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Early Pride resources are more plentiful than you think. We've compiled a wide range of resources to inform and guide you on your Early Pride journey. Click on the dropdown menus below to enhance your knowledge and advance your professional development as an anti-bias educator.


You’re just a click away from a wealth of Early Pride resources.

Browse through the following links for everything from books, articles, websites, and videos to blogs, podcasts and professional development opportunities.

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Check out our Early Pride Matters glossary


Anti-Bias Practices in Early Childhood Classrooms

"Banned Books and Words: Impact on Inclusion," a statement from the Division for Early Childhood (April 2023)

"Redefining the Norm: Early Childhood Anti-Bias Strategies," Teaching for Change

"Teaching Young Children to Understand and Accept Differences," Lesley University

Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation

"Data on Anti-Trans Legislation up to 2023,"

"Don’t Say Gay Bill Takes Aim at LGBTQ+ Youth,"

"Mapping Attacks on LGBTQ Rights in U.S. State Legislatures,"

News on anti-trans legislation and other relevant stories,

Gender Diversity in Early Childhood

"Challenging Gender Stereotypes in the Early Childhood Classroom," The Edvocate

"Focus on Ethics: Gender Expression and Identity," Young Children, NAEYC (November 2019)

"Nate and the Pink Coat: Exploring Gender and Enacting Anti-Bias Principles," Young Children, NAEYC (March 2019)

"Practical Guidance for Teachers: Supporting the Families of Gender-Nonconforming Children," Young Children, NAEYC (November 2019)

How to Push Back Against Anti-LGBTQ+ Bias

"How to Debunk Anti-Gay Myths," Southern Poverty Law Center

"Myths and Facts: Battling Disinformation About Transgender Rights," Human Rights Campaign

"Supporting LGBT Students in the Don't Say Gay Era," ASCD Blog

"Why recent ‘grooming’ accusations are not based in fact," Politifact

LGBTQ+ Families

"Celebrating Pride Month and Inclusion for All Families," Zero to Three

"Creating a Welcoming Early Childhood Program for LGBT-Headed Families: Partnering with Parents Who Identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and/or Transgender," Office of Head Start—National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement

"Creating Inclusive Early Learning Environments for LGBTQ2+ Families," EceLINK, the peer-reviewed journal of the Ontario Association of Early Childhood Educators


"Celebrating Pride in Your Early Childhood Classroom," HiMama Early Childhood Education Blog (May 2022): This Pride-themed blog post offers ideas for creating a more welcoming classroom

GLSEN Blog: Visit this blog for articles, descriptions of inclusive practices in action, and stories by students and LGBTQ+ community members. This blog focuses on K–12 education, but many of its resources are useful for early childhood educators as well.

Pride and Less Prejudice Blog: Visit this blog for posts about LGBTQ+ inclusion in education and other settings.

Books for Children

Color, letter and number books about Pride

1 Smile, 10 Toes: A Mix-and-Match Book by Nelleke Verhoeff: Young readers can match heads to a variety of tails and legs to compose a diverse assortment of characters. Each split page in this sturdy board book offers new opportunities for children to count and learn the words for different body parts as they create their own casts of diverse characters.

ABC: A Family Alphabet Book by Bobbie Combs: Children will have fun pointing out the kids, moms, dads, and pets in this inclusive alphabet book that celebrates LGBTQ+ families while teaching early learners their ABCs.

ABC Pride by Dr. Elly Barnes and Louie Stowell: A vibrant and inclusive first ABC book that introduces readers ages 3+ to the alphabet through the colorful world of Pride.

ABCs of Kindness by Samantha Berger: With its diverse cast of characters, this hardcover storybook encourages children ages 2 to 5 to engage in everyday acts of kindness, inclusion and generosity. By offering examples that range from donating blankets to an animal shelter and helping out with chores to standing up for what's right, ABCs of Kindness helps promote strong social and emotional skills while inspiring children to be their best selves.

ABCs of Kindness by Patricia Hegarty: Learning about the importance of kindness is as easy as A-B-C with this sweet board book that fosters social-emotional development with kid-friendly rhymes and irresistible illustrations.

An ABC of Families by Abbey Williams: Whether you have two dads, an adopted brother, three stepsisters, or divorced parents, every family is the perfect family. This durable board book helps the youngest children explore complicated concepts in an accessible, fun and memorable way. Cheerful people from a range of backgrounds, ethnicities and abilities in all different types of families lead the way through the alphabet.

One Family by George Shannon: This playful, interactive book shows how a family can be big or small and comprised of people of a range of genders and races. This celebration of diverse families includes a clever 1–10 counting element.

Our Rainbow by GLAAD and Little Bee Books: Told in simple, engaging text and paired with bright illustrations, this board book teaches the youngest of readers all about the colors of the rainbow, the meaning of each color in the Pride flag and the simple acts of kindness that can brighten up our world.

Pride 123 by Michael Joosten: Featuring a diverse cast of characters and families, this board book highlights and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community, love and standing up for who you are while counting to 10.

Pride Colors by Robin Stevenson: With gentle rhymes and colorful photographs, this celebration of unconditional love sends the message that young children are free to be whoever they choose to be while explaining the meaning behind each Pride flag color.

Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart: This “Pride primer” for young readers celebrates LGBTQ+ pride and reveals the colorful meaning behind each rainbow stripe.

We are the Rainbow—The Colors of Pride by Claire Winslow: What does the rainbow mean to you? Learn the meanings behind the colors of the LGBTQ+ pride flag. Shaped pages reveal each color of the rainbow as you read.

Books that feature LGBTQ+ Families

Adventures with My Daddies by Gareth Peter: This rhyming read-aloud story celebrates the power of imagination and champions the love that brings all kinds of families together. Together, this LGBTQ+ family battles dragons, dodges deadly dinosaurs, zooms to the moon, and explores the world in a hot-air balloon before winding down to sleep in a wonderfully cozy ending.

A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O'Leary: A warm and whimsical look at many types of families.

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson: In the zoo, there are all kinds of animal families. But Tango's family is not like any of the others.

Antonio’s Card/La Tarjeta de Antonio by Rigoberto González: This bilingual story about a non-traditional family resonates with all children who have been faced with speaking up for themselves or for the people they love.

Baby's First Words (Mis Primeras Palabras) by Sunny Scribens/Barefoot Books: Spend the day with a busy baby and her two dads and learn the words for things you do and see along the way. This first-words book features labels for objects, actions and sounds, as well as a seek-and-find element. This book is available in Spanish, English and bilingual editions.

Daddy, Papa and Me by Lesléa Newman: Rhythmic text and illustrations show a toddler spending the day with its daddies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there's no limit to what a loving family can do together.

Donovan’s Big Day by Lesléa Newman: Donovan's two moms are getting married, and he can't wait for the celebration to begin. After all, as ring bearer, he has a very important job to do. Any boy or girl with same-sex parents—or who knows a same-sex couple—will appreciate this picture book about love, family and marriage. 

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers: With its rhyming text and endearing illustrations, this read-aloud board book for children ages 1–3 is an exuberant celebration of playing, sleeping, crawling and, of course, very noisy babies doing all of the wonderful things that babies do best. New York magazine's online shopping site, The Strategist, chose Everywhere Babies as one of the "Best (Non-obvious) Baby Books to Bring to a Shower."

Families by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly: Celebrate diversity with this picture book for very young children about the many faces of contemporary families. Photographs by National Geographic photographer Shelley Rotner capture families having fun together and enjoying all of the ways that they are similar and different. 

Families by Jesse Unaapik Mike and Kerry McCluskey: Talittuq is excited to start his first day of second grade. He is looking forward to the new school year, but as he meets his friends again for the first time after summer vacation, he notices that a lot of his friends’ families are very different from his own.

Families Belong by Dan Saks: This rhyming tale is a celebration of families being and belonging together. Through scenarios that range from singing songs and sharing food to dancing and relaxing together, this lighthearted book invites the youngest readers to celebrate the unconditional love and comfort that is shared within a family.

Families Can by Dan Saks: This charming board book is for families: families who cook together and families who sing together, families with lots of members and families with a special few, families that live together and families that live separately. Celebrate the differences that make each family unique and the similarities and love that connect us all together.

Families Grow by Dan Saks: A rhyming, lighthearted celebration of the different ways that a family can grow. (This is not an LGBTQ+ book, but it is an inclusive book about the different ways that families become families.)

Family Means… by Matthew Ralph: Small, big, colorful, and fun—a family can be so many things. Every family is special, and this book celebrates all forms of living together. The types of families featured in Family Means… include nuclear/traditional families, adoptive families, blended families, multiracial families, stepfamilies, and single-parent families, as well as LGBT families.

Federico and All His Families by Mili Hernández: From roof to roof, Federico the cat visits all of his families every day: Tadeo and his grandparents, Anna and her two moms, Virginia with her mom and dad, and Paula and her two dads. All of them are different, but Federico loves them unconditionally. This board book shows the youngest of children that love can be found in every type of family.

Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate: Gramps and Grandad were adventurers. But, after Gramps died, Granddad didn't feel like traveling anymore—until their granddaughter came up with a clever plan to fix up the old camper and get Grandad excited to explore again.

The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman: This fun and fascinating treasury features all kinds of families and their lives together. Each spread showcases one aspect of family life, from houses and holidays to schools and pets to feelings and family trees

Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman: Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, two pets—and two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy. Then something interesting happens. When Heather and her classmates all draw pictures of their families, not one drawing is the same.

Hugs of Three: My Daddies and Me by Dr. Stacey Bromberg and Dr. Joe Taravella: Written by two psychologists, Hugs of Three: My Daddies and Me celebrates a respect for all families, with an emphasis on infant and toddler development and the important joys and comforts of everyday routines in the context of caregiving relationships.

Hugs of Three: My Mommies and Me by Dr. Stacey Bromberg and Dr. Joe Taravella: Written by two experienced psychologists, this sturdy board book acknowledges in a simple yet powerful way the importance of a loving connection between children and parents. With rhyming text and colorful illustrations, Hugs of Three: My Mommies and Me delivers an important message about understanding and accepting differences among families, promoting an attitude of acceptance, and celebrating the uniqueness of all families in an age-appropriate and meaningful way.

I Love You Every Day by Isabel Otter: This picture book for children ages 3–7 reflects on the meaning of love and the many ways it can be expressed, with illustrations that depict children and adults of many races and ethnicities, as well as mixed-race and same-sex couples.

In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco: A story of a family living by its own rules and the strength that these family members gain by the love they feel.

I Promise by Catherine Hernandez: Shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award, the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and the Trillium Prize, Ontario’s richest literary award, this picture book showcases the many shapes, sizes and colors that families come in and emphasizes that every queer family starts with the sacred promise to love a child.

Keesha and Her Two Moms Go Swimming by Monica Bey-Clarke and Cheril N. Clarke: This charming book conveys the normalcy of everyday life in LGBT families and relates a universal message about the importance of sharing, being nice to others, and getting along despite our differences.

Love in the Wild by Katy Tanis: This colorful celebration of love is based on scientists’ observations of same-sex couples, adoption, non-binary gender expression, and more.

Love Makes a Family by Sophia Beer: Whether a child has two moms, two dads, one parent, or one of each, this simple preschool read-aloud demonstrates that what's most important in each family's life is the love that the family members share.

Mommy, Mama and Me by Lesléa Newman: Rhythmic text and illustrations show a toddler spending the day with its mommies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there's no limit to what a loving family can do together.

My Daddies by Gareth Peter and Garry Parsons: A funny, heartfelt picture book that introduces children aged three and above to the different kinds of families that exist in the world today.

My Family, Your Family! by Kathryn Cole: A picture book featuring a diverse array of characters and celebrates gay parents, single parents, blended families, and other family groups rarely seen in board books.

My Two Dads and Me by Michael Joosten: Families with same-sex parents are celebrated in this board book that follows busy dads and their kids throughout their day—eating breakfast, getting dressed, heading out to the park, and settling back in at night with a bubble bath and a good-night lullaby.

My Two Moms and Me by Michael Joosten: Families with two moms are celebrated in this board book that follows busy mothers and their kids throughout their day—eating breakfast, going on a playdate, heading to the pool, and settling back in at night with a bedtime story and a goodnight lullaby. LGBTQ+ parents and their friends and families will welcome this inclusive and cheerful book that reflects their own lives and family makeup.

One Family by George Shannon: This playful, interactive book shows how a family can be big or small and comprised of people of a range of genders and races. This celebration of diverse families includes a clever 1–10 counting element.

Our World: Argentina by Aixa Pérez-Prado: In this introduction to the vibrant culture of Argentina, a diverse family enjoys a day of exploring the country's sights and sounds from morning light to city night, snacking on medialunas, counting the stalls at la feria, and riding the caballito on the carousel. This educational board book presents an authentic picture of modern Argentinian life with rhyming text, colorful illustrations and Spanish vocabulary words with pronunciation tips. The author—a professor at Florida International University with a PhD in social science and education—writes stories that give diverse children a chance to see their multilayered identities represented in children's literature.

A Plan for Pops by Heather Smith: Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. But one Saturday, Pops has a terrible fall and learns that he will be confined to a wheelchair. Using skills learned from Grandad, and with a little help from their neighbors, Lou comes up with a plan for Pops.

Pride Puppy! by Robin Stevenson: This affirming and inclusive rhyming alphabet book offers a joyful glimpse of a Pride parade and the vibrant community that celebrates this day each year.

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer: Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance and the true meaning of family.

A Tale of Two Daddies by Vanita Oelschlager: In this playground conversation between two children, the boy says he heard that the girl has two dads. The girl says that is right—she has a Daddy and a Poppa. Practical questions ensue: "Which dad helps when your team needs a coach? Which dad cooks you eggs and toast?" The girl answers: "Daddy is my soccer coach. Poppa cooks me eggs and toast." This picture book reflects a child’s practical and innocent look at the adults who love and nurture her.

Together: A First Conversation About Love by Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli: While young children are avid observers and questioners of their world, adults often shut down or postpone conversations about complicated topics because it's hard to know where to begin. Research shows that talking about issues like love, relationships and families from the age of two and up helps children understand what they see, enhances their self-awareness and self-esteem, and enables them to recognize and confront situations that are unfair, such as discrimination and prejudice. Developed by experts in the fields of early childhood and activism against injustice, this topic-driven book is written in clear, concrete language that young children can grasp and adults can leverage for further discussion.

Too Green! by Sumana Seeboruth: In this Feelings & Firsts series board book, which features relatable rhyming text and diverse characters, we follow a reluctant young foodie as they help their Mum and Mama prepare and—after much urging—eat a healthy green soup. This culinary adventure celebrates the courage to try new things and make healthy choices. For children ages 0–4.

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen: Chloe's favorite uncle is getting married, and she's not happy about it. But after a magical day with Uncle Bobby and his boyfriend, Jamie, Chloe realizes she's not losing an uncle, but gaining one. Produced in coordination with GLAAD, Uncle Bobby’s Wedding was selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best picture books of 2020 and by the American Library Association as a 2021 Rainbow Book List title.

We Are Little Feminists: Families by Brook Sitgraves Turner and Archaa Shrivastav: The first-ever board book to win an American Library Association Medal, this important addition to inclusive children's literature "shows children 0–5 the true diversity of the world around them and the families to which they belong," according to the American Library Association. With full-color photos of real-life LGBTQ and ally families, this Stonewall Book Award winner showcases all of the wonderful forms of family, gender and sexuality while building vocabulary and empathy through simple, poetic text. A great way to help infants, toddlers and preschoolers begin to recognize real people in loving families that are both different and like their own.

We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families by Todd Parr: In a kid-friendly, accessible way, this book explores the ways that people can choose to come together to make a family. It's about sharing your home and sharing your heart to make a family that belongs together.

What Makes a Family by Hannah Bruner: Readers will fall in love with this lyrical, whimsical ode to families and the common thread that unites them all. From blended families and foster families to every kind of family in between, this colorful, inclusive picture book teaches children and grownups alike that no matter how a family is created, what truly makes a family is choosing to love.

Books about childhood friendship and love

Cuando Amamos Cantamos/When We Love Someone We Sing to Them by Ernesto Javier Martinez: This award-winning book reframes the treasured Mexican serenata tradition to include the LGBTQ+ experience. In this book, we follow the story of a young boy who asks his father if there is a song for a boy who loves a boy. As the story unfolds, this time-honored tradition expands to include everyone. A 2019 American Library Association "Rainbow Book List" selection and winner of the 2019 International Latino Book Awards for Best Children's Picture Book in English and Best First Book-Children and Youth-Bilingual.

Jerome by Heart by Thomas Scotto: This story follows a little boy named Raphael, whose daily rhythm is steeped in his immense affection for his friend Jerome.

Love, Violet by Charlotte Sullivan Wild: Of all the kids in Violet's class, only one leaves her speechless: Mira. As Valentine’s Day approaches, Violet is determined to tell Mira just how special she is in this picture book about friendship, love and the courage it takes to share your heart.

Violet’s Friend by Maddie Reardon: Written and illustrated by an eighth-grader living in Berwyn, Illinois, with their moms, cousin, dog, and two cats, Violet's Friend is a delightful story about a bunny (Violet) and their bear friend (Harper). The two friends are going ice skating, but Violet doesn't know how to skate. See how Violet and Harper support each other and achieve more than they can alone. Older readers will appreciate the author's matter-of-fact representation of Violet as a relatable adolescent character who uses they/them pronouns. Some of the uncertainties of growing up nonbinary (such as feeling unsure which bathroom to use) are juxtaposed against daily activities such as brushing one's teeth or hurrying to meet a friend. By the end of the book, it's clear that Violet is a bunny just like "everybunny" else—and we can all be Violet's friend.

We All Belong: A Children's Book About Diversity, Race and Empathy by Nathalie and Alex Goss: We all Belong gives young readers a safe space to see themselves and others through a diverse group of characters. The book includes an activity at the end to help children appreciate how we are all similar in some ways and different in other ways.

Books about LGBTQ+ experiences

10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert: Every night, Bailey dreams about magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows, dresses made of flowers and dresses made of windows in this modern fairy tale about becoming the person you feel you are inside.

Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope by Jodie Patterson: In this companion to Jodie Patterson's adult memoir, The Bold World, Patterson shares her son Penelope's frustrations and triumphs on his journey to share himself with the world.

Call Me Max by Kyle Lukoff: Written with warmth and sensitivity by a trans author, this book is a sweet and age-appropriate introduction to what it means to be transgender.

Ho’onani: Hula Warrior by Heather Gale: Ho'onani feels in-between and doesn’t see herself as a girl OR a boy in this empowering celebration of identity, acceptance and Hawaiian culture.

I am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings: The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for trans kids everywhere.

I’m Not A Girl: A Transgender Story by Maddox Lyons and Jessica Verdi: Nobody seems to understand that Hannah is not a girl. His parents ask why he won't wear the cute outfits they pick out. His friend thinks he must be a tomboy. His teacher insists he should be proud to be a girl. But a birthday wish, a new word and a stroke of courage might be just what Hannah needs to finally show the world who he really is.

Jerome by Heart by Thomas Scotto: This story follows a little boy named Raphael, whose daily rhythm is steeped in his immense affection for his friend Jerome.

Phoenix Gets Greater by Marty Wilson-Trudeau: Phoenix loves to play with dolls and marvel at pretty fabrics. Most of all, he loves to dance. Sometimes Phoenix gets picked on and he struggles with feeling different, but with the help of his mom and brother, Phoenix learns about Two Spirit/Niizh Manidoowag people in Anishinaabe culture and just how special he is.

Sam is My Sister by Ashley Rhodes-Courter: Based on one family’s real-life experiences, this heartwarming story of a girl named Sam and the brothers who love and support her will resonate with readers everywhere.

Strong by Rob Kearney: Strong introduces readers to Rob Kearney and his journey from an athletic kid trying to find his place to the world’s first openly gay professional strongman.

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman: In a wildly whimsical, validating and exuberant reflection of the LGBTQ+ community, This Day In June welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united. Also included are guidelines for talking to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways, as well as a reading guide filled with facts about LGBTQ+ history and culture. Named as one of the most important books of the past decade by The Advocate and one of the "11 Most Challenged Books" by the American Library Association, This Day in June is a Notable Books for a Global Society Award winner, a 2015 Stonewall Book Award winner and an American Library Association Rainbow List Top 10 Title.

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff: A heartwarming book that will resonate with transgender children, reassure any child concerned about becoming an older sibling and celebrate the many transitions that a family can experience.

Books that challenge the gender binary and gender stereotypes

Being You: A First Conversation About Gender by Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli: This read-aloud board book is part of the First Conversations series. Based on research that race, gender, consent, and body positivity should be discussed with children from the toddler years on up, the six books in this series give adults the insights they need to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe and supported way. Being You: A First Conversation About Gender—the second book in the series—introduces a conversation about gender with a supportive approach that considers both the child and the adult. Engaging illustrations accompany the simple and interactive text, and you'll find additional resources and ideas for extending this discussion at the back of the book.

Boys Dance by John Robert Allman: Boys who love to dance are center stage in this encouraging, positive, rhyming picture book about guys who love to pirouette, jeté, and plié. Created in partnership with the American Ballet Theatre with input from the company's male dancers, this book shows that ballet is for everyone.

Bye Bye, Binary by Eric Geron: "Is it a boy or a girl?" WHAT'S IT TO YA?!” A little bundle of joy has arrived—to dismantle gender norms! In this American Library Association Rainbow List selection, a joyful baby refuses to conform to the gender binary and instead chooses toys, colors and clothes that make them happy.

Clive and His Babies by Jessica Spanyol: Meet Clive—and his imagination! Clive loves playing with dolls and sharing them with his friends. A gentle, affectionate book that celebrates diversity and challenges gender stereotypes.

Clive is a Nurse by Jessica Spanyol: Role play is crucial to a child's healthy development, boosting language and social skills and building self-confidence. This story about the caring interaction of an inclusive group of playmates will inspire young readers to create their own diverse roles, free of gender stereotypes.

Dolls and Trucks are for Everyone by Robb Pearlman: Dolls and trucks are for boys and girls and everyone—as are fabric and wood, flutes and drums, hockey and figure skating, and many more. This playful yet important board book by the author and illustrator of Pink is for Boys teaches children and adults alike that gender cannot define who you are or want to become.

Flare by Kallie George: Flare is a tough little phoenix who never cries. But everyone needs to cry sometimes. Will his guardians—Cloud and Wind and Sun—find a way to show him how? Part of the Tiny Tails early reader series about baby magic animals, Flare provides comforting reassurance that it’s okay to express our emotions

For Boys Who Dance by Jose “Hollywood” Ramos: Gender biases and prejudices about “boys” who dance are not a new story. The inclusion and acceptance of boys who dance is often predicated on an argument that dance is not macho. This is a poem-based book created to inspire, uplift and encourage all young boys to dance no matter what!

I Am So Brave by Stephen Krensky: Part of a five-book "Empowerment Series," I am so Brave celebrates the achievement of overcoming one's fears and trying new things.

It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn: Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither or somewhere in between. This straightforward exploration of gender identity will give young readers a fuller understanding of themselves and others.

Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman: In this affirming story about gender nonconformity, Jacob loves playing dress-up and wants to wear a dress to school. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants and stand up to the kids at school who say he can’t wear “girl” clothes?

Jayden’s Impossible Garden by Melina Mangal: Timeless and vibrant, this story highlights the beauty of intergenerational relationships and the power of imagination and perseverance as a young boy and an elderly man in a wheelchair bring their vision of a community garden to life in the heart of the city. Jayden’s love of nature will inspire readers to see the many opportunities for growth and connection that exist in their environments. In the activities section at the back of the book, readers will learn how to make a milk jug bird feeder and other items featured in the story. Winner of the 2019 African American Voices in Children's Literature writing contest.

Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love: While riding the subway one day, Julián sees three women dressed like mermaids. When he gets home, all he can think about is dressing up in his own mermaid costume. But what will people think about how Julián sees himself? This celebration of individuality and acceptance helps children see gender in a more fluid way and develop social-emotional traits such as self-love and empathy.

My Own Way: Celebrating Gender Freedom for Kids by Joana Estrela and Jay Hulme: Small children are often asked to choose between a gendered binary: "boy" or "girl" and "pink" or "blue." This colorful picture book smashes gender stereotypes and teaches young children that there are no limits to what they can do or be.

Neither: A Story About Being Who You Are by Airlie Anderson: In the Land of This and That, there are only two kinds of creatures: blue bunnies and yellow birds. But one day a funny green egg hatches, and a little creature that's not quite a bird and not quite a bunny pops out. It's neither! In this colorful board book that celebrates what makes each of us unique, the little creature searches for a place to fit in.

Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman: Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids—and their grown-ups—to express themselves in every color of the rainbow.

The Pronoun Book by Chris Ayala-Kronos and Melita Tirado: They, she, he . . . all together, us! Join along in this celebration of people and their pronouns. This lively board book features inviting illustrations of a diverse cast of people and simple text that introduces their pronouns. Referred to as a "game changer" by one parent in search of meaningful and inclusive children's books, The Pronoun Book explores the concept of gender identity in a thoughtful, accessible and relatable way.

Pugdog by Andrea U’Ren: When Mike discovers that Pugdog is not a pug—and not even a “he,” as Mike had thought all along, he feels obliged to give Pugdog a crash course in how to look and act like a girl dog. But Pugdog has other ideas and ends up teaching Mike that traditional gender roles don’t always apply.

Rosa Loves Cars, Rosa Loves Dinosaurs and Rosa Plays Ball by Jessica Spanyol: Find out which toys Rosa and her friends are playing with in these books from the All About Rosa series, which celebrates inclusivity, promotes gender equality, and embraces the uniqueness of every child.

Sparkle Boy by Lesléa Newman: Casey loves to play with his blocks, puzzles and dump truck, but he also loves things that sparkle, shimmer and glitter in this story about acceptance, respect and the freedom to be yourself in a world where any gender expression should be celebrated. Sparkly things are for everyone to enjoy!

What Riley Wore by Elana K. Arnold: Riley wears whatever clothes feel right each day. On Monday, Riley feels shy and wears a bunny costume to school. On Tuesday, a scary trip to the dentist calls for a superhero cape. For a trip out with Otto and Oma, a ball gown is the perfect outfit. This picture book is a gentle exploration of self-expression and a source of encouragement for children who struggle to be true to themselves despite the expectations of others.

Whoever You Are: A Baby Book on Love and Gender by Josephine Wai Lin: "Quiet and loud, soft and strong. You being you, there’s no way to be wrong." Every day, parents come home from the hospital with a brand-new human being. What if we made vows to our babies to love them no matter what? What if the world didn't rush in to judge our little ones and instead made them feel truly seen and supported? Publishers Weekly described this thought-provoking board book as a story that "imbues a classic 'be yourself' narrative with gender-expansive affirmations, positioning guardians as partners in their children's journey to find what's authentic and true." With bright, vibrant illustrations and exuberant rhythm and rhyme, Whoever You Are is the ultimate vow every baby will love to grow up hearing.

Books that inspire children to be better friends and allies

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold: Readers will follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed and students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other’s traditions in this age-appropriate celebration of diversity and inclusion.

Big Bob Little Bob by James Howe: It's not easy to forge a friendship with someone who is nothing like you, but surprising things can happen if you try. This is the central message of Big Bob Little Bob, a comforting story about two boys who are as different as different can be. Big Bob likes trucks and throwing balls and being loud. Little Bob likes dolls and jingly bracelets and being quiet. But when they become new neighbors, they might just find a way to be friends. With humor and tenderness, this story depicts the struggles and joys that come when friendships are forged between different kinds of people.

Eugene the Unicorn: A Kid’s Book to Help Start LGBTQ Inclusive Conversations by T. Wheeler: Illustrated by the author, Eugene the Unicorn is the tale of a lonely young unicorn with a bright blue mane that he likes to blow dry every day—and his friendship with Donna, a donkey who feels out of place in a school full of horses and goats. Eugene and Donna realize that every goat and every horse in the school has something that makes them feel "less than cool." They share their message that "we're all different and that's what makes us the same" with everyone around them to help others who feel out place with their newfound knowledge of the beauty of diversity. The intent behind this story, although subtle, is to encourage children to ask questions and engage in discussions about the LGBTQ+ community.

Every Child is Different: A children's picture book about diversity, kindness, justice, and equality by Luna James: Ideal for children aged 2–5, this book introduces little ones to the idea that we are all different and unique, and we all deserve love, respect and equality.

The Friend I Need: Being Kind and Caring to Myself by Gabi Garcia: This book helps children understand that the same qualities they look for in a friend—such as kindness, support and understanding—are qualities that they can offer to themselves when they are having a hard time. 

NO! My First Book of Protest by Julie Merberg: Each spread introduces an iconic figure such as Gloria Steinem or Cesar Chavez along with a simple summary of the actions they took to change the course of history. Activists of all ages will learn about the abolitionist movement, civil rights, women's rights, and more. Children who love to say “No!” can chime in as they learn about activists ranging from Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King to Malala.

Say Something by Peter H. Reynolds: In this empowering story about speaking up to make the world a better place, children learn about the many ways that they can make a difference with their actions, words and voices.

Speak Up by Miranda Paul: This spirited picture book celebrates diversity and encourages kids to speak up, unite with others, and take action when they see something that needs to be fixed.

Wake Up by Serenity Sereé Abellard: This colorful and affirming picture book encourages young children to accept and celebrate differences and teaches them that they matter, their uniqueness matters, their culture matters, and their race matters. A celebration of differences that can be used to spark meaningful conversations about love, kindness, empathy, and inclusion.

Sources for books that address diversity and social justice

¡Colorín Colorado!: This bilingual site for educators and families of English language learners lists books that feature a diverse range of children and families. Some are available in bilingual editions. The site also offers examples of ways to include culturally relevant and diverse content when teaching young children about new concepts.

Pride and Less Prejudice provides free LGBTQ-inclusive Rainbow Children’s Book Bundles for PreK–3rd Grade teachers. To order free books for your classroom, fill out this online form.

Social Justice Books: A critically reviewed selection of multicultural and social justice books for children, young adults and educators. The Stonewall book list includes a wide range of LGBTQ+ inclusive books for children and young people to enjoy.

We Need Diverse Books celebrates and shares books that represent diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA; Native; people of color; gender diversity; people with disabilities; and ethnic, cultural and religious minorities.

Books for Educators

Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards with Catherine Goins: Revolving around four core goals―identity, diversity, justice, and activism―the chapters in this book focus on culture and language, racial identity, family structures, gender identity, economic class, different abilities, and more. With this volume’s practical guidance, you’ll grow in your ability to identify, confront and eliminate barriers of prejudice, misinformation and bias about specific aspects of personal and social identity. Download a free pdf of Chapter 9: Learning about Gender Diversity and Fairness.

Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon: The author dares the world to see gender not in black and white but in full color. Drawing from their own experiences as a gender nonconforming artist, they show us that gender is a malleable and creative form of expression. 

Coaching for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging in Early Childhood: A Step-by-Step Guide for Programs and Schools by Anni K. Reinking and Laycee Thigpen: Written by two experts on diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging, this is the first step‐by‐step guide to coaching early childhood educators in DEIAB practices. Whether you're looking to launch transformative practices in this area or expand on practices that are already underway in your program or school, this timely book will empower educators to ensure equity, access and belonging for all children and families.

Pride and Less Prejudice provides free LGBTQ-inclusive Rainbow Children’s Book Bundles for PreK–3rd Grade teachers. To order books for your classroom, fill out this online form

Supporting Gender Diversity in Early Childhood Classrooms: A Practical Guide by Encian Pastel, Katie Steele, Julie Nicholson, Cyndi Maurer, Julia Hennock, Jonathan Julian, Tess Unger, and Nathaniel Flynn: This book increases awareness of gender diversity in early learning environments and outlines practical steps for creating inclusive and intentional spaces where all children receive positive messages about their unique gender selves.


Organizations to Join or Follow

Family Equality: Family Equality’s resources are designed to ensure that everyone has the freedom to find, form and sustain their families by advancing equality for the LGBTQ+ community.

Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN): Through chapters in most states, GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. While GLSEN focuses on K-12 education, provides numerous resources for educators and families alike.

Gender Justice in Early Childhood (GJEC)
Gender Justice in Early Childhood is a collective of educators, researchers, therapists, academics, artists, and activists dedicated to supporting gender justice in early childhood through community-engaged scholarship, training, resource creation, and more.

Gender Spectrum works to create gender-sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ+ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear and with equality under the law. HRC has more than three million members and supporters who mobilize against attacks on the most marginalized people in LGBTQ+ communities. HRC’s website offers valuable information, data and resources.

Men Having Babies is a nonprofit organization that serves as a peer-support network for biological gay fathers and fathers-to-be.

NAEYC LGBT Interest Forum: NAEYC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Interest Forum helps ensure the provision of high-quality education for all young children by facilitating improvements in the professional practice of early childhood education; ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) educators; educating NAEYC members and others about the needs, rights and well-being of the children of LGBT parents; and educating members and others about the need to foster the development of self-esteem in all children, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Transgender Training Institute: While the Transgender Training Institute closed in 2023 and no longer provides training, its website still contains valuable resources that uplift and amplify the voices of transgender and nonbinary people. Click here to learn more about Trans-Affirming Training and Consulting, which is continuing the work of the Transgender Training Institute.


Camp Wild Heart Podcast: Through conversations with people who share their stories, fears, breakthroughs, and deep love for their transgender kids, this podcast from the Wild Heart Society offers valuable insights and encouragement for families "trying their best to do right by their children." 

Pride and Progress: This podcast amplifies the voices of LGBTQ+ educators and celebrates the power of diversity through conversations with LGBTQ+ educators and allies about the work they are doing to make their educational spaces more equitable and inclusive.

Rainbow Parenting Podcast: Hosted by queer educator Lindz Amer, this weekly queer- and gender-affirming parenting podcast covers topics such as how to affirm queer, trans and nonbinary kids. Amer also invites experts to share their insights into topics such as how to approach age-relevant early childhood sex education, queer-kid lit, gender-reveal parties, and more.

Transgender School: Transgender School courses teach people about diverse transgender identities and give them the insights they need to become allies and advocates. The Transgender School podcast features honest, eye-opening conversations between a loving mother, her transgender daughter and guest speakers as they discuss their personal journeys and current events, as well as actions that listeners can take to support trans people.

Professional Development

"Actualizing an Anti-Bias Approach as Early Childhood Leaders: Beyond Books and Pictures," [Webinar] Early Childhood Investigations

"Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education," National Association for the Education of Young Children Learn more about your professional and ethical responsibilities in this NAEYC position statement.

Pride and Less Prejudice events: Pride and Less Prejudice regularly hosts webinars and panel discussions on a wide variety of topics for educators and families, some of which are relevant to early childhood educators.

"Understanding Implicit Bias and Its Role in Early Learning Environments," [Webinar] Division for Early Childhood.

Site References

Albert, A., & Porter, J. (1983). Age patterns in the development of children's gender-role stereotypes. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 9(1), 59–67.

American Psychological Association (2023). Heteronormativity. APA Dictionary of Psychology. Retrieved from

Averett, P., Hegde, A., & Smith, J. (2017). Lesbian and gay parents in early childhood settings: A systematic review of the research literature. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 15(34-46). DOI:10.1177/1476718X15570959

Bian, L., Leslie, S.-J., & Cimpian, A. (2017). Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children’s interests. Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science)355(6323), 389–391.

Chestnut, E., & Markman, E. (2018). “Girls are as good as boys at math” implies that boys are probably better: A study of expressions of gender equality. Cognitive Science42(7), 2229–2249.

Chick, K. A., Heilman-Houser, R. A., & Hunter, M. W. (2002). The impact of child care on gender role development and gender stereotypes. Early Childhood Education Journal29(3), 149-154.

Cvencek D., Meltzoff A. N., Greenwald A. G. (2011). Math–gender stereotypes in elementary school children. Child Development, 82(3), 766–779.

Derman-Sparks, L., Olsen Edwards, J. (2020). Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: National Association of Education of Young Children.

Fast, A., & Olson, K. (2018). Gender development in transgender preschool children. Child Development, 89(620-637). DOI:10.1111/cdev.1275

Gates, G. (2013). LGBT Parenting in the United States. 2013. Retrieved from

Gender Spectrum (2019). Resources & FAQ: Understanding gender. Retrieved from

GLSEN (2021). The 2015 national school climate survey: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth in our nation’s schools. Retrieved from

Horton, C. (2020). Thriving or surviving? Raising our ambition for trans children in primary and secondary schools. Frontiers in Sociology. 5(1-18). DOI: 10.3389/fsoc.2020.00067

Kennedy, A. (2021). Foundations for promoting LGBT social justice in early childhood teacher education. In Teacher Education in the 21st Century - Emerging Skills for a Changing World, Maria Jose Hernández-Serrano (Ed.), IntechOpen. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.96522.

Keo-Meier, C., & Ehrensaft, D. (Eds.). (2018). Introduction to the gender affirmative model. In C. Keo-Meier & D. Ehrensaft (Eds.), The gender affirmative model: An interdisciplinary approach to supporting transgender and gender expansive children (pp. 3–19). American Psychological Association.

King, J. (2004). The (im)possibility of gay teachers for young children. Theory into Practice, 43(122-127). DOI: 10.1207/s15430421tip4302_5

Kintner-Duffy, V., Vardell, R., Lower, J., & Cassidy, D. (2012). “The changers and the changed”: Preparing early childhood teachers to work with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 33(208-223). doi:10.1080/10901027.2012.705806

Kroeger, J., Recker, A., & Gunn, A. (2019). Nate and the pink coat: Exploring gender and enacting anti-bias principles. Young Children, 74(83-91).

Kuh, L., Keenan, D., Given, H., & Beneke, M. Moving beyond anti-bias activities: supporting the development of anti-bias practices. Young Children, 71(58-71).

Lewis, M., Cooper Borkenhagen, M., Converse, E., Lupyan, G., & Seidenberg, M. S. (2022). What might books be teaching young children about gender? Psychological Science33(1), 33-47.

Longley, J. (2020). Embracing LGBTQIA+ staff in early childhood programs. Young Children, 75(66-73).

Martin, C. L., & Ruble, D. (2004). Children’s search for gender cues: Cognitive perspectives on gender development. Current Directions in Psychological Science : A Journal of the American Psychological Society13(2), 67–70.

Moty, K., & Rhodes, M. (2021). The unintended consequences of the things we say: What generic statements communicate to children about unmentioned categories. Psychological Science32(2), 189–203.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (2011). Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment. Retrieved from

National Association for the Education of Young Children (2023). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8 (Fourth Edition). Washington, DC: NAEYC.

National Institute of Health Office of Research on Women's Health (n.d.). Sex & gender. Retrieved from

Pastel, E., Steele, K., Nicholson, J., Maurer, C., Hennock, J., Julian, J., Unger, T., & Flynn, N. (2019). Supporting gender diversity in early childhood classrooms: A practical guide. London: Jessica Kingsley; 2020.

Peixoto da Silva, P. (2014). Supporting gay and lesbian families in the early childhood classroom. Young Children, 69(40-44).

Poulin-Dubois, D., Serbin, L. A., Eichstedt, J. A., Sen, M. G., & Beissel, C. F. (2002). Men don’t put on make-up: Toddlers’ knowledge of the gender stereotyping of household activities. Social Development (Oxford, England)11(2), 167–181.

Pyne, J. (2014). Gender independent kids: A paradigm shift in approaches to gender non-conforming children. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality23(1), 1–8.

Quinn, P. C., Yahr, J., Kuhn, A., Slater, A. M., & Pascalis, O. (2002). Representation of the gender of human faces by infants: A preference for female. Perception (London)31(9), 1109–1121.

Salinas-Quiroz, F., & Sweder, N. (2023). Authentic gender development in non-binary children. Frontiers in Sociology8, 1177766–1177766.

Schaeffer, K. (2019). Practical guidance for teachers: Supporting the families of gender nonconforming children. Young Children,.74(91-93).

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2020). Partnering with parents who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender. Retrieved from Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center,

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Prepare the Teachers of Tomorrow checklist

Kennedy, A. (2021). Foundations for promoting LGBT social justice in early childhood teacher education. In Teacher Education in the 21st Century - Emerging Skills for a Changing World, Maria Jose Hernández-Serrano (Ed.), IntechOpen. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.96522.

Kennedy, A., & Heineke, A. (2014). Re-envisioning the role of universities in early childhood teacher education: Community partnerships for 21st-century learning. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 35(226-43). doi:10.1080/10901027.2014.936072

McDonald, M., Tyson, K., Brayko, K., Bowman, M., Delport, J., & Shimomura, F. (2011). Innovation and impact in teacher education: Community-based organizations as field placements for preservice teachers. Teachers College Record 113(668-1700).

Rust, F. (2010). Shaping new models for teacher education. Teacher Education Quarterly, 37(5-18).

Social Media

Educational Resources

GLSEN Instagram
This national nonprofit works to create safe and inclusive school environments for LGBTQ+ youth.

Teaching Outside the Binary Instagram
This curated collection of LGBTQ+ affirming educational resources focuses primarily on working with older students, but many of the resources are universal.

Woke Kindergarten Instagram
Woke Kindergarten provides social-justice-related resources for early learners and those who serve them.

Rainbow Family Lives and Experiences

Same-Sex Parents Instagram
This safe space gives LGBTQ+ families visibility and a voice.

shiba_dads_ Instagram
A Japanese Rainbow family.


Anti-Bias Education: Learn more about anti-bias early childhood education goals and strategies.

Illinois Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leadership Standards: These standards encourage future teachers to engage in self-reflection, get to know their students' families, connect the curriculum to students' lives, and support student leadership. They have been adopted in several states and will be incorporated into educator preparation programs to help aspiring educators build the skills they need to engage students from different backgrounds and create more equitable and inclusive learning environments.

Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS): These standards provide expectations for children’s growth, development and learning in the preschool years. On the Early Pride Matters website, these standards provide examples of the types of universal, research-based knowledge and skills that can be addressed through LGBTQ+ inclusive teaching.

Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Three: These guidelines give early childhood professionals and policymakers a framework for understanding child development by presenting information on what children know and should do and what development looks like in everyday life during the first three years of life.

NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct: The NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct offers guidelines for responsible behavior and sets forth a common basis for resolving the principal ethical dilemmas encountered in early childhood care and education. This code also specifies educators' responsibilities in addressing child and family diversity.


Pop ’n’ Olly YouTube Channel: This free resource for children, parents and teachers features LGBT+ educational videos that focus on equality and diversity.

Pride and Less Prejudice YouTube Channel: This Pride and Less Prejudice channel regularly posts read-aloud videos by the authors of inclusive children’s books.

Queer Kid Stuff YouTube Channel: This “edutainment” company brings LGBTQ+ and social justice media to kids and families.