Introduce your kids to these books to help them understand gender better.
“Is it a boy or a girl?” is one of the first questions that people are curious about when a child is born. Since then, the child is groomed to conform to his or her traditional gender identity. But what happens when the child fails to identify with his or her own gender or begins exploring its fluidity? Here are some of the books that address these issues, which can help parents and their children understand gender better:
I am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
This book is based on the real-life experience of YouTube personality and LGBT rights activist Jazz Jennings that addresses questions about gender identity. Jazz knew she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body since the age of two, until she was taken to a doctor who discovered she was transgender.
Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman
The story revolves around a boy named Jacob who likes to dress up as a princess in dresses, something a male classmate disapproves of. The book highlights the challenges faced by children who don’t identify with traditional gender roles and how the support of friends and family can help them cope with it.
It’s Okay to be Different by Todd Parr
This book brings home the message of inclusivity in the community, no matter what colour or place you belong to. The book celebrates individuality and self-confidence.
The Boy & the Bindi by Vivek Shraya
This book is about a five-year-old boy who is fascinated by his mother’s red bindi, and wishes to have his own. His mother doesn’t scold him. Instead, she teaches him about the cultural significance of the bindi and lets him discover the magic of it.
And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
This book narrates the story of two male penguins Roy and Silo who plan to make a family together. Thankfully, the zookeeper gives them an extra egg from another penguin couple, making them welcome their own baby penguin into the world. Through its narrative, the book addresses the issues of same-sex marriage, adoption and homosexuality.
From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom
The story is about a magical gender variant child who brings change to the world, thanks to the mother’s enduring love. The books highlights issues surrounding gender identity while advocating the acceptance of differences.