Books to avoid
There are many more books than these ones – we have listed only some examples that are readily available in NZ libraries.
Welcome to Sex by Dr Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes is marketed as “a frank, age-appropriate introductory guide to sex and sexuality for teens of all genders”, but there is growing opposition to its graphic contents, including oral and anal sex, hand jobs and rimming, being promoted as suitable for children as young as eight.
Susan McLean, a cyber security expert has written here about the irresponsible advice given in the book to make sure the head is cropped when sending nude pictures. “This is dangerous advice that could be read by some as suggesting it is OK to send a headless nude… Young people can still be blackmailed, bullied, betrayed, and charged after sending a headless nude. As adults, we must do better than brush over behaviour that is considered criminal and will in almost all cases end in tears despite what the authors believe.”
Call me Max by Kyle Lukoff (2019)
A complete training in gender ideology including the notion that a mistake was made with your identity when you were born.
It Feels Good to Be Yourself by Theresa Thorn (2019)
A picture book that introduces the concept of gender identity to the youngest readers.
My Dad Thinks I’m a Boy! By Sophie Labelle (2020)
Stephie (Stephen’s) Dad has been mistaking ‘her’ for a boy since ‘she’ was born. This is billed as a “transpositive children’s book that shows children that no one else than ourselves gets to decide who we are.”
Phoenix goes to School: A story to support transgender and gender diverse children (ages 3-7) by Michelle Finch and Phoenix Finch (2018)
Phoenix is preparing for her first day of school. She is excited but scared of being bullied because of her gender identity and expression. Yet when she arrives at school, she finds help and support from teachers and friends, and finds she is brave enough to talk to other kids about her gender!
Who are You?: The kid’s guide to gender identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee (2017)
A brightly illustrated introduction to gender for ages 3+, that teaches about gender identity and “how we express ourselves through our clothes and hobbies."
The Pronoun Book: She, he, they, and me! by Cassandra Jules Corrigan.
‘Educates’ children 5 years plus on pronouns and misgendering. Talks of being assigned a sex at birth. (Electronic)
Kisses for Jet: a coming-of-gender story by Joris Bas Backer (2022)
Like most teenagers in the 90s, Jet is obsessed with Kurt Cobain, which helps them get through boarding at the international school their parents have sent them to. Jet begins to notice that they don’t feel like the other girls in the class and to realise that they may be more of a boy than a girl. (Graphic novel)
Identity: A story of transitioning by Corey Maison (Comic book for teens.)
Corey, born female, ‘transitions’ to boy with her mother’s support.
Rick by Alex Gino (2020)
Rick's arrived at middle school, and new doors are opening. One of them leads to the school's Rainbow Spectrum club, where kids of many genders and identities congregate, including Melissa, the girl who sits in front of Rick in class and seems to have her life together. Rick wants his own life to be that . . . understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones. Author Alex Gino explores what it means to search for your own place in the world . . . and all the steps you and the people around you need to take in order to get where you need to be.
Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution: The story of Trans women of colour who made LGBT+ History by Joy Ellison (Electronic)
Incorrectly attributes the beginnings of gay rights to actions by transwomen at Stonewall, New York.
Our 15 Favourite LGBTQ Books for Kids and Teens
Worthwhile children’s books depicting a variety of family groups (including parents who are same sex, single, or grandparents) are now being superseded by books that “normalise” decidedly damaging practices such as double mastectomies. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/15-lgbtq-books-for-kids-and-teens/