We recognize the work and are so grateful for the wisdom offered by the following sources.
We thank them for their contributions.
And special thanks to Chrystal Sunshine,
who co-authored the first iteration of this theme for SHIFT Book Box.
Suggested Additional Readings
Phoenix Goes to School (Michelle Finch and Phoenix Finch, illustrated by Sharon Davey)
George (Alex Gino)
I am Jazz (Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas)
Julian is a Mermaid (Jessica Love)
Max and Friends (Series): Call Me Max (Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Luciano Lozano)
I'm Jay, Let's Play (Beth Reichmuth, illustrated by Nomy Lamm)
They Call Me Mix/Me Llaman Maestre (Lourdes Rivas, illustrated by Breena Nunez)
The Boy and the Bindi (Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Rajni Perera)
Not Quite Narwal (Jessie Sima)
The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids About Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families
(Rachel Simon, illustrated by Noah Grigni)
It Feels Good to Be Yourself (Teresa Thorn, illustrated by Noah Grigni)
Some Vocabulary to Support You in Talking about Gender (some definitions are fluid!)
- Biological Sex: Physiological characteristics that define a person as male, female, or intersex.
- Intersex: A term used to describe a variety of instances in which an individual is born with or develops anatomy, hormones, and/or chromosomes that do not seem to fit the typical definition of male or female. As common as being born with red hair!
- Gender: A culturally-constructed way to describe and understand characteristics and roles that are historically related to femininity, masculinity, women, men, and/or non-binary people.
- Gender Binary: An inaccurate cultural construct that affirms the existence of only two opposing and fixed genders, boy or girl, male or female, he or she.
- Gender Spectrum: An understanding of gender as a continuum that does not conform to a binary. The spectrum includes male and female but does not consider them to be absolutes or opposites.
- Gender Identity: The internal sense of being male, female, neither of these, both, or other gender(s) along the spectrum.
- Gender Expression: The way an individual performs and displays their gender identity through appearance, behaviors, interests, etc. There is no right or wrong way to express gender identity!
- Cisgender: A term for people whose gender identity matches the gender they were assigned at birth based upon their perceived biological sex.
- Transgender/Trans- An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the gender they were assigned at birth based upon their perceived biological sex. Note that transgender does not end with “ed.”
- Non-Binary: An umbrella term for all genders other than female/male or woman/man, used as an adjective (e.g. Max is a nonbinary person). Not all non-binary people identify as trans. Not all trans people identify as non-binary.
Many children experience their own gender identities as being non-binary, trans, and/or on another part of the spectrum. Let children lead the conversation about their own gender identities. Let’s support every child in expressing and celebrating their own unique gender/s.
“About Us.” Reflection Press, Accessed September 2020. Retrieved from https://reflectionpress.com/
Alvarenga, Jessica. “Kindergarten Teacher Writes Bilingual Children’s Book on How to Use Gender Neutral Pronouns.” Oakland North, 30 Nov, 2018, https://oaklandnorth.net/2018/11/30/kindergarten-teacher-writes-bilingual-childrens-book-on-how-to-use-gender-neutral-pronouns/. Accessed 1, Jan 2019.
Bardoff, Naomi. “About.” Naomi Bardoff Illustration and Design, 2017, http://naomibardoff.com/projects/. Accessed 1 Jan, 2019.
Dewey, Charlsie. “Queer children's book author Gonzalez creates gender-neutral character.” Windy City Times, 28 January 2015, Access September 2020. Retrieved from www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Queer-childrens-book-author-Gonzalez-creates-gender-neutral-character/50352.html
Gonzalez, Maya. “About Maya Gonzalez.” Maya Gonzalez: Artist, Author, Educator Activist, Accessed Sept 2020. Retrieved from http://www.mayagonzalez.com/about-maya/
Gonzalez, Maya. “PART 1: What are we really saying to our children? – Language Acquisition & Gender.” Maya Gonzalez Blog, 14 May 2019, Accessed September 2020 http://www.mayagonzalez.com/blog/
“Issues: Youth and Students.” National Center for Transgender Equality, 2019, https://transequality.org/issues/youth-students. Accessed 1 Jan, 2019.
“It’s Intersex Awareness Day - here are 5 myths we need to shatter.” Amnesty International, 26 October 2018, Accessed September 2020. Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/10/its-intersex-awareness-day-here-are-5-myths-we-need-to-shatter/
Jalissa. “The Diversity Gap in Children’s Book Publishing, 2018” Lee and Low Books: The Open Book Blog, 10 May, 2018, https://blog.leeandlow.com/2018/05/10/the-diversity-gap-in-childrens-book-publishing-2018/. Accessed 1 Jan 2019.
Kiefer, Lisa. “Interview with Brook Pessin-Whedbee.” Method to the Madness, from KALX, 17 March 2017, https://www.kalx.berkeley.edu/news/brook-pessin-whedbee-method-madness. Accessed 1 Jan, 2019.
“LGBTQ+ Definitions” Trans Student Educational Resources, http://www.transstudent.org/definitions/. Accessed 1 Jan, 2019.
Martin, Carol Lynn and Diane N. Ruble. “Patterns of Gender Development” Annual Review of Psychology Vol. 61 (2010): 353-81. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3747736/
Nuñez, Breena. “Here’s Some Stuff.” Breena Nuñez: Cartoonist and Educator, https://www.breenache.com/about/. Accessed 1 Jan, 2019.
Pence, Angelica. “Kahlo style: Color, passion, intimacy are the heart of artist’s decorating style.” San Francisco Chronicle, 9 October 2002, Accessed September 2020. Retrieved from http://www.mayagonzalez.com/about-maya/in-the-news-san-francisco-chronicle-october-2002/
Pessin-Whedbee, Brook. “About Us.” Kids Guide to Gender, 2017, kidsguidetogender.com/about/. Accessed 1 Jan, 2019.
Price, Devon. “When (& How) to Ask About Pronouns: A Shy Enby’s Guide for Cis & Trans People” Medium, 29 Apr. 2018, https://medium.com/@devonprice/when-how-to-ask-about-pronouns-b7fc24df6653. Accessed 1 Jan, 2019.
Rivas, Lourdes. “They Call Me Mix.” Kickstarter, 2018, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theycallmemix/they-call-me-mix. Accessed 1 Jan, 2019.
Russo, Juniper. “Definition of "Gender Spectrum." The Queer Dictionary, 2014, http://queerdictionary.blogspot.com/2014/09/definition-of-gender-spectrum.html. Accessed 1, Jan 2019.
Sands, Anita. “Diversity and inclusion aren’t what matter. Belonging is what counts.” Medium, 26 March 2019, Accessed September 2020. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@AnitaSands/diversity-and-inclusion-arent-what-matter-belonging-is-what-counts-4a75bf6565b5
“Transgender Native Americans’ Experiences Revealed in New Report” National Center for Transgender Equality, 16 NOV, 2017, https://transequality.org/press/releases/transgender-native-americans-experiences-revealed-in-new-report. Accessed 1 Jan, 2019.
“Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2018.” Human Rights Campaign, 2019, https://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-transgender-community-in-2018. Accessed 1 Jan, 2019.
“What is Intersex.” Intersex Society of North America, 2008, http://www.isna.org/faq/ what_is_intersex. Accessed 1, Jan 2019.