“This Day in June” celebrates Pride for children

441B151-400By Susan Jordan

Magination Press in Washington D.C., run by the American Psychological Association, has published a picture book about Pride, written by Gayle E. Pittman and illustrated by Kristyna Litten (32 pages, hardbound $16.95; paperback $9.95). A copy is available at the Gay Alliance Library.

The book is aimed at children ages 4-8 and includes facts about LGBTQ history and culture, and a Note To Parents and Caregivers about how to talk about sexual orientation and gender identity to small kids in a clear, non-threatening way, which answers their questions without patronizing or scaring them.

The Right believes that merely letting children know that gay people exist will immediately transform them into queens and butch dykes. The reality is that the tension, anger and shame adults so often reveal when talking about gays, or any sexual matters, traumatize children and make them feel afraid and ashamed of their own bodies, whether they are queer, straight and/or trans.

That said, this book is not perfect. The colorful drawings depict a typical joyous, diverse Pride, but the accompanying text consists of bad couplets – “Sidewalk shaking, bellies aching…Loving kisses/All delicious” etc. Pretty poor stuff.

However, this book is attractive and the message it sends is one that children of same-sex parents, or who have gay relatives and family friends, need to hear. In fact all children could benefit from this positive, loving message about the world around them.

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