3 podcasts for Pride

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LGBTQ Pride Month is almost over, but before it wraps up, I wanted to shout out some relevant podcasts. Each of these either focuses on gender and sexuality or is hosted by someone who identifies as LGBTQ.

    1. Nancy — So many media narratives about LGBTQ life focus on issues of coming out, bullying, and harassment. This WNYC podcast doesn’t neglect those struggles, but it also tells a broader range of stories es. In a recent episode, for instance, one of the hosts attended a summer camp for queer adults and recorded the evolution of her crush on a fellow camper. In another, the hosts arranged a Skype meeting between an experienced drag queen and an Alaskan high schooler to get advice on going to prom in drag.
    2. Free Cookies — On this ESPNW podcast, sports journalist Kate Fagan and yoga teacher Kathryn Budig share sports and wellness advice, alongside interviews with top athletes. I love podcasts where you get to hear an authentic personal dynamic between podcast co-hosts, and Fagan and Budig, who are in a relationship, definitely deliver. They are smitten and supportive but also realistic about each others’ shortcomings.
    3. Out Here in America – This is a new podcast from Mississippi’s Sun Herald newspaper, focused on the lives of LBGTQ folks in the rural South. It will take more than a few episodes for the show to hit its stride, but there’s a lot of potential there. The first episode tackled the Pulse nightclub shooting anniversary, and the second featured comedian Tig Notaro recounting her wedding held on the beach in Mississippi.

Of course these are just a few podcasts with LGBTQ themes or hosts. Feel free to share other recommendations in the comments!

Happy book birthday to “George” by Alex Gino

George by Alex Gino

I just heard about “George,” a new middle grade novel featuring a transgender main character. It was released today by Scholastic The book is Alex Gino‘s debut, so congrats to Alex and happy book birthday!

Here’s the description of “George” from Alex’s website:

“When people look at George, they see a boy. But George knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part … because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte – but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

GEORGE is a candid, genuine, and heartwarming middle grade about a transgender  girl who is, to use Charlotte’s word, R-A-D-I-A-N-T!”

Hopefully I can get my hands on this soon. If you read it first, let me know what you think.

For a picture book and young adult titles featuring transgender main characters, see this post from June.

P.S. I heard about “George” from the “All the Books” podcast, a weekly show about great new releases. Children’s books aren’t talked about much on the show, but it’s a great listen for avid adult readers.

Flamingo Rampant Book Club: Support a small press that celebrates diversity

One summer in college I interned at the Human Rights Campaign (a national nonprofit that advocates on LGBTQ issues). My supervisor quickly noticed my keen eye for spelling and grammar errors and put me to work on long hours of copy editing bibliographies. I can’t think of a more boring thing to copy edit, since it’s not even sentences and paragraphs, but the upshot was that some of the sections were lists of children’s books with LGBTQ themes. At the time, I hadn’t read any books like And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.

How cool! I thought immediately. Most of the books seemed to have a message that having gay parents or being a gender non-conforming kid is A-OK, like the two more recent picture books I reviewed on this site in June. So my next thought was, Now we need children’s books where gender and sexuality’s not the theme, but those characters are a normal part of the landscape. And I made that one of my writing goals. Luckily, I’m not the only one to whom this idea/goal has occurred.

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