15 Books to Help You Better Understand and Support Your LGBTQIA+ Kid

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As an LGBTQIA+ advocate and educator who works with students of all ages and a parent to a transgender child, I see kids coming out as an identity under the LGBTQIA+ rainbow at earlier ages than my queer friends and I did. It's not that kids haven't always known they loved differently than their heterosexual peers, or that kids didn't know their gender wasn't quite right, progress is just slow — my friends and I often had to wait until we were out of our parents' house to admit we were gay or transgender.

According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of millennials who support same-sex marriage has climbed from 44 percent in 2004 to 74 percent in 2019, but just because Gen X and millennial parents may be more queer-friendly doesn't mean they understand the inner workings of being queer — and that's OK. The most important piece is in the bag: you love your child unconditionally, you just have some stuff to learn. These 15 books will help you get to know more about topics and stories that matter to people who identify as LGBTQIA+. After reading, I hope you'll be better equipped to understand and support your LGBTQIA+ child.

01

This Is a Book For Parents of Gay Kids by Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo

Have a question about your gay child? Not sure what to say or how to support them? This Is A Book For Parents of Gay Kids by Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo is a Q&A guide that takes readers though many scenarios that address very common and understandably confusing topics like coming out and the sexuality spectrum so parents can have more meaningful relationships with their gay child.

02

The Gender Creative Child by Diane Ehrensaft, PhD

There is no right way to be a boy or a girl. Nor is gender a binary choice between male and female. Diane Ehrensaft's researched book, The Gender Creative Child, explains the fluidity of gender and why it's important to follow a child's lead as they discover their true self.

03

The ABC's of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell

The ABC's of LGBT+ by popular blogger and YouTube star, Ash Mardell, shares the essential lessons of respect, compassion, and patience all humans (especially parents of LGBTQIA+ kids) need to understand when it comes to gender, sexuality, and gender expression. This part memoir, part scientific look at LGBT+ topics will give any parent the education they need to help their queer kid.

04

Raising the Transgender Child by Michelle Angello and Ali Bowman

Having a transgender child can be scary and feelings can range between anger to sadness, too. Raising the Transgender Child is an expert-packed, nonfiction book by Michelle Angello and Ali Bowman and addresses all of the big emotions parents may have while helping them find the language to talk to teachers, caregivers, and family members about their child's identity change.

05

Unconditional: A Guide to Loving and Supporting Your LGBTQ Child by Telaina Eriksen

Telaina Eriksen uses her personal experiences as the mother of a gay daughter to explain how to react to your child coming out and how to build a support system within the family. Unconditional: A Guide to Loving and Supporting Your LGBTQ Child also digs into how to confront bullying while being an advocate for your child.

06

The Transgender Teen by Stephanie Brill and Lisa Kenney

The word nonbinary is brand new for many people, and the use of they/them pronouns may feel impossible. But parents of nonbinary and gender expansive kids need to have a solid understanding of gender and their child's gender identity if they are going to create an affirming and safe home for them. The Transgender Teen by Stephanie Brill and Lisa Kenney helps take the pressure off of your child to explain themselves to you, and gives parents a chance to dig in to a new and wonderful world of gender.

07

My Parenting Journey With an LGBTQ+ Child by Cheryl B. Evans

My Parenting Journey With an LGBTQ+ Child by Cheryl B. Evans is an interactive journal that prompts you to be honest and vulnerable about parenting an LGBTQIA+ child. The book has over 100 prompts, activities, inspirational quotes, and trivia. It is a safe place to process your fears while finding peace and strength.

08

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin is a personal account of six transgender and nonbinary teenagers who you learn about through their stories, interviews, and photographs. You'll also see their transition through photos, as well as heartbreaking and heartwarming stories. It's a look into understanding that becoming our true and happiest self is easier with support.

09

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown

The young adult fiction book Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown is a charming look at teenage love between two girls in the South. Being out and proud is hard when you live in a conservative town. Even if you think you can change, slow down, or quiet your child's sexuality, this book is a reminder that the heart wants what it wants and support is your best bet.

10

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Falling in love as a teenager is hard enough. If you are a parent of a gay kid, you need to know falling in love when you are gay is really hard, especially if you're still in the closet. The hit movie Love, Simon was based on this sweet and moving young adult fiction book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli about love, friendship, and coming out.

11

George by Alex Gino

George by Alex Gino is written2 for middle schoolers, but this work of fiction beautifully gets into the experiences of a closeted transgender girl named George. George knows she is a girl, but is terrified to come out to her best friend (who is a girl) and her mom and brother. There is a happy ending to this story, but the agony to get there will open a parent's eyes in real ways to the struggles transgender people go through.

12

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Laurie Frankel's adult fiction book, This Is How It Always Is, is a beautiful look into parenting a transgender child. Parents will find solace in reading about the love, the fear, the secret, and then the raw truth of raising a kid who is not who you thought they were. It can bring a family together or tear it apart. This award-winning book was one of POPSUGAR's Favorites of 2017.

13

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings

Jazz knew from a very young age that she was a girl; she has been in the public spotlight since she was in elementary school and has been one of the transgender community's best advocates. Her memoir, Being Jazz, gives a personal take on being true to yourself even when society thinks you are wrong. She is also very open when talking about gender affirming surgery and mental health struggles. Parents need to understand the emotional toll that transgender people experience because of dysphoria and other people's ignorance.

14

Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt

Nicole Maines is a transgender woman, identical twin, actress, and activist, so her biography, Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt incorporates moments of science, storytelling, and politics. Follow her family's journey from court case to court case while fighting for the right to use the bathroom at school. You will also witness the fight of a father to finally reach acceptance of his daughter. Parents will get a better understanding of what transgender means, as well as find comfort in following a parent's journey from learning their child is transgender to finding acceptance.

15

Some Assembly Required by Arin Andrews

Arin's memoir, Some Assembly Required, takes you through what life was like living as girl, how unnecessarily painful the coming out process was at home and school, and what first love was like as a transgender teen. Arin's unflinching account of love and sex will help parents navigate what might be going on with their own transgender teen's dating experience.

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