Writing books for middle graders, teens, and young adults growing up in families headed by same-sex parents is a wonderful experience. I meet a lot of great people, hear a lot of fantastic stories, and every now and then I get to make a difference in someone’s life.
When young people see their own type of families reflected in the literature they read, lives can be changed. It provides a sense of self-esteem that even the most loving, caring, and supportive parents cannot.
We hear about the kids who get bullied because they are, or are perceived to be, LGBTQI themselves. But it’s not too often that we hear about the kids being raised by LGBTQI parents being harassed at school and on the internet, which also happens every single day of the year.
These kids often feel especially picked on because if they were growing up with hetero/cisgendered parents they would not be subjected to this type of harassment. Of course, that’s not to say that they wouldn’t still be bullied. We all know that bullies will identify whatever you are sensitive about to torment you. (And if you didn’t know that, take my word for it.)
But when kids see their own rainbow families represented in fiction it validates their homes as being just as normal as anyone else’s. Unless, of course, your house has been painted in rainbow colors, because, well, that’s pretty weird. Pretty and weird, and wouldn’t I love to have one!