LGBTQIA+ Nonfiction for Beginners

Posted on August 9, 2023

by Sam P

Toledo Lucas County Public Library strives to be open and welcoming to all. In the spirit of Toledo celebrating LGBTQIA+ Pride in August, here are some nonfiction titles that hopefully make potentially difficult conversations a bit easier.

The following books are nonfiction titles intended to help us have healthy conversations with young people surrounding topics like sex, gender, and the differences between sexual and gender identities. Some are intended for the adult in their life. Others are intended for those kids who may not have that person and need a safe space to learn more. Whether you’re learning for your own sake or to support someone else, hopefully you will find some use in these resources.

A Children’s Introduction to Pride: The Inspirational History and Culture of the LGBTQIA+ Community

By Sarah Prager

A great introduction, this book is a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community’s history. Young readers will learn about LGBTQIA+ activists, groundbreaking events, and about the various ways people identify.

My Own Way: Celebrating Gender Freedom for Kids

By Joana Estrela

Translated from Portuguese, this book features vibrant illustrations and simple language to educate a younger audience on gender identity and foster a sense of self-confidence.

Gender Identity for Kids: A Book About Finding Yourself, Understanding Others, and Respecting Everybody!

By Andy Passchier

Similar to the previous title, Gender Identity for Kids explains the nuances of gender identity at a middle-grade level. It also encourages practicing empathy as well as advocating for oneself and others.

The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids About Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families

By Rachel E. Simon

An inclusive book about every body for everybody! While some contemporary titles imply LGBTQIA+ representation, there is something to be said when a book clearly states who will find information relevant to their experience within its pages.

Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History

By Sarah Prager

hoopla eBook hoopla eAudiobook

One of many books collecting prominent people who identify or identified as LGBTQIA+, this middle-grade title features short but informative biographies and beautiful illustrations to keep readers engaged. Rainbow Revolutionaries is a great opportunity for children to recognize themselves in both the artwork and identities presented.

It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender, and Sexual Health

By Robie E. Harris

Using gender-neutral language throughout, the newest edition of this book strives to make understanding our bodies, relationships, and identities inclusive and accessible for young people. It is not exclusively about those who identify as LGBTQIA+, but rather acts as an all-encompassing sexual health book.

This Book Is Gay

By Juno Dawson

eBook  |  hoopla eBook  |  hoopla eAudiobook

An extremely popular title written for teens (but helpful for anyone) who are questioning their sexuality and want to learn more.

What’s the T?: The Guide to All Things Trans and/or Nonbinary

By Juno Dawson

eBook   |  hoopla

Similar to This Book is Gay (and by similar, I mean the same author wrote the same great guide for gender identity), Juno Dawson brings the same informative wit to those who are finding their fit along the gender identity spectrum.

Queer: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens

By Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke

eBook  |  eAudiobook  |  hoopla eBook  |  hoopla eAudiobook

When looking for the ultimate guide for LGBTQIA+ teens, it’s probably a safe bet to read the book that has “the ultimate guide” in the title.

Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human 

By Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan


Like It’s Perfectly Normal, this practical guide for teens covers topics like relationships, hormones, puberty, gender and sexual identity, safe sex, and more. The difference? It’s a graphic novel which may make the information feel more accessible and less intimidating for some.

This Book is for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question-and-Answer Guide to Everyday Life

By Dannielle Owens-Reid, Kristin Russo, and Linda Stone Fish

eBook  |  hoopla

Name a more obvious title, right? Often, parents are just as nervous as the child when it comes to coming out because, in a way, it changes expectations and can change the trajectory of a child’s life. Coming out is a process for everyone involved, and this can be a really helpful guide in answering some of your questions as an adult with a child who identifies as LGBTQIA+

The Gender Identity Guide for Parents: Compassionate Advice to Help Your Child Be Their Most Authentic Self

By Tavi Hawn

I’ve met plenty of parents (and people in general) who have a difficult time understanding that gender is a spectrum rather than a binary girl or boy. Written by a non-binary author, speaker, and consultant, this book serves as a guide to create an affirming environment for your child whether they are cisgender, transgender, unsure, or feel something else entirely. It also includes advice from other parents!

Raising LGBTQ Allies: A Parent’s Guide to Changing the Messages from the Playground

By Chris Tompkins

eBook  |  hoopla

Even though most of these titles are specific to people who identify as LGBTQIA+, education is for everyone. This is a great option for those who want to raise kind, compassionate kids who may have questions about people who are “different” and that different is just fine to be.

The Transgender Child: A Handook for Parents and Professionals Supporting Trangender and Nonbinary Children

By Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper

A comprehensive guidebook on gender variance which attempts to answer the deluge of questions adults find themselves asking when a young person in their care comes out as transgender. From the medical and physical to the social emotional, there are no stupid questions.

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