Getting Hitched in (LGBT) KidLit

Massachusetts… Connecticut… Iowa… Vermont… New Hampshire… New York… Maine… Maryland… Washington… Rhode Island… Delaware… Minnesota. There may be fifty states, but these are my favorite twelve right now. In each, same-sex marriages are legally recognized. In each, LGBT families are one step closer to full and equal rights.

 In the spirit of saying “I do!” with the weight of law behind us, I celebrate a few of the best LGBT marriages in children’s literature…


Daddy’s Wedding (1996!), Michael Willhoite

Once you adjust to the retro-cool illustration style, this groundbreaking, and heart-warming, picture book is a refreshingly earnest tale of a family preparing for and celebrating the Big Day. One of the very rare picture books to show two men kissing (with balloons and all!).

Donovan’s Big Day (2011), Leslea Newman

For Family Week in Provincetown, Family Equality Council has chosen this charming picture book for the Kids Book Group at Family Week, and the choice is a perfect opportunity to celebrate our right to marry.  My favorite moment– when Donovan is lovingly squeezed in between his two moms as the authority proclaims, “I now pronounce you wife and wife.”

Operation Marriage (2011), Cynthia Chin-Lee

This thought-provoking picture book reminds us of the challenges and prejudice we have witnessed alongside the same-sex marriage rights movement. The children in this story “scheme” to convince their two moms to marry, and then are disappointed as a proposition is passed to deny same-sex marriage. A great book for the “teachable moment.”

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer (2012), Jennifer Gennari   

One of the only middle-grade chapter books I know that tackles the issue of same-sex marriage. A young girl’s idyllic Vermont life is unsettled as her mom and her new girlfriend eventually decide to marry, despite the negative reaction from the small town community. Gennari skillfully constructs a story that reflects a child’s response to change, prejudice and, eventually, courage and love.

With a child in one hand and a book in another,

Christian Porter,

Resident Librarian Family Equality Council Book Nook