Recommended Reading

Baby and Toddler

1-2-3 A Family Counting Book
Author: Bobbie Combs
Illustrations: Danamarie Hosler
This counting book helps children to count from one to twenty with pictures of GLBT families.

A-B-C A Family Alphabet Book

Author: Bobbie Combs
Illustrations: Desiree Keane & Brian Rappa
A book that celebrates LGBT families as it teaches young children the alphabet.

Dad Mine

Authors: Jane Kemp and Clare Walters
Illustrations: Dawn Apperley
A book to celebrate all the different kinds of dads in the world, it has pictures of many animal dads with their kids and ends with a human dad holding his little toddler.

Daddy Kisses Board Book
Authors: Anne Gutman and George Hallensleben
Baby animals exchanging kisses with their daddies as each daddy gives his own special kiss in these celebrations of a parent’s love.

Everywhere Babies
Author: Susan Meyers
Illustrations: Marla Frazee
Babies crawling through the pages of this busy picture book, and lots of family members surround them. In addition to babies of every hue, body type and hairstyle, the illustrations show traditional, single parent, gay/lesbian and multiethnic families.

Mom Mine
Authors: Jane Kemp and Clare Walters
Illustrations: Dawn Apperley
As a celebration of all the different kinds of moms in the world this book has pictures of many animal moms with their kids and ends with a human mom holding her little toddler.

Mommy Hugs Board Book

Authors: Anne Gutman and George Hallensleben
Baby animals exchanging hugs with their mommies as each mommy gives her own special kiss in these celebrations of a parent’s love.

One Hundred is a Family
Author: Pam Munoz Ryan
Illustrations: Benrei Huang
As readers count from 1 to 100, they see pictures of many types of families doing things
together – working, playing, and having celebrations.

What Daddies Do Best

Author: Laura Numeroff
Illustrations: Lynn Munsinger
A board book showing kids that daddies can do lots of things – bake cakes, play in the park, and take you trick-or-treating. The illustrations are bright, whimsical animals portraying dads and kids.

What Mommies Do Best
Author: Laura Numeroff
Illustrations: Lynn Munsinger
A board book showing kids that mommies can do many of things. The illustrations are bright with whimsical animals portraying moms and kids.

Preschool 3-5

Aisha’s Moonlit Walk
Author: Anika Stafford
Aisha and her modern-day family and friends, including Heather, with two moms, as they celebrate the eight pagan holidays over the course of at typical year. Memoirs and Personal Stories

All Families Are Special

Author: Norma Simon
Illustrations: Teresa Flavin
A classroom of children, upon learning that their teacher is going to be a grandma, share their stories of their families; representative of diverse families.

And Tango Makes Three
Authors: Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Illustrations: Henry Cole
A picture book that tells the story of two famous gay dads – penguins Roy and Silo from New York’s Central Park Zoo. It’s obvious to their keeper, Mr. Gramzay, that the two penguins are in love. When they see all of the other couples hatching eggs, Roy and Silo put a rock in their nest and try to hatch it. Of course, that doesn’t work, but when Mr. Gramzay brings them an egg that needs to be cared for, the two take turns sitting on it until it hatches, and Tango is born: “Tango was the very first penguin in the zoo to have two daddies.”

Antonio’s Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio
Author: Rigoberto Gonzalez
Illustrations: Cecilia Concepcioin Alvarez
A Mother’s Day story featuring Antonio, his Mami and Mami’s partner Leslie. When the kids at Antonio’s school make Mother’s Day cards, Antonio makes one for his moms, but he is shy when Ms. Mendoza wants to display the cards in the school cafeteria. This colorfully illustrated picture book tells the story in both English and Spanish.

Asha’s Mums
Author: Elwin & Michele Paulse
Illustrations: Dawn Lee
This Canadian book tells the story of Asha, whose classmates find out that she has two mums. Several lively discussions with her classmates later, Asha feels great about her two mums and so do her friends.

Best Best Colors
Author: Eric Hoffman
Illustrations: Celeste Henriquez
Nate loves all the colors he sees in his everyday life. When asked by his two mothers about his favorite color, he wonders how to choose just one. Later, Nate learns that he likes all the colors best when they’re together and that he can have more than one favorite color, one best friend, and one mamma. The text is in both English and Spanish. Part of a series called “Anti-Bias Books for Kids.”

Buster’s Sugartime

Author: Marc Brown
Buster and his dad go to Vermont to visit his mom’s friends, Karen and Gillian, and their three children.

Daddy Book
Author: Todd Parr
Here is a glorious celebration of all kinds of daddies, and it’s perfect to use in families with two dads. Kids can enjoy the descriptions of all the things their dads do. It would also be a great book for single dads.

Daddy Machine
Author: Johnny Valentine
Illustrations: Lynette Schmidt
Two children with lesbian moms fantasize about what it would be like to have a father, so they make themselves a daddy machine, turn it on, and a dad pops out. Then comes another, and another, and another…

Daddy’s Roommate
Author: Michael Wilhoite
A ground-breaking book when it was first published in 1990. The sequel, Daddy’s Wedding, was published in 1996. We first meet Nick in Daddy’s Roommate; his parents have gotten divorced, but remain friends, and he spends part of his time with his mother and the other part with Daddy and his partner Frank. Both story and pictures are warm and positive, showing a loving depiction of the relationship between the two men, as well as their relationships with Nick.

The Different Dragon
Author: Jennifer Bryan
Illustrations: Danamarie Hosler
This is a bedtime story about bedtime stories. A little boy and his two moms share a magical journey that lead to unexpected places.

Felicia’s Favorite Story
Author: Leslëa Newman
Illustrations: Adriana Romo
It’s bedtime, but before Felicia goes to sleep she wants to hear her favorite story, the story of how she was adopted by Mama Linda and Mama Nessa. And so Felicia’s parents tell her how they flew off in a big silver airplane to meet the baby girl who was waiting for them, and how they loved her from the very first moment they saw her.

Dragon and the Doctor

Author: Barbara Danish
This story tells of a dragon who has a sore tail. When she goes to Dr. Judy and Nurse Benjamin for help, they discover all kinds of treasures zipped into the tail. Cured, the dragon takes Doctor Judy and Nurse Benjamin to meet her friends – an ostrich, a hippopotamus, a turtle, and a little creature who has two mothers.

Emma and Meesha My Boy

Author: Kaitlyn Considine
Illustrations: Binny Hobbs
Emma lives with her two moms and a chubby housecat; follow along as Emma gets in trouble while trying to play with Meesha Kitty and as she learns to treat him with care.

Family Book
Author: Todd Parr
Parr celebrates many different types of families and includes adopted families, stepfamilies, one-parent families, “traditional” nuclear families, and families with same-sex parents.

Families
Author: Susan Kuklin
Interviews with children from fifteen different families, including one two-dad family and one two-mom family, illustrate the reality of their home lives. Presented along with the children’s own words are great color photographs of their families.

Fire Engine for Ruthie

Author: Leslea Newman
Illustrations: Cyd Moore
Ruthie loves to visit Nana, but they don’t always like to play with the same things. Ruthie loves fire engines and motorcycles, while Nana loves dolls and dress-up clothes.

Flying Free

Author: Jennifer C. Gregg
Illustrations: Janna Richards
Narrated by a firefly that is captured by a five-year-old girl named Violet. Violet plans to use the firefly as her very own nightlight. Violet’ s moms, Mommy Blue and Mamma Red, go along with the idea, but the firefly refuses to live in a glass jar. Throughout the story, the firefly devises several plans to escape the jar, none of which work. Finally, the firefly creates the ultimate escape plan.

Heather Has Two Mommies

Author: Lesléa Newman
Illustrations: Diana Souza
A first book to portray lesbian families in a positive way, edited so that the text is shorter with a concise and focused message that “the most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other.”

How My Family Came to Be Daddy, Papa & Me
Author: Andrew Aldrich
Illustrations: Mike Motz
Told with simple words and playful illustrations, this book touches on the topics of adoption, two fathers and interracial families for a young audience. Narrated from the perspective of a school-aged child, the story shows how his family was created and that families are made up of people who love each other.

It’s Okay to Be Different
Author: Todd Parr
With bold, bright colors Parr shares the message that it’s ok to be different. It’s okay to have wheels, to be a different color, to have different Moms and different Dads.

Just Kidding
Author: Trudy Ludwig
Illustrations: Adam Gustavson
D.J.’s friend Vince has a habit of teasing D.J. and then saying, Just kidding!” as if it will make everything okay. It doesn’t, but D.J. is afraid that if he protests, his friends will think he can’t take a joke. With the help of his father, brother, and an understanding teacher, D.J. progresses from feeling helpless to taking positive action, undermining the power of two seemingly harmless words. Trudy Ludwig takes another look at relational aggression, the use of relationships to manipulate and hurt others, this time from the boy’s point of view.

King & King & Family

Author: Linda de Haan
Illustrations: Stern Nijland
It’s time for King Lee and King Bertie’s royal honeymoon. Little do the regal travelers know that the jungle holds much more, perhaps even the secret to fulfilling their hearts’ fondest wish for a family of their own.

Mama Eat Ant, Yuck!
Author: Barbara Lynn Edmonds
Illustrations: Matthew Daniele
When one mom accidentally eats some ant-covered raisins, their youngest daughter decides this is when she’ll say some real words: “Mama eat ant,yuck!” To the despair of mom, she repeats the sentence all day long. A book about families where the fact of two moms is not the topic, just a natural part of the story.

Molly’s Family

Author: Nancy Garden
Illustrations: Sharon Wooding
While drawing pictures of their families for Open School Night, the kids in Ms. Marston’s class begin debating whether it’s all right that Molly has a mommy and a mama.

Mom and Mum Are Getting Married

Author: Ken Setterington
Illustrations: Alice Priestley
When Rosie finds out that her two mothers are planning to get married, she has only one worry…will she get to be a flower girl? Fantastic, full color pictures show warm scenes of family and friends as everyone gets ready for the big day!

One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads

Author: Johnny Valentine
Illustrations: Melody Sarecky
Two children – one with blue dads, one from a more traditional family – compare notes in this lighthearted book about parents who are different.

Oliver Button is a Sissy

Author: Tomie dePaola
Oliver would rather read, dance and draw pictures than play baseball with the other boys. He pays no attention when he is teased for his activities, and after he performs in the talent show, his friends begin to understand that everyone is special in their own way.

Saturday is Pattyday

Author: Lesléa Newman
Illustrations: Annette Hegel
Frankie used to live with his two moms, Allie and Patty, but they have separated. Frankie brings Doris Delores Brontosaurus to visit Allie in her new apartment, and learns that Allie will always be part of his life.

Uncle Aiden
Author: Laurel Dykstra
Anna Maria and her gay Uncle Aiden share their love of pretty things, tea parties and baseball – but most of all they share their love of each other.

We All Sing With the Same Voice
Authors: J. Philip Miller & Sheppard M. Greene
Illustrations: Paul Meisel
A Sesame Street song that’s been transformed into a bright picture book packaged with a CD of the song. The pictures show children of all colors and nations playing, singing and laughing together.

When Grownups Fall in Love
Author: Barbara Lynn Edmonds
Illustrations: Matthew Daniele
A book that explains to children how grown-ups love. The story is told in rhyme, and makes the point that sometimes it’s a man and a woman who fall in love, and sometimes it’s two men or two women. Contains picture outlines so that kids can color them in.

While You Were Sleeping

Author: Stephanie Burks
Illustrations: Kelli Bienvenu
This picture book describes two women learning that they will adopt a newborn baby boy.

White Swan Express

Authors: Jean Davies Okimoto & Elaine M. Aoki
Illustrations: Meilo So
In China, the moon shines on four baby girls fast asleep in an orphanage. Far away in North America, the sun rises over four homes as the people inside (including a lesbian couple) ready to begin their journey. This lyrical story tells how they are all brought together as four happy families.

William’s Doll

Author: Charlotte Zolotow
Illustrations: William Pene Du Bois
William wants a doll. “Don’t be a creep,” says his brother. “Sissy, sissy,” chants the boy next door. Then one day someone really understands William’s wish, and makes it easy for others to understand too.

Who’s In A Family
Author: Robert Skutch
Illustrations: Laura Nienhaus
A picture book depicting all kinds of families, human and animals – step, divorced, extended, gay, lesbian, multi-cultural.

Early Readers (5 & up)

All Families Are Different
Author: Sol Gordon, Ph.D
Illustrations: Vivien Cohen
Gordon, a clinical psychologist with a special interest in children’s education, has created an uplifting book for young people who are curious about just what it means to be part of a family. Some children, he explains, live with both parents, while others live with one or with step- or foster parents. We also find children being reared by aunts, uncles, or grandparents, as well as same-sex couples.

Carly: She’s Still My Daddy

Author: Mary Boenk
Illustrations: Dolores Dudley
Published by the Transgender Network of PFLAG, this publication is for kids dealing with a parent who is transitioning.

Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans and Other Stories
Author: Johnny Valentine
Illustrations: Lynette Schmidt
Five original fairy tales make up this collection, illustrated with paintings and drawings throughout.

Going to Fair Day
Author: Brenna and Vicki Harding
Illustrated by Chris Bray-Cotton
Bright pictures accompany the simple story of a girl who goes to the fair with her mums, and comes home with a new dog.

Koalas on Parade
Author: Brenna and Vicki Harding
Illustrations: Chris Bray-Cotton
The narrator’s mums help her make a koala costume for her school’s Costume Parade; when she finds out that her friend Hannah is also a koala, the two girls dance together in the parade and take home first prize.

My House
Author: Brenna and Vicki Harding
Illustrations: Chris Bray-Cotton
A simple story of a girl who lives with her two moms, and what it’s like at her house.

Pinky and Rex and the Bully
Author: James Howe
Illustrations: Melissa Sweet
When a bully tells seven-year old Pinky that his nickname and favorite color are “girlish,” he must decide whether it’s time to change or to stand up to his tormentor. He makes the right choice and readers will see it’s all right to be however you want to be.

Rainbow Cubby House
Author: Brenna and Vicki Harding
Illustrations: Chris Bray-Cotton
The narrator, her mums, her friend Jed and his dads decide to build a cubby (tree house) in the backyard.

Tanny’s Meow
Author: Ursula Ferro
Illustrations: Ariella Huff
Rachel and her family – Mama Mariah, Mommy Ginny and brother Tim – find and adopt a kitten in this short chapter book.

Trouble With Babies
Author: Martha Freeman
Illustrations: Cat Bowman Smith
Holly, her mom, her new stepfather and his four cats have moved to a new house. Holly makes some new friends – including Xavier, who has two dads, and Annie, who has a new baby in her family.

Wishing for Kittens
Author: Ursula Ferro
In this sequel to Tanny’s Meow, Rachel and her brother Ti and their two moms decide to let Tanny have kittens. Rachel can only keep one kitten, so she and her friend Susie have to find home for the others.

Zack’s Story
Author: Keith Elliot Greenberg
Photography: Carol Halebian
The story of Zack who lives with his two moms and spends time with his father. The story is told in Zack’s voice and is illustrated with photographs.

Chapter Books

Box Girl
Author: Sarah Withrow
The story of Gwen, whose mother ran away five years ago and whose father is gay. She struggles with friends, school and family.

Case of the Stolen Scarab
Author: Nancy Garden & Danamarie Hosler
When the Taylor-Michaelson family – Nikki and Travis and their two moms – buy an old inn in Vermont, they don’t expect their first visitor to be the local sheriff with news of a robbery – and their second to be a bedraggled hiker with amnesia. Soon Nikki and Travis find themselves trying to solve a mystery that steadily grows more complicated.

Clear Spring
Author: Barbara Wilson
During her stay with Aunt Ceci and her partner, Janie, a naturalist, Willa learns about environmentalism, gets to know more about her family, and solves a mystery.

Faerie Wars
Author: Herbie Brennan
The Faerie Wars is a blend of fantasy, mythology and science. When Henry learns that his dad and mom are separating because his mom is in love with another woman, he feels like his world is falling apart. Then he meets Pyrgus, a faerie crown prince from another world, and forgets his own troubles as he helps Pyrgus save his people from the Faeries of the night.

Faerie Wars II: The Purple Emperor
Author: Herbie Brennan
This sequel to Faerie Wars is a fast-paced, multilayered adventure starring Henry, his friends Pyrgus and Holly Blue, and a giant cast of demons, necromancers and faeries.

Holly’s Secret
Author: Nancy Garden
When Holly’s family moves to a new town, she changes her name and lies about her parents (two moms), hoping that she’ll fit in. She learns that her true friends will stand by her and that love is the most important thing.

Skull of Truth

Author: Bruce Coville
Charlie Eggleston stumbles into Mr. Elive’s mysterious magic shop and finds a wisecracking skull that compels him to tell the truth…the skull also compels Charlie’s favorite uncle to come out to his family.

Teens (12 & up)

Am I Blue?
Edited by Marion Dane Baurer
An anthology of stories by well-known children’s authors, each portraying the subject and theme of growing up gay or lesbian, or with gay or lesbian parents or friends. Two of the stories feature LGBT parents in some way.

Annie on My Mind
Author: Garden, N.
Aware that their feelings for each other are not safe to express in the open, Liza and Annie find themselves in a unique situation of cat minding for two of Liza’s teachers, where they can be alone. What starts out as a private joyful time, forces both girls to deal with public humiliation, betrayal, lying, coming out to family and friends, and homophobia.

Bad Boy
Author: Wieler, D.
AJ thinks that all he wants in his life is to make the Triple A hockey team, with his best friend Tully. But when he learns that Tully is gay, he can’t keep hisfear and aggression from coming out onto the ice. He has to learn about friendship and to rebuild his trust in Tully. Governor General’s Literary Award.

Blue Coyote
Author: Ketchum, L.
Alex searches for his best friend who suddenly “disappears” in a veil of secrecy from their hometown. It’s a suspenseful, emotional story of two teenage boys coming to terms with their sexuality and learning about the true value of friendship.

The Blue Lawn
Author: Taylor, W.
David and Theo are mates on a rugby team in small-town New Zealand, slowly coming to understand their mutual attraction and hostility to each other. Their different lives, families and personalities are obstacles to their friendship, but a wise relative helps them both to mature.

Deliver Us from Evil
Author: Kerr, M. E.
Families in a small, conservative farming community deal with coming to terms with the lesbian relationship between two young women in their community.

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
When Melanin Sun’s mother tells him she is in love with a women, he has a decision to make; he will also learn the meaning of sacrifice, prejudice, and love.

Geography Club
Author: Hartinger, B.
This is a fast paced, funny tale about teens who don’t learn anything about Geography but discover plenty about the treacherous social terrain of high school. Their Geography club eventually becomes a Gay Straight Alliance club at their school

Good Moon Rising
Author: Garden, N.
While working on a school play, Jan and Kerry find their feelings for each other evolving beyond friendship, and are soon faced with the revenge tactics of a jealous actor, who threatens to expose them.

Gravel Queen
Author: Benduhn, T.
Life gets complicated when Aurin and Neila start getting very close. Aurin has to maintain her existing friendships, despite her excitement about the uncertain future. This novel shows the celebratory, fun parts of teen life, and offers a positive outcome.

Happy Endings Are All Alike
Author: Scoppettone, S.
A love story of two young women graduating from a small town high school. Many stereotypic ideas about lesbian relationships are presented, and then sensitively dispelled.

Love Rules
Author: Reynolds, M.
This story tells of a young woman’s struggle with her sexual identity and how this affects her, her friends and her family.

Lucky
Author: De Oliveira, E.
Sam is attracted to both boys and girls. He meets Toby, who has the same likes and attractions. Love comes in many shapes and sizes, sometimes all at once. The author shows there’s more to life than labels, and more to love than a simple definition.

Lucky In The Corner
Author: Anshaw, C.
A lesbian mother newly out of the closet and her uncomprehending, difficult teenage daughter are the protagonists in this novel about family life and growing up.

Luna
Author: Julie Anne Peters
A young adult novel that features a transgender teen as the main character. Regan’s brother, Liam, can’t stand the person he is during the day, so in the secrecy of his bedroom he transforms himself into Luna, the beautiful girl he longs to be.

Name Me Nobody
Author: Yamanaka, L.
Emi-Lou, is 13 and overweight . She lives in small-town Hawaii, far from her mother, trying desperately to grow up and to fit in with the popular girls. The only people who make her feel like somebody are her plain-speaking grandmother and her best friend, Von.

Necessary Noise
Edited by Michael Cart
This collection of stories includes pieces about all kinds of families, some about LGBT-headed families.

Night Kites
Author: Kerr, M. E.
This story centres on Erick, aged 17, who learns about prejudice and family bonds when his older brother, gay and living with AIDS, moves back home. The novel also portrays Erick’s own discoveries of love and relationships.

Not the Only One
Author: Grima, T. (ed)
21 stories capture many of the fears, joys, confusion and energy of teens coming face-to-face with lesbian / gay issues, in their own coming out, or in learning that a friend or family member is LGBT.

Out of the Shadows
Author: Hines, S.
Rowanna thinks her family is freakishly unique, and Jodie is afraid of her own feelings. They spend a long time not speaking about what really matters to them. They end up getting closer to each other, going through an array of feelings.

Rainbow Boys Rainbow High
Author: Sanchez, A.
Both books are easy to read, thought-provoking, and informative. They feature 3 very different young gay men, as they deal with sex, love, virginity, body image, homophobia, bashings, activism, parental / peer reactions, and internet predators

Singing the Dogstar Blues
Author: Alison Goodman
Ages 13 & up
The two main characters in this mix of humor, science fiction, mystery and adventure are Joss, an Earth teen, and Mavkel, an alien teen. In this coming-of-age story, Joss reconnects with her mom’s ex-lover Louise, who was a pivotal figure while she was growing up.

Stitches
Author: Glen Huser
Travis knows he’s different from his junior high classmates, he loves to sew and play with puppets. He wants to become a professional puppeteer. These interests make Travis a ripe target for Shon and his friends, the school thugs. This story of the trials and tribulations of adolescence resonates with young adult readers.

Trying Hard to Hear You
Author: Scoppettone, S.
Members of a small theatre group learn that two of the boys are gay. There are strong feelings as a result of prejudice and racism in some members, but there is a gradual awareness / acceptance by most peers after a period of discussion and learning.

What Happened to Lani Garver?
Author: Plum-Ucci, C.
Lani is a new kid at school, and others are asking questions, mainly “Is Lani a boy or a girl?” Claire befriends Lani, but soon has to deal with shattered friendships and her own personal demons. The events that follow are tragic, and somewhat ambiguous, but the book does a wonderful job of introducing the concept of androgyny.

The Year They Burned the Books
Author: Garden, N
When Jamie writes an editorial for her high school paper in favour of condom distribution and an open discussion of homosexuality, she becomes embroiled in a community wide controversy.

Facts of Life

Are You a Boy or a Girl?
Author: Karleen Pendleton Jimenez
Ages 4-8
Kids spend a lot of time debating with each other over what makes a boy a boy and a girl a girl. Decorated with black-and-white photos of a girl, this tells her story in a simple, forthright manner.

Everything You NEVER Wanted Your Kids to Know about Sex
Authors: Justin Richardson, M.D. and Mark A. Schuster
This book is a guide that will help you through every stage of your child’s sexual development. There’s a chapter on gay/lesbian youth, and the authors also integrate same-gender parents in the examples throughout the book.

It’s NOT the Stork! A Book about Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends
Author: Robie H. Harris
Illustrations: Michael Emberley
Ages 4 and up
A book to help kids to have straightforward and accurate information about healthy sexuality. This book helps answer the endless and perfectly normal questions that preschool, kindergarten and early elementary school children ask about where they came from.

It’s Perfectly Normal
Author: Robie H. Harris
Illustrations: Michael Emberley
Ages 10 & up
Everything kids need to know about sex, including a positive section on homosexuality and facts about HIV/AIDS.

It’s So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies
Author: Robie H. Harris
Illustrations: Michael Emberley
Ages 5-9
A complete, inclusive and respectful book for kids about sex/reproduction. The cartoons and a humorous style may help shy or embarrassed kids get the picture.

What Does Gay Mean? How to Talk to Kids About Sexual Orientation and Prejudice
L. Pontar, National Mental Health Association, 2002
The booklet provides tips for talking to kids about sexual orientation and homophobia.

Adults with LGBTQ Parents

Dress Codes
Author: Noelle Howey
For Teens and Adults
An extraordinary family memoir of three journeys into womanhood as experienced by a transgendered father, a tomboy mother, and their daughter.

Families Like Mine
Author: Abigail Garner
Written from the perspective of adult children raised in GLBT families. Garner is the creator of FamiliesLikeMine.com, a website for LGBT families seeking guidance and resources.

How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent
Author: Judith E. Snow, MA
Children of gay/lesbian parents ranging in age from 7 to 31 talk candidly about how and when they learned of their parent’s sexual orientation, echoing themes of prejudice, conflict, adaptation, and adjustment

Love Makes a Family
Authors: Gigi Kaeser & Peggy Gillespie
The companion book to the ground-breaking photo exhibit, this is a beautiful, coffee table book on LGBT families.

Out of the Ordinary
Edited by Noelle Howey & Ellen Samuels
The editors have collected 21 stories written by grown children (themselves a mixture of gay, straight and bisexual) who were raised by GLBT parents. As they speak to an adult audience, they will also be valuable for teens with GLBT parents who are looking for connections and understanding. The intention of the editors was to present a diversity of experience. There are some common themes of confusion, anger, divorce, dealing with the reaction of friends, questioning their own sexuality, and a mix of gay and lesbian narratives; the experience of having a transgender parent is well represented.

Sons Talk About Their Gay Fathers
Author: Andrew Gottlieb
Gottleib looks at how sons react to learning that their fathers are gay, allowing us to see, over time, how this has changed family relationships and people’s lives. This psychoanalytically oriented qualitative research study is accessible to both the beginner and the more advanced researcher and practitioner.

Side by Side: On Having a Gay or Lesbian Sibling

Edited by Andrew R. Gottlieb, PhD
In their own words, 18 men and women share their thoughts and feelings about their gay brothers and sisters. What they have to say is revealing—about themselves, about the nature of sibling relationships, and about their role as peacemakers. Gay men and lesbian women often disclose their sexuality to their siblings before anyone else in their families. Side by Side examines the impact of a brother or sister coming out and of the way that a gay person’s siblings are sometimes placed in the position of being a social/moral bridge between the generations.

LGBTQ Parenting

Adopting on Your Own
Lee Varon
Written by a social worker with two adopted children, for people considering adoption, the book give facts and information, along with worksheets and checklists that may help readers to make the decision to adopt (or not), to mentally prepare for the process and to begin to open up their lives to a child. She addresses issues such as age, money, types of adoption, and resources. Throughout the book, she uses examples of gay and lesbian singles preparing to adopt, and lists gay and lesbian organizations in her resource sections.

Complete Lesbian and Gay Parenting Guide

Arlene Istar Lev
Arlene Lev has written a handbook on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parenting that moves beyond the right to parent to the examination of the day-to-day realities of life with children. Lev, a family therapist working with alternative families, describes the emerging diversity of LGBT families, options for becoming parents, single parenting, coming-out, and infertility, as well as humorously addressing issues such as coping with colic and finding time for adult intimacy.

Essential Guide to Lesbian Conception, Pregnancy & Birth

Kim Toevs and Stephanie Brill
Toevs and Brill, the author of the Queer Parent’s Primer, cover all of the basics in this guide. They provide charts and illustrations, checklists, fertility information, and personal exercises geared specifically toward lesbian, bisexual, and single mothers.

Family of Adoption
Joyce Maguire Pavao
Written by a founder and director of an adoption organization, this book demonstrates that there are predictable and understandable stages and challenges for adopted people.

Fatherhood for Gay Men: An Emotional and Practical Guide to Becoming a Gay Dad
By Kevin McGarry
Author Kevin McGarry recounts his passage into parenthood after years of having his natural fathering instincts stifled by the limits—real and perceived—of being gay. This book details the emotional, financial, practical, and social realities of the adoption process for gay men. The book also includes results of the 2000 study by Gillian Dunne, senior researcher for the London School of Economics Gender Institute, of 100 gay fathers and fathers-to-be.

Gay Parenting
Shana Priwer and Cynthia Phillips
Parenting is never easy. Gay and lesbian couples face unique questions and concerns such as bullying and homophobia, adoption and fostering, and equity rights under the law.

Gay Parents/Straight Schools
Virginia Casper and Stephen B. Schultz
This book openly addresses the specific educational realities and needs of lesbian-and gay-headed families. Based on research that includes perspectives from all involved, this book looks at such issues as communication between parents and school staff, homophobia at home and school, gender roles, curriculum planning, and more.

Lesbian and Gay Parenting Handbook
April Martin, PH.D.
Even though this groundbreaking, comprehensive primer on LGBT parenting is from 1993, it’s still a good resource for the “big picture,” including a discussion of all the options to begin your family as well as good chapters on how to make it all work: Raising Our Children (Where did I come from? What do they call us? Will they be gay or straight?); Family Life (Change and stress, Family triangles, Having a second child); Breaking Up and Out in the World (Going public, Neighbors and Communities, Medical Settings).

Lesbian and Gay Voices: An Annotated Bibliography and Guide
Frances Ann Day
A reference tool for parents, teachers and librarians, this annotated bibliography features book reviews, author profiles and guidelines for evaluating books in this genre.

Lesbian Stepfamilies
Janet M. Wright
This book, specifically on the subject of lesbians bringing their families together and making one healthy stepfamily, takes a look at five families, their challenges, accomplishments, and experiences.

Mothers and Babies DVD: Lesbians Creating Families
Ami and Craig Burns have created a video that profiles 6 couples on their individual paths to pregnancy and childbirth. They sought to validate lesbian families and illuminate their unique struggles and family dynamics.
Running Time: 54:00 minutes

The Queer Parents Primer
Stephanie Brill
A book that looks at parenting skills, the author discusses language we use in families; coming out as a family and relating to others in your family; navigating the childcare and school systems; developing your family’s spirituality, etc.

Welcome to Our Family: A Baby Journal for LGBT Parents
Sally Lindsay
Illustrations: Laura Shepard
Time and again, we’ve heard from LGBT parents that they’d really like to see us publish a baby record book. Now, in partnership with the Family Pride Coalition, we are proud to present a beautifully illustrated baby journal that allows LGBT families to keep track of every important milestone of their child’s first year.

Memoirs & Personal Stories

Alone in the Trenches
Author: Esera Tuaolo
This is Esera Tuaolo’s own story of his nine years playing in the NFL, all the while living in terror that someone would expose his deepest secret: he is gay. He writes candidly about the inner world of the NFL, meeting his life partner Mitchell and finding strength in his Christian faith.

Assault of Laughter
Author: Melissa Hart
When Melissa’s parents divorced, her abusive father was granted custody because Melissa’s lesbian mother was declared unfit. Melissa’s journey to define “home” and “family” begins, and readers question the current day rhetoric about “unfit” gay families.

Buying Dad
Author: Harlyn Aizley
Two Jewish girls want to start a family and decide that they can buy sperm online from California. Buying Dad is a humourous, edgy, first-person chronicle of a woman engaged in an alternative family-planning experience.

The Confession
Author: James McGreevey
In August 2004, New Jersey Governor McGreevey announced to the world that he was a gay man and a gay dad to his two daughters! This memoir sheds light on both his public and private life.

Confessions of the Other Mother: Nonbiological Lesbian Moms
Edited by Harlyn Aizley
A collection of personal stories – sometimes humorous, sometimes painful, but at all times celebratory – by eighteen women who are transforming our view of two-parent families.

Gay Couple’s Journey Through Surrogacy: Intended Fathers
Author: Michael Menichiello
This memoir details one couple’s hopeful quest for a child, providing a look into the available choices and problems they faced. The author traces his and his partner’s challenges from their initial decision to find a surrogate on through the trials and tribulations of the entire pregnancy and birth.

Gay Dads
Author: David Strah
Gay Dads is a panoramic look at the first decades of an entirely new kind of family. Neither a personal memoir nor a clinical study, it is instead the spiritual survey of a trend, encompassing not just the hard data but the yearnings, the impediments, the strategies, the joys, the costs, and the benefits of becoming a parent.

The Kid: An Adoption Story
Author: Dan Savage
Sex columnist Dan Savage tells the often humorous story about how he and his boyfriend Terry adopted a son, illustrating some of the adoption process.

Out of the Ordinary: Essays on Growing Up With Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Parents
Authors: Noelle Howey (Ed.), Ellen Samuels (Ed.), Margarethe Cammermeyer, Dan Savage
20 essays from children of homosexual or gender-altering parents. While hearing “faggot” yelled at you in a high school corridor would upset almost anyone, here is evidence that hearing “Your father’s a faggot” isn’t nearly as bad, and that you might find yourself levelheadedly retorting, “No, my father’s a transgendered lesbian.”

LGBTQ Family Theory

Apartheid of Sex: A Manifesto on the Freedom of Gender
Author: Martine Rothblatt
This book makes a case for the adoption of a new sexual model that accommodates every shade of gender identity. She discusses legal and scientific aspects of sex and sex roles, compares sexual segregation and gay, straight, and transgender equality to racial apartheid and the civil rights movement, and proposes a chromatic scale of shades of gender difference.

Baby Steps: How Lesbian Alternative Insemination is Changing Gay & Lesbian Parenting
Authors: Glazer & Drescher
Rather then a how-to book, the editors present a collection: essays, book excerpts, a group of poems and more.

The Bisexual Option
Author: Fritz Klein, MD
Explores bisexuality, explains the bisexual, and looks at myths surrounding this invisible segment of the population. Explains the concept and the variables of sexual orientation and where bisexuality fits.

Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, and Visions
Edited by Naomi Tucker
This anthology presents a vivid collection of essays that explore the history, strategies, philosophy, and diversity of bisexual politics and theory. It is a primer for anyone interested in bisexual activism and theory.

Bisexual Women: Friendship and Social Organization
Edited by M. Paz Galupo, PhD
Prevailing attitudes toward bisexuality affect every aspect of a bisexual woman’s emotional and sexual life. Explores the friendship relationships of bisexual women, and the ways that bisexuality shapes the friendship experience. Discussing the latest qualitative and quantitative studies on this rarely. Explains how the friendships of bisexual and bi-curious women can be affected by sexism, heterosexism, biphobia, and racism, as well as providing al review of how bisexual women are portrayed in film and literature.

Bisexuality and Transgenderism: InterSEXions of the Others
Edited by Jonathan Alexander, PhD and Karen Yescavage, PhD
Explore the common ground and the important differences between bisexuality and transgenderism! Presents ideas and insights from a variety of contributors who are committed to understanding gender and sexuality. Includes scholarly essays, narratives, poetry, and an interview with four male-to-female transsexuals, two of whom are married to women who also participate in the discussion.

Coming Out of the Classroom Closet: Gay and Lesbian Students, Teachers, and Curricula
Edited by Karen M. Harbeck, PhD
This book empowers educators to become visible, positive influences and role models for gay and lesbian students in their classrooms and schools. As most homosexual educators, and even students, remain invisible due to possible hostilities of “coming out,” this book presents recent research to help gay and lesbian teachers break their silence. It encourages them to speak out on issues of homosexuality where curricula, civil rights, personal freedoms, and social entitlements are concerned. It promotes the development of school-based intervention for gay, lesbian, and bisexual students.

Dangerous Families: Queer Writing on Surviving
Author: Mary L. Gray, ed.
Ages 13 & up
A collection of essays derived from discussions about gender and sexuality with gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. Fifteen teens, ages 14–18, discuss their lives, personal backgrounds, and visions for the future to give researchers, parents, and educators insight into the difficulties of being a sexual minority.

Genderqueer: Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary
Authors: Joan Nestle (Ed.), Riki Wilchins (Ed.), Clare Howell (Ed.)
The questions of gender go beyond the nature of male/female to a yet-to-be-traversed region that lies somewhere between and beyond biologically determined gender. In this anthology, three experts in gender studies and politics navigate around rigid, socially imposed concepts of two genders to discover and illuminate the limitless possibilities of identity. Thirty first-person accounts of gender construction, exploration, and questioning,provide a ground-work for cultural discussion, political action, and even greater possibilities of autonomous gender choices. The authors provide a societal, cultural, and political exploration of gender identity.

Handbook of LGBT Issues in Community Mental Health
Edited by Ronald E. Hellman, MD, Jack Drescher, MD
Provides information on clinical issues, administrative practices, and health concerns related to the provision of public sector mental health services to LGBT people. The handbook presents clinical case material and describes various current clinical programs, with details about how they were developed and fostered, as well as their unique role in the provision of mental health services to this population. Contributors share their experiences developing two of the largest public LGBT programs in the United States and offer practical strategies for developing LGBT mental health programming in any community.

How Homophobia Hurts Children: Nurturing Diversity at Home, at School, and in the Community
Author: Jean M. Baker, PhD
This book illustrates the ways that children growing up to be gay are harmed by homophobia before anyone, including themselves, even knows they are gay. Describes many simple ways that these children can be helped to understand that they can grow up to lead normal lives, with hopes and dreams for their futures. Children describe their experiences to show how they came to the frightening recognition that they are part of a group held in disregard by the rest of society, even sometimes by their own families

Journal of GLBT Family Studies
Editor: Jerry Bigner, PhD
Peer reviewed journal examining parent-child relationships, child development, sibling relationships, family structure, intimate relationships, stepfamilies, alternative family structures, and extended family relationships. Features interdisciplinary studies and scholarly essays on topics related to GLBT family life and functioning as well as relationships with other families.

Living Difference: Lesbian Perspectives on Work and Family Life
Edited by Gillian A. Dunne, PhD
This book examines the roles of lesbians in the home, in the workplace, and as parents. Discussing the advantages of female same-sex relationships, this book suggests that these partnerships are able to facilitate more egalitarian ideals for women than heterosexual relationships; brings together current theoretical and empirical research on lesbian experiences of work and family life and explores the myths and realities of these women. Focusing on the impact gender and sexuality have on societal roles, Living “Difference” seeks to change the practice of treating lesbianism as the ‘other’ facet of feminism and looks to the positive differences of lesbian families.

My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely
Author: Kate Bornstein
The author has assembled a collage of simple exercises, quizzes, puzzles, and essay questions that systematically break down our ingrained ideas about how women and men–and whoever is in between–should act.

Our Families, Our Values: Snapshots of Queer Kinship
Edited by Robert Goss, ThD and Amy Adams Squire Strongheart
Challenges both the gay community and American society to examine carefully the meaning of family values and the nature of social institutions such as marriage and the family. A multifaceted view of the gay community’s response to the public controversy over gay marriage, adoption, and foster care rights.

Queer Families, Common Agendas: Gays and Lesbians and Family Values
Edited by T. Richard Sullivan
This book examines the real life experience of those affected by current laws and policies regarding homosexual families; compares the progress of policy in the U.S. and Canada for gay and lesbian parents and their children; explores relevant legal approaches in the two countries. A range of strategies for advancing the rights of sexual minority parents are considered for legal feasibility and political viability. A primer to assist in understanding the legal struggles that lesbian and gay families are facing today.

Queer Family Theory: Gay & Lesbian Parenting
Authors: Glazer & Drescher
An academic compilation of thought-provoking essays, book excerpts, a group of poems and more.

Queer Family Values: Debunking the Myth of the Nuclear Family
Author: Valerie Lehr
A survey of conservative arguments against lesbian and gay rights, Lehr offers a counter-analysis and critiques the response of the mainstream gay rights movement to conservative views.

Raising Boys Without Men
Author: Peggy Drexler, PH.D., with Linden Gross
Dr. Drexler completed a groundbreaking study that compared boys from female-headed households with boys from traditional mom-and-dad families, and from that data has written this book, which is an examination of these boys and their mothers.

Read My Lips: Sexual Subversion and the End of Gender
Author: Riki Wilchins
Over the course of the past decade transgender politics have become the cutting edge of sexual liberation. While the sexual and political freedom of homosexuals has yet to be fully secured, questions of who is sleeping with whom pale in the face of the battle by transgender activists to dismantle the idea of what it means to be a man or a woman. This book looks at how society not only creates men and women but also explains how those categories generate crisis for most individuals.

Relationship Therapy with Same-Sex Couples
Edited by Jerry Bigner, PHD, and Joseph Wetchler, PHD
An overview of treatment issues therapist will need to consider when working with couples from the GLBT community.

Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture
Author: Walter L. Williams
Williams, an ethno historian at the University of Southern California, presents a study of American Indian acceptance of sexual diversity. Drawing on interviews with Native Americans, anthropologists and historians, Williams documents how tribal cultures revered the “berdache” any man who “does not fill a society’s standard man’s role, who has a non masculine character.” Many American Indian communities believed that some members belonged to an “alternative gender” neither male nor female, their identities determined by spiritual inclination, not sex. Berdaches were treated as sacred and held ceremonial roles as psychic healers, “medicine men” and prophets. Williams also illustrates how European settlers in North and South America sought to repress the berdache tradition and how it went underground, reemerging after the rebirth of Native American culture and the rise of gay liberation. A brief treatment of female counterparts of berdaches

Trans Forming Families: Real Stories About Transgendered Loved Ones
Authors: Mary Boenke (Ed.), Jessica Xavier
This is a family oriented book published especially for families, friends, and others interested in understanding and learning about transgendered persons. The first edition sold out; this is the expanded second edition, published in 2003. It deals with all ages and types of transgender – FTM, MTF, Intersex, crossdressing, and androgeny. It is an ideal first book for families who want to understand.

Transgender Emergence: Therapeutic Guidelines for Working with Gender-Variant People and Their Families
Author: Arlene Istar Lev
A clinical and theoretical overview of the issues facing transgendered and transsexual people and their families.

The Uninvited Dilemma: A Question of Gender
Author: Kim Elizabeth Stuart
This writing represents two years of research involving personal interviews with seventy-five transsexuals, consultations with members of the medical and mental health communities, and conversations with loved ones of transsexuals. It explores gender, the human condition and the fundamental aspect of our humanity.

New Research


Let People Be Who They Are
Authors: Josh Goodbaum, Jeremie Huot, Deegan Patterson
The Around the Rainbow program of Family Services Ottawa partnered with Carleton MSW students, Josh Goodbaum, Jeremie Huot, Deegan Patterson to conduct research into the area of gender and youth.  The qualitative research studyincludes information about the concept of gender development, provides a summary of common issues and an overview of practices for working with gender independent youth and their parents.  The paper ends with a with an exploration of counselling and community services available in the Ottawa area for gender independent children and their families.

Family Services Ottawa
312 avenue Parkdale Ave.
Ottawa ON K1Y 4X5
T. 613-725-3601