What's in the Archives? LGBTQ2+ Kids’ Lit

What’s in the Archives? LGBTQ2+ Kids’ Lit

What’s in the Archives? LGBTQ2+ Kids’ Lit

Cover photo of Come sit by meIf you have been to the Archives, then you know that there are all sorts of unexpected and incredible things tucked away in every corner. After going through the Archives myself, I was caught off-guard by the small (but impressive) collection of LGBTQ2+ children’s books.

You might be asking yourself “why is a [small] collection of LGBTQ2+ themed children’s books, impressive?” Well, so much of what we talk about when we think of LGBTQ2+ history is entangled in the triumphs (and struggles) of LGBTQ2+ adults. When children appear as central figures in gay and trans issues, they predominantly exist in tandem within the context of LGBTQ2+ families. Their narratives as LGBTQ2+ figures are almost entirely erased. Thanks to the efforts of LGBTQ2+ adults seeking representation, these books can exist and allow the figure of LGBTQ2+ children to exist, without diminishing or erasing their identities all together.

Cover of Oliver Button is a Sissy written by Tomie dePaolaOne of the most remarkable things about these books is located in the diversity of the material. This collection of literature goes back as far as 1979, with a book called “Oliver Button is a Sissy” written by Tomie dePaola, the creator of PBS kids’ classics such as Barney and Friends and the critically acclaimed picture book, Strega Nona.

Back of a children's book with two moms and a small child, a cat, and a dogThis literature also gives LGBTQ2+ children who pick up these books the chance to see their families represented and sometimes see themselves as they get older in stories that they love. They also prompt children to challenge what they know and gain new knowledge about sexual and gender diversity.

The books featured are available at 34 Isabella Street. If you would like to find out more about the CLGA’s collection of children’s books, send us an email at queeries@clga.ca.

Written by: Shayla Sabada, CLGA Intern

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What’s in the Archives? LGBTQ2+ Kids’ Lit

What’s in the Archives? LGBTQ2+ Kids’ Lit

Cover photo of Come sit by meIf you have been to the Archives, then you know that there are all sorts of unexpected and incredible things tucked away in every corner. After going through the Archives myself, I was caught off-guard by the small (but impressive) collection of LGBTQ2+ children’s books.

You might be asking yourself “why is a [small] collection of LGBTQ2+ themed children’s books, impressive?” Well, so much of what we talk about when we think of LGBTQ2+ history is entangled in the triumphs (and struggles) of LGBTQ2+ adults. When children appear as central figures in gay and trans issues, they predominantly exist in tandem within the context of LGBTQ2+ families. Their narratives as LGBTQ2+ figures are almost entirely erased. Thanks to the efforts of LGBTQ2+ adults seeking representation, these books can exist and allow the figure of LGBTQ2+ children to exist, without diminishing or erasing their identities all together.

Cover of Oliver Button is a Sissy written by Tomie dePaolaOne of the most remarkable things about these books is located in the diversity of the material. This collection of literature goes back as far as 1979, with a book called “Oliver Button is a Sissy” written by Tomie dePaola, the creator of PBS kids’ classics such as Barney and Friends and the critically acclaimed picture book, Strega Nona.

Back of a children's book with two moms and a small child, a cat, and a dogThis literature also gives LGBTQ2+ children who pick up these books the chance to see their families represented and sometimes see themselves as they get older in stories that they love. They also prompt children to challenge what they know and gain new knowledge about sexual and gender diversity.

The books featured are available at 34 Isabella Street. If you would like to find out more about the CLGA’s collection of children’s books, send us an email at queeries@clga.ca.

Written by: Shayla Sabada, CLGA Intern

Leave a reply

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CONTACT US


Telephone: 416-777-2755
Email: queeries@clga.ca

Street Address:
34 Isabella Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1N1

Mailing Address:
Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives
P.O. Box 699
663A Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z9

PUBLIC HOURS

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Friday

NOTE TO RESEARCHERS:
Some of our materials are stored off site. Before visiting the archives, please send us an email at queeries@clga.ca listing in detail the topics and sources that you wish to consult and we will let you know when they will be available. We aim to respond to email inquiries within 4 business days.

The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives is located on the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishnaabe and the Huron-Wendat. Today, Toronto is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

The CLGA strives to gather the stories of the unheard and silenced voices of the 2SLGBTQ+ first peoples of this land. We acknowledge that some stories have already been lost, and we aim to ensure that those that remain and those that are to come are preserved for the future.