Then & Now

6 Mar

Last night I was watching Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist on television with my boyfriend.  After one particular scene, where two of the characters are talking about the Beatles’ song, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (as they’re holding hands) a lesbian couple walks by holding hands as well and gives them a nod (as in, we’re part of the same group).  At that point, I wondered aloud if something like that would actually happen “in the real world” which began our discussion about the LGBT community and how much has changed in the past few years.  Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist was produced in 2008, which was less than a decade ago, but things have changed drastically since then and I hope they continue to move forward as more and more people accept people for who they are, not for who they love.

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, published in 2005 has been on the top ten banned books list for 6 years in since 2006.  It’s based on a true story about two male penguins who took care of an abandoned egg, just like a male/female couple would.  Since then, although not mainstream, there have been a number of books featuring same sex couples and parents, allowing children in these families to find themselves in books too.

If you’re looking for some great titles to add to your collection, check out the Stonewall Book Award presented by ALA, “the first and most enduring award for GLBT books.” (ala.org)  Or maybe you’re looking for authors and illustrators who they themselves are gay?  Look no further than The Horn Book’s article, “Five Gay Picture-Book Prodigies and the Difference They’ve Made.”

With the access to the Internet, finding books about diversity is not as difficult as it has been in the past, there is always an audience for these books, even if you can’t see it, and it’s our job as public librarians to make these books accessible to the kids, teens and adults who need/want them.

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