Reading and Parenting with Pride

When those in power seek to maintain the status quo, they target access to information.

I read with dismay and anger about Republican leaders seeking to ban books that discuss diversity, specifically 2SLGBTQ+ people, and to ban school curricula that discuss critical race theory.

Reading is one of T and our favourite activities.

In addition to being enjoyable, it helps him build his knowledge and literacy and to open his mind to the world.

Todd Parr’s “Family Book” was one of the earliest picture books we read with T that talks about families in all their forms.

“And Tango Makes Three” is another book in T’s collection that tells the real life story of two male penguins that raised a baby.

“And Tango…” was once banned for its “homosexual overtones” and was the most challenged book in US schools and libraries in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Conservative politicians are targeting and banning books that talk about gay, lesbian and trans people under the guise of protecting children from inappropriate sexual content and from being groomed for inappropriate lifestyles.

I encourage anyone to read these books and give a rational and common sense reason as to how they are inappropriate.

It must be these deviant penguins! 🙄

As someone who grew up with stories, movies and media imagery about heteronormative life, I turned out very gay. How odd is that?!

I think most politicians know these books are harmless but they use their message to grow and embolden their base.

For decades, LGBTQ people have been labeled as mentally ill, predators, sinners – and in 2022, homophobia and transphobia are packaged as “concern for children.”

Do you know what hurts and even kills children?

It’s not books nor drag queens reading to kids.

Guns kill kids. Yet no Republican is risking their re-election by lobbying for gun control.

In what mad world is a rainbow more dangerous than a gun?

It’s also interesting to watch conservatives get flustered about critical race theory.

Jerry Craft’s graphic novel, “New Kid”, is a recent example of an award-winning book targeted and banned for exploring issues around race.

It tells the story of a 12-year-old boy, who experiences culture shock when he enrolls at an affluent private school.

Access to knowledge and critical thinking are dangerous to those that do not want the status quo to change – a status quo that benefits their narrow-minded exclusionary beliefs.

When information can’t be controlled, there is an effort to discredit it as “fake news.”

There is an effort to create an “other” to unite followers against, because it’s easier to create a distraction than to do actual good.

Fundamentalists can champion their efforts under the guise of protecting children from imaginary predators, they can deny or try to rewrite a history of racism – but hate is hate.

Love always finds a way in the end.

We can and we must do better.

In our home, that means sharing books and messages that affirm and uplift others and to help spread positive messages.

It means being open to learning and re-learning.

The parent of one of T’s peers at daycare recently shared with the hubby and I that they are a trans man.

It was a good re-learning moment for me as I had wrongly assumed their gender.

We excitedly chatted on the park bench about summer plans, as our kids played together in the playground.

21 thoughts on “Reading and Parenting with Pride

  1. It’s such a shame to hear that books about diversity are being banned in school. Or that we’re actually still banning books in school. This doesn’t seem like progress to me. And you’re right, this doesn’t seem like the best use of time or resources considering there are bigger more dangerous issues, like guns. P.S. I loved that video about drag queens reading to kids in libraries, but it was sad to hear about some of the protests. I just don’t get how people can have so much hate in their hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely LOVE “The Family Book”!!! THIS is what we need our schools to be teaching! Not everyone is white, straight, Christian, male, or whatever! Yet we are all part of the human species, with no one classification being ‘better’ than another! I did already know of “And Tango Makes Three”, as I used to read that to my own granddaughter. Are you familiar with Sphen and Magic, the gay penguins in Sydney, Australia? https://jilldennison.com/2018/10/27/saturday-surprise-sphen-magic/ I love their story, and there is another, but I cannot think of their names offhand (it IS 3:00 a.m., after all). I am going to check out that book, “New Kid”, for I love the premise. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Two lines in your post caught my eye: “Love always finds a way in the end.” and “We can and we must do better.” Given the events of the past month or so, my psyche is drained and my hope for this nation is fading, but I do take some hope from your words, from your ‘can do’ attitude, and I’ll keep on fighting the good fight, at least for now. Thank you for all that you are doing to make this world a little bit better place for us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jill. I think the key is creating space for all perspectives and voices, for sure.

      I have not heard of Sphen and Magic, and I will take a look now. Thanks for sharing.

      It is exhausting for sure to read the headlines and it is understandable to feel despair and disappointment. But there is always a reason to remain hopeful. Happy Pride and take care. 🙏🌈

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly!!! I’m always puzzled by those who think that a certain skin colour, or adherence to a specific religon, makes a person somehow ‘better’ than others. We all belong here, we all add value to this world (except those who prefer to destroy rather than build). I used to envision a world where people finally realized that and learned to ‘live and let live’, to all get along and work together to build a better world. Over the past decade, I’ve shed my rose-coloured glasses and come to realize that it will never happen. But still, we keep trying, yes? I think you’ll enjoy Sphen & Magic!

        Happy Pride … I’m glad to call you friend. 💖🌈

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this, Ab! This sentence cracked me up and really hit home, “In what mad world is a rainbow more dangerous than a gun?” Indeed this seems like such a mad world and we do have to do better. I’m with you, Ab, love will find a way in the end and it’s posts like this that remind us to keep pushing through with love. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Wynne. It’s almost comical isn’t it if it weren’t also very sad.

      I’m glad you have a pragmatic view of this issue. I think there’s a segment of the population – whether left or right wing – that views spirituality/religion and LGBTQ as mutually exclusive. But I believe there are many more things in common, such as love, that unites us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that you are right about a portion of the population that thinks spirituality/religion as LGBTQ as mutually exclusive. Because they are tied to the laws of the church as they see them so it extends way beyond that – to abortion, gun control, LGBTQ, all the issues that they don’t think about beyond the structure of the group and their history. Perhaps that’s unfair or too simplistic but as Father Rohr who’s a Franciscan priest pointed out – everyone who has had a GENUINE spiritual experience knows that God is love. The rest could just be falling back on certainty in the form it has been given them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You said it best, Wynne. This is something I had to consciously unlearn and relearn in adulthood as well. Those who want us divided will sow these seeds of division, but thankfully and hopefully many of us learn that the world is so much more complex and nuanced and that’s what makes it wonderful and worthwhile.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, what a post! I went from sadness, disbelief, and anger, all the way to being hopeful. The comment “they have their rights” embodies modern-day discrimination by the righteous, hypocritical, narrow-minded, and ignorant mob, while the children dancing freely and admiring the mermaid were the embodiment of hope. There will be so much less struggle to fit in if more kids were exposed to those “deviants”. And don’t even get me started about banning books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It really does stir up quite the range of emotions doesn’t it?

      Kids are born pure and innocent and sadly it is grown ups that teach kids to exclude, to judge and to discriminate.

      Knowledge and exposure to diversity broadens one’s mind and that’s why it’s very threatening to those who don’t want progressive change.

      Rant over. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing Ab. Although I’m aware of the challenges faced among the LGBTQ community, I wasn’t aware of the depth until hearing first hand lived experiences this past weekend while attending the Pride Festival for the first time- something I’ve always wanted to do. I learned so much & am thankful for the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Tammy, so glad to hear you experienced your first Pride. I can only imagine your experience and how overwhelming it may have been!

      Good for you keeping an open mind. As I said in another comment below yours, the LGBTQ community and religion are not mutually exclusive. There are so much more that unites us than differentiates and separates us – despite what fundamentals may want their followers to believe.

      Thank you and good for you for keeping an open mind and heart!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I couldn’t agree more. It’s never a good sign when a society tries to ban books. Freedoms is speech must be protected. Otherwise it’s a treacherous slope…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks AP and totally agree. Books and information are always the first to go when those in power want to control the narrative and history. I find that the right side of history will always win out in the end. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m reminded of Mark Twain’s quote. “A lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up its boots.” I believe that’s true but I don’t believe, ultimately, you cannot outrun the truth. It always catches up with you. It prevails. Thank you Ab 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

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