancestry and genetic and medical background.
• How to help children integrate their birth story into a healthy self-image.
• How to help your children search for their donor or half siblings if and when they express interest in doing so.
BOOK NOOK: PARENTS—Finding Our Families opens up the lives of donor-conceived people who may be coping with uncertainty, thriving despite it, and finding novel ways to connect in this uncharted territory as they navigate the challenges and rewards of the world of donor conception.
First Comes Love
First Comes Love is a book of photographs and love stories that celebrates the lives and enduring relationships of LGBTQ couples from across the U.S. The brainchild of Philadelphia photographer Barbara Proud, the book is just one element of the First Comes Love Project, a traveling exhibition of photographs, love stories and video interviews documenting LGBTQ couples who have been together for 10, 20, 30, 40, and even 50+ years. First Comes Love seeks to change attitudes, open hearts, and propel the marriage equality movement simply by introducing and sharing the love stories of 65 real American long-term same-sex couples. By doing so, Proud hopes to educate the outside of the LGBTQ community, while celebrating those who are a part of it. “First Comes Love has it right,” says supporter Evan Wolfson, President of Freedom to Marry. “It’s the faces and stories of real people that open hearts and minds and pave the way to legal and social change”.
Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son
In this poignant and urgent love letter to his son, award-winning Broadway, TV and film producer Richie Jackson reflects on his experiences as a gay man in America and the progress and setbacks of the LGBTQ community over the last 50 years.
When Jackson’s son born through surrogacy came out to him at age 15, the successful producer, now in his 50s, was compelled to reflect on his experiences and share his wisdom on life for LGBTQ Americans over the past half-century.
Gay Like Me is a celebration of gay identity and parenting, and a powerful warning for his son, other gay men and the world. Jackson looks back at his own journey as a gay man coming of age through decades of political and cultural turmoil.
Gender Born Gender Made
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.
Jesus Has Two Daddies
As teachers, Tom Oakley and Tod McMillen thought they knew everything. They were wrong. It is said that love makes a family. But in this case it was a teenage girl with two moms, a couple of lawyers, and just three weeks to get ready that made this particular family. This is the story of how their family was born, first through the private adoption of their daughter, and then expanding it with the adoption of their son from foster care three years later. Their adoption experience challenges the notion of what makes a family and sheds new light on the world of open adoption and LGBT parenting. While Tom and Tod thought they were just adopting a baby girl, they got much more. And the kids? They got two daddies.
Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood
Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood: Firsthand Advice, Tips and Stories from Lesbian and Gay Couples, helps people in the LGBTQ community compare adoption, foster care, surrogacy, assisted reproduction, and co-parenting so that they can make the best decision for expanding their own families.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans Foster and Adoptive Parents: Recruiting, Assessing, and Supporting Untapped Family Resources for Children and Youth
Gerald P. Mallon
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans Foster and Adoptive Parents: Recruiting, Assessing, and Supporting Untapped Family Resources for Children and Youth provides social work practitioners with guidelines for working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people interested in fostering or adopting. Although a growing number of LGBT people are applying to foster or adopt and are successfully caring for children and youth, they remain, in some parts of the nation, an underutilized resource. With a national shortfall of foster and adoptive placements, and a national strategy to recruit and support foster and adoptive parents, agencies need to ensure that they do not prejudice lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans applicants from coming forward as potential foster or adoptive resources for children and youth in need.
LGBTQ Divorce and Relationship Dissolution: Psychological and Legal Perspectives and Implications for Practice
Abbie E. Goldberg
What unique challenges face LGBTQ individuals in relationships or who are separating or divorcing, especially now that same-sex couples may marry? What issues might complicate the ending of relationships when children, multiple partners, or multiple parents are present? How do gender, gender transition, ethnicity, immigration status, economic status, geography, and other characteristics shape the experiences of divorcing or separating LGBTQ people? Finally, how can therapists and lawyers most effectively assist LGBTQ people whose relationships and families are dissolving?
More Resources for LGBTQ+ Families
Once you put down your most recent purchase, check out all the other activities, resources, and programs we create to support and connect LGBTQ+ families like yours across the country!
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Have an LGBTQ+ book you’d like to submit to our list?
If you know about an LGBTQ+ book that isn’t on our list, but should be—let us know! Use the form below to contact a staff member, and we’ll be in touch about next steps.