7 Friendly English LGBTQ+ Books To Use In Class
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Some people mistakenly assume that teaching English is just about language, grammar and vocabulary. However, as a teacher, you also act as a role model for your students. They look up to you and learn about the world from you and your material. That is why it is so important to be mindful of what books you use in your class and what messages these books convey. So we decided to make a handy list for you of LGBTQ+ books that bring such a heavy but important topic, like sexuality and gender identity, to life through whimsical stories and illustrations. We understand that sometimes, as a teacher, you can feel overwhelmed by the pressure that is on you. That is why we picked books easily read by kids and adults. They simplify the concepts and actually can serve as a conversation starter in your class.
This Day in June – Gayle E. Pitman (Age 4+)
This book invites the reader to experience the day when we are all united in celebrating pride. You become a participant in the parade and get introduced to many marvellous people depicted in whimsical and unique illustrations. This book is an excellent starting point for a conversation about acceptance and equality because it is filled with facts about LGBTQ history and culture. Moreover, if you feel nervous and want some guidance in talking about it with kids, there is a helpful “Note to Parents and Caregivers” with recommendations on how to do it.
My Two Moms and Me – Michael Joosten (Age 4+)
Fashion, humour, and an accurate depiction of any family life create this must-have book. The author writes the book as a narration of a young kid with two moms talking about their daily routine. Through a single story and illustrations of different families with two moms, the book highlights the underlying similarity between families, thus smoothly teaching any reader to see similarities and not differences. This book also has a companion – “My Two Dads and Me.” Even though we don’t mention it here, we highly recommend reading it as well.
Families, Families, Families! – Suzanne Lang and Max Lang (Age 4+)
There is no definition for family. It may consist of a single parent, two moms, a square dog, or a pink grandfather. Specifically, these kinds of families are represented on the walls of the rusty house in Suzanne and Max Langs’ book. The authors draw parallels between reality and the animal world by transforming people into differently shaped creatures. Size and shape do not matter there. There is just an identical underlying all-consuming love between family members and wonderful rhyme flowing through the book.
Daddy, Papa, and Me – Leslea Newman (Age 4+)
This is another fun depiction of love and family given to us. This time, the author chose a loving family of two dads and their happy toddler. Readers share one day with this family. They laugh with the baby while playing hide-and-seek, swimming in a bubble bath and being tucked into bed by two Papas. It is a short book that again educates kids on appreciating differences instead of weaponizing them.
Pink is for Boys – Robb Pearlman and Eda Kaban (Age 4+)
Each of your students has most likely heard the phrase, “You cannot do it; it is not boyish/girly enough for you”. This book is an excellent introduction to teaching students to defy phrases like that and protect their identity. The book’s goal is to challenge binary stereotypes while showing that you can do anything. You CAN wear pink, blue, green, or even purple with a mix of red and yellow dots with stripes. The requirement to do all of it is to be yourself. With simple text and cute illustrations, the authors reinforce the idea of non-binary identities by attempting to form a non-colour-coded world. It is not just a kid’s book. Adults, too, can find themselves hidden on the pages within letters. After all, people often tell us not to do something because we are [fill in the blank].
Drama – Raina Telgemeier (Age 10+)
For older kids, we suggest a graphic novel, “Drama.” It is about drama on stage and behind the scenes. A middle-school girl loves theatre and becomes a set designer for the Drama department. There she faces friendship, misunderstanding, more drama, and love. It’s a great piece of work because it does not focus on emphasizing the sexuality of characters. Instead, readers very naturally find out about different gender identities through the girl’s adventures. The book teaches perception of the LGBTQ+ community as part of everyday life, as normality, not an exception.
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli (Age 14+)
We could not talk about LGBTQ+ characters and not mention the life of Simon. A Netflix-featured book talks about the school life of a closeted sixteen-year-old boy who, due to misfortune, has to force himself to come out before his identity is exposed. It features the struggles of the teenager trying to balance out friendships, the pressure of society, stereotypes, and love. With empathy, the author lets the reader watch how Simon attempts to define who he is and fights for his freedom. It is a fantastic book because, as a teacher, you can start many discussions with your students about what they would do if they were in Simon’s shoes or the shoes of his friends. There are so many different issues brought up in the book about acceptance, friendship, and misgendering that you will have a blast talking about it with your kids.
It is important to talk with your students about gender identity and sexuality. Even if they are too young to have a serious conversation about it, you can still teach them about equality through books. By reading, they can broaden their worldview and understanding of others, defining how they will turn out in the future. Conversations like that don’t have to be serious and boring. They can be fun with a picture book or a smartly written, humorous story. In any case, this conversation should happen; at the end of the day, there are bright minds in your classroom, and you have a part to play in what the future will be.
Read more: Top Resources for LGBTQ+ TEFL Teachers
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Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by Everything TEFL Ltd but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that Everything TEFL Ltd securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to Everything TEFL Ltd collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think Everything TEFL Ltd has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the Everything TEFL Ltd processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.