1. The Family Heart: A Memoir of When Our Son Came Out by Robb Forman Dew
Many books available for parents concerning their child’s announcement of his or her homosexuality are cast as “self-help” or educational. In the absence of informed, nonjudgmental material, these books are important, but personal stories should also be brought to the table. In Family Heart: A Memoir of When Our Son Came Out, novelist Robb Forman Dew tells the story of what happen to her (and her family) after her son, Stephen, came out. What sets Dew’s story apart is that the moral weight is not upon Stephen to deal with the confused reactions of his parents, but upon the parents to deal with their own mixed emotions and the negative reactions of their friends.
2. Mommy, Momma, and Me by Lesléa Newman (Author) and Carol Thompson (Illustrator)
Reports have always said that it’s important for children to see images of themselves in books, movies, and in their toys. This children’s book depicts the nurturing relationship of a lesbian couple and their little one. Also, see this book’s gay-fathers counterpart, Daddy, Papa, and Me, by the same creators.
3. And Then There Was Me by Gloria Finkbeiner
Created especially for gay, lesbian and single parent families celebrating the birth of a child, this baby book uses gender-neutral language throughout. Containing all of the pages you would expect to find in a traditional baby book, Finkbeiner’s creation includes special bonuses like a single parent family tree, sperm or egg donor information and more!
4. From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson
Melanin is a boy whose life is turned upside down when his mother reveals that she has fallen in love with another woman. This book is praised for not only being well written and sending a message about being gay, it also raises issues of race, as both Melanin and his mother are African American, and his mother’s new lover is white.
5. It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller
What became a YouTube movement also became a book. As a collection of essays and material from celebrities as well as everyday people, Savage’s book shows GLBT youth the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach if they can just get through their teen years. By sharing these stories, It Gets Better reminds teenagers in the GLBT community that they are not alone – and it WILL get better.
6. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Heralded as a will-be classic of gay literature and set in a gay-friendly “utopia,” Levithan’s novel describes a few weeks in the lives of a group of high school students. As the title suggests, the central story follows the standard romantic plotline usually known as “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl” except that the main characters are both boys, the narrator Paul and newcomer Noah. The novel won a Lambda Literary Award, which honors published works that celebrate or explore GLBT themes.
7. Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
Angela Katz-McNair has never felt quite right as a girl, but when she cuts her hair, buys men’s clothing, and announces her preferred name (Grady), it comes as a shock to those around her. Although Grady is happy about his decision to finally be true to himself, everybody else is having trouble processing the news. On top of that, there are more practical concerns–for instance, which locker room is he supposed to use for gym class? But as the victim of some cruel jokes, Grady also finds unexpected allies, including the school geek, Sebastian, and Kita, a gorgeous senior. Wittlinger explores Grady’s struggles with both humor and sadness.
Rainbow Rumpus, an online collection of literature for children and youth with GLBT parents, was conceived in 2005 when publisher Laura Matanah’s daughter pointed out a picture of same-sex parents and exclaimed, “Look Mommy! Two moms and twins! Just like us!”
Rainbow Rumpus provides a safe and empowering place for young people to create and enjoy art, break through isolation, build community, and take action to make the world a better place. Producing over 25 new stories each year along with articles, essays, music and video, Rainbow Rumpus is a prolific publisher of fiction about GLBT-headed families and displays work created by both young people and professional artists.
Rainbow Rumpus won a Dot.Org award for “Awesome Audience Awareness” from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits in 2007. In 2010 Rainbow Rumpus updated its technology and launched a new sister site for teens, Rainbow Riot (www.rainbowriot.org).
OutFront Minnesota Youth Summit
March 3, 2014
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
High school students (grades 9-12) are invited to this daylong event sponsored by OutFront Minnesota. The morning session, held at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, will feature a plenary and workshops on topics including bullying prevention, racial equity, addressing stereotypes, mental health, spoken word, and advocating for change in your school. Student attendees will learn how to make their schools safer, more inclusive and empowering for all.
Participants will then be bused to the Capitol in the afternoon for the student-led Rally in the Rotunda at 1:30 pm. Community members who support the Safe & Supportive Minnesota Schools Act are encouraged to join the rally. Participants can also learn more about the bill and grassroots lobbying. After that, participants can visit legislators to talk about the need to protect students and pass this bill from 2:30 to 4:30.
The cost of attendance ($15) includes lunch, a T-shirt and bus from Metro State to the Capitol and back. Scholarships are available if needed.