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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A Family of Their Own
The only element missing from Max and Brian’s three-year marriage is a child. After Max’s promotion to dean of arts and sciences at Greater Cleveland Community College and Brian returns from a national LGBTQ leadership conference addressing mental health within communities of color, they diligently embark on their shared vision of fatherhood. However, religious mockery by close family members soon become distractions along the way as Max, the central character, reflects upon the true nature of family with the support of his husband and their friends. Once their five-year-old son, Donté, moves in with them and an unexpected hate crime strikes their lives, Max receives the opportunity to find the answer he seeks. Despite his own anxiety and idealistic thinking, it’s up to him to navigate their family through this trying ordeal through grit, faith, and most painfully of all, acceptance.
A Queer History of the United States
Winner of a 2012 Stonewall Book Award in nonfiction – the first book to cover the entirety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, from pre-1492 to the present. Intellectually dynamic and endlessly provocative, A Queer History of the United States is more than a “who’s who” of queer history: it is a book that radically challenges how we understand American history. Drawing upon primary documents, literature, and cultural histories, noted scholar and activist Michael Bronski charts the breadth of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history, from 1492 to the 1990s, and has written a testament to how the LGBT experience has profoundly shaped our country, culture, and history. A Queer History of the United States abounds with startling examples of unknown or often ignored aspects of American history—the ineffectiveness of sodomy laws in the colonies, the prevalence of cross-dressing women soldiers in the Civil War, the impact of new technologies on LGBT life in the nineteenth century, and how rock music and popular culture were, in large part, responsible for the devastating backlash against gay rights in the late 1970s. At heart, A Queer History of the United States is simply about American history. It is a book that will matter both to LGBT people and heterosexuals. This engrossing and revelatory history will make readers appreciate just how queer America really is.
A Time to Embrace: Same-Gender Relationships in Religion, Law, and Politics
William Stacy Johnson
As rhetoric continues to heat up on both sides of the debate over same-gender unions, clearly reasoned statements are in short supply. Watching this debate unfold, William Stacy Johnson found that he could be silent no longer. The result is this finely honed book. In A Time to Embrace Johnson presents a brilliant analysis of the religious, legal, and political stakes in the debates over gay marriage, civil unions, and the place of committed gay couples in a democratic society. Carefully weighing the pros and cons from across the moral and religious spectrum, Johnson here offers a fresh, thought-provoking examination of one of the most controversial issues in the West today.
Adoptive Parent, Intentional Parent: A Formula for Building and Maintaining Your Child’s Safety Net
An invaluable tool that adoptive parents will use over and over again. Whether you are in the “waiting stage” or you are two, four, six, or even ten-plus years into your adoption…this book will enable you to reframe your situation with a clear vision, new knowledge, tools that work, and the support of others who have walked the path before you. Every child who has been adopted has suffered a breach in attachment; no adopted child is exempt. In addition to attachment issues, some children also suffer from difficult behavior issues amongst diagnoses such as RAD, FAS, and those that suffer from grief, anxiety, sensory issues, and the effects of trauma. The author’s breakthrough concept of intentionally creating a safety net to help your child heal fills the book’s entirety. The four-part formula for Building and Maintaining that safety net is laid out in a detailed and user-friendly fashion. It combines the value of knowing yourself, the power of knowledge, specific tools and techniques that work in everyday life, and the keys to maintaining the net over time to create a plan you can put into motion today.
Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography
Thea Dodds & Kathryn Hamm
Same-sex couples are one small part of a large, vibrant market and need most of the same services as heterosexual couples. But all wedding templates are not created equal for same-sex couples. This is also true for wedding photographers and the poses they have been trained to use when conducting engagement shoots and photographing weddings. What works for John and Barbara, won’t necessarily work for Matthew and Rick, let alone Jill and Louise. Enter veteran wedding photographer, Thea Dodds of Authentic Eye Photography, and gay and lesbian wedding pioneer, Kathryn Hamm of GayWeddings.com, who have teamed up to create this groundbreaking book and visual guide. Featuring the work of 38 of the best same-sex wedding photographers and 46 loving couples, Hamm & Dodds provide needed support to wedding photographers who must revisit the rules of traditional wedding and engagement portraiture and develop an expanded skill set to better serve all couples in today’s dynamic wedding market.
Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter: Growing Up with a Gay Dad
A moving memoir about growing up with a gay father in the 1980s, and a tribute to the power of truth, humor, acceptance and familial love. Alison Wearing led a largely carefree childhood until she learned, at the age of 12, that her family was a little more complex than she had realized. Sure her father had always been unusual compared to the other dads in the neighborhood: he loved to bake croissants, wear silk pajamas around the house, and skip down the street singing songs from Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. But when he came out of the closet in the 1970s, when homosexuality was still a cardinal taboo, it was a shock to everyone in the quiet community of Peterborough, Ontario—especially to his wife and three children.
Confessions of the Other Mother: Nonbiological Lesbian Moms Tell All!
After author Harlyn Aizley gave birth to her daughter, she watched in unanticipated horror as her partner scooped up the baby and said, “I’m your new mommy!” While they both had worked to find the perfect sperm donor, Aizley had spent nine months carrying the baby and hours in labor, so how could her partner claim to be their child’s mommy? Many diapers later, Aizley began to appreciate the complexity of her partner’s new role as the other mother. Together, they searched for stories about families like their own, in which a woman has chosen to forgo her own birth experience so that she might support her partner in hers. They found very few. Now, in Confessions of the Other Mother, Aizley has put together an exciting collection of personal stories by women like her partner who are creating new parenting roles, redefining motherhood, and reshaping our view of two parent families. Contributors include Hillary Goodridge, who was one of the lead plaintiffs in the case for same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, stand-up comedian Judy Gold, and psychologist and author Suzanne M. Johnson. This candid peek into a previously unexamined side of lesbian parenting is full of stories that are sometimes humorous, sometimes moving, but at all times celebratory. Each parenting tale sheds light on the many facets of motherhood, offering gay and straight readers alike a deeper understanding of what it means to love and parent in the twenty-first century.
Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX
Forty years ago, when a young Ginny Gilder stood on the edge of Boston’s Charles River and first saw a rowing shell in motion, it was love at first sight. Yearning to escape her family history, which included her mother’s emotional unraveling and her father’s singular focus on investment acumen as the ultimate trophy, Gilder discovered rowing at a pivotal moment in her life. Having grown up in an era when girls were only beginning to abandon the sidelines as observers and cheerleaders to become competitors and national champions, Gilder harbored no dreams of athletic stardom. Once at Yale, however, her operating assumptions changed nearly overnight when, as a freshman in 1975, she found her way to the university’s rowing tanks in the gymnasium’s cavernous basement. From her first strokes as a novice, Gilder found herself in a new world, training with Olympic rowers and participating in the famous Title IX naked protest, which helped define the movement for equality in college sports. Short, asthmatic, and stubborn, Gilder made the team against all odds and for the next ten years devoted herself to answering a seemingly simple question: how badly do you want to go fast? Course Correction recounts the physical and psychological barriers Gilder overcame as she transformed into an elite athlete who reached the highest echelon of her sport. Set against the backdrop of unprecedented cultural change, Gilder’s story personalizes the impact of Title IX, illustrating the life-changing lessons learned in sports but felt far beyond the athletic arena. Heartfelt and candid, Gilder recounts lessons learned from her journey as it winds its way from her first glimpse of an oar to the Olympic podium in 1984, carries her through family tragedy, strengthens her to accept her true sexual identity, and ultimately frees her to live her life on her terms.
Courting Equality: A Documentary History of America’s First Legal Same-Sex Marriages
Patricia A. Gozemba & Karen Kahn
On November 18, 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court granted equal marriage benefits to same-sex couples. The decision provoked a searing public debate over the meaning of marriage and family, civil rights, and the role of religion in law and society. But the experiment went forward nonetheless: thousands of Massachusetts gays and lesbians married and, remarkably, the sky did not fall. Through engaging storytelling and powerful photographs, Courting Equality takes readers through the volatile public debate following the decision and introduces some of the many lesbian and gay families who have taken advantage of equal marriage laws. In Massachusetts, equal marriage has not destroyed the family but rather has reinforced the importance of love, commitment, fairness, and equality to the functioning of healthy democratic communities.
Determined To Be Dad: A Journey of Faith, Resilience, and Love
Steve’s life has been consumed with the quest to create a family. As a boy raised Catholic in the Midwest, he grew up thinking he was straight and would marry a woman and have children. When he was confronted with his attraction to men and the eventual realization that he was gay, he gave up that dream of having a family and chose the route of gay singledom. As the times changed and he gained greater self-acceptance, he re-ignited his dream for a family and started the arduous journey toward parenthood.
Determined To Be Dad chronicles his trials and tribulations of self-discovery to acceptance to building a new reality and, finally, to the joys of creating his own family through adoption. With this tender and painful story, Steve offers his journey as a tribute to his desire for familial connection, overcoming self-imposed handicaps, and facing the harsh realities of two men trying to create a family. This is the story of faith, resilience, and the ubiquitous need for love and family.
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More Resources for LGBTQ+ Families
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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.