Teaching LGBTQ+ history, inclusion, and celebrating differences in your Homeschool
The LGBTQ+ population is often left out of history curricula. It’s a fact that LGBTQ+ History is documented as far back as 9,000 BCE!
LGBTQ+ people are everywhere and it’s important that children grow up seeing them as normal people. As homeschool parents, we have a responsibility to give our children a full and inclusive education. There are almost 8 billion people in the world so different and diverse in so many ways: in skin color, language, culture, and life experiences. With so many types of individuals, its essential to give our children the knowledge and vocabulary to understand others.
It’s vital to embrace differences in others. Exposing young children to diversity teaches them about kindness and inclusivity. This can be a natural part of everyday living as children develop relationships outside their family. Another way to ensure diversity in children’s lives is to choose toys, books and media that reflect all types of people. Be sure to include images of people with a variety of backgrounds, ages, abilities, and characters that break stereotypes race, culture, men and women. Also, be sure to use art supplies in a wide range of skin, eye and hair colors.
Incorporating toys like this Inclusive Doll Set help children become more aware of differences from an early age:
It’s disappointing that the LGBTQ+ community is often overlooked in educational curricula. But as parents, we have a wonderful opportunity to teach our children about this essential topic in a warm and age-appropriate way. Inclusivity, diversity, and respect are values that can shape the next generation. Join us as we explore simple ways to help your child become a world citizen and LGBTQ+ ally.
Open and Honest Conversations: Let’s create a safe space where your child feels free to ask questions about differences openly and honestly as they come up. Answer honestly and if you don’t know the answers, seek them out. Use language and relatable examples that suit their age. Above all, emphasize the importance of treating everyone with respect and kindness, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Introduce LGBTQ+ Inclusive Books: Books hold incredible power to foster empathy and understanding. We’ve created an extensive and diverse selection of literature that features LGBTQ+ characters or highlights themes of inclusivity and acceptance. Below, you’ll find age-appropriate recommendations, including both fiction and nonfiction and historical resources.
Celebrate LGBTQ+ History and Achievements: While LGBTQ+ History is often overlooked, we can bring its stories to life for your child. From LGBTQ activists, artists, and leaders who have made a positive impact on our world. For older children, we have LGBTQ history reference books that offer valuable insights and can even serve as references for research projects.
Encourage Active Support and Allyship: Empower your child to become an active ally. Teach them to challenge stereotypes, stand up against discrimination, and be supportive of their LGBTQ+ peers. Emphasize the importance of embracing diversity, fostering inclusivity, and creating a world where everyone feels valued and accepted.
You have the power to guide your children to become compassionate and informed global citizens. Help them to shape a future where everyone is embraced and respected for exactly who they are.
The following collection of books will help your children learn about the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ+ community. They help to teach about bias and prejudice, promote respect for diversity, and encourage social action.
But most importantly, theses books teach your kids that:
Ages 4-8 fiction and nonfiction
Ages 9-12 fiction and nonfiction
Ages 13+ fiction and nonfiction
LGBTQ+ History Books and References
This is the perfect age to normalize LGBTQ+ people and relationships. Consider how you speak about relationships with your kids as well. Use neutral and inclusive language as much as possible. This way your kids are accepting of other people they will meet, but it will also help them accept themselves if they are LGBTQ+.
- This Day in June
- When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community
- Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag (also download the FREE Pride discussion guide pdf)
- Sewing the Rainbow
- Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution
- Who Are You?: The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity
- It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity
- I Am Jazz
Many parents want to raise children who are LGBTQ+ allies, but it isn’t always clear how to do that, particularly for non-LGBTQ+ families. This can feel difficult, especially if you weren’t taught that in your own household growing up. This age-appropriate booklist will help your child gain the tools they will need. Teaching your children to be an effective ally is about teaching them to listen to others.
- Heather Has Two Mommies
- Love Makes a Family
- And Tango Makes Three
- Stella Brings the Family
- Uncle Bobby’s Wedding
- Papa, Daddy, and Riley
- Prince & Knight
- Maiden & Princess
- King & King
- When Aidan Became a Brother
- Red: A Crayon’s Story
- A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo
- A Day of Pride
- From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea
- Sparkle Boy
- Julian is a Mermaid
- Love is Love
- Rainbow: A First Book of Pride
- A Family is a Family is a Family
- In Our Mother’s House
- We Are Family
- The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived
- Promised Land Tales Series
Ages 9 to 12 is the time when lots of people start to realize they are part of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s so important to continue to provide your kids with stories with diverse characters.
- Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights, with 21 Activities
- Queer Heroes: Meet 53 LGBTQ Heroes from Past & Present!
- Rainbow Revolutionaries: Fifty LGBTQ+ People Who Made History
- The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets
- Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community
- You Be You! The Kid’s Guide to Gender, Sexuality, and Family
- They She He Me: Free to Be!
- Better Nate Than Ever
- Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World
- The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James
- Star Crossed
- The Whispers
- Drum Roll, Please
- Gracefully Grayson
- Lily and Dunkin
- King and the Dragonflies
- The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher
- The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island
- This Would Make a Good Story Someday
- Middle School’s a Drag, You Better Werk!
- The Misfits Series
- Hurricane Child
- The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World
- The Parker Inheritance
- Witch Boy Graphic Novel Series
- The Tea Dragon Society
- The Moon Within
- This Book Is Gay
- LGBTQ: The Survival Guide for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens
- Beyond the Gender Binary
- The New Queer Conscience
- Queer Games Avant-Garde: How LGBTQ Game Makers are Reimagining the Medium of Video Games
- Out!: How to be Your Authentic Self
- David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music
- How to Make a Wish
- Darius the Great Series
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
- Simon Snow Trilogy
- Cemetery Boys
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
- The House in the Cerulean Sea
- I Wish You All the Best
- If I Was Your Girl
- Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
- Leah on the Offbeat
- The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea
- Odd One Out
- The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
- Yesterday is History
- History is All You Left Me
- Juliet Takes a Breath
- Like a Love Story
- We Are Totally Normal
- The Dangerous Art of Blending In
- The Handsome Girl & Her Beautiful Boy
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post
- As The Crow Flies
- Not Your Sidekick
- Anger Is a Gift: A Novel
- The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)
- You Should See Me in a Crown
- Like Water
- Beautiful Music for Ugly Children
- The Stars Beneath Our Feet
- The Priory of the Orange Tree
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
- The Black Flamingo
- Heartstopper Series
LGBTQ+ History Books
- The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle
- Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights
- The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government
- Pride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality Movement – you’ll want a hard copy of this. It’s very visual and the ebook just doesn’t work quite right.
- Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights
- We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation
- Our Gay History in Fifty States
- The Book of Pride: LGBTQ Heroes Who Changed the World
- A Queer History of the United States for Young People
- Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights, with 21 Activities
- A Little Gay History: Desire and Diversity Across the World
- Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History (for teaching high school)
- Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality
- Transgender History, second edition: The Roots of Today’s Revolution
- The Stonewall Reader
- A Desired Past: A Short History of Same-Sex Love in America
LGBTQ is an acronym meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning. The term sometimes is extended to LGBTQIA, to include intersex and asexual groups. Queer is an umbrella term for non-straight people; intersex refers to those whose sex is not clearly defined because of genetic, hormonal, or biological differences; and asexual describes those who don’t experience sexual attraction.