Representation is Everything!

4 min read

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Gender & Family Diversity in Children’s Books

By Heidi Lubin

Reflections of oneself and family are crucial in children’s literature and the following books are a testament to this! Below is a selection from Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose’s collection, specially curated for its Proud of My Family celebration.

Families, Families, Families!

By Suzanne Lang and Max Lang

Fun and colorful illustrations of animals walk the reader through different family configurations such as, “Some children have two dads. Some have one mom. Some children live with their grandparents… and some live with an aunt.”

And Tango Makes Three

By Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, Illustrated by Henry Cole

A heartwarming story of two father penguins who take on the greatest challenge, raising a baby penguin together!

All Families Are Special

By Norma Simon, Illustrated by Teresa Flavin

This book takes place in a classroom as a share and tell, prompted by their teacher, where children each have a turn to tell their classmates about their families. At the end, it’s unanimous, that all families are not the same but all families are special!

Who’s In My Family? All About Our Families

By Robie H. Harris, Illustrated by Nadine Bernard Wescott

The day begins with Gus and Nellie, who are going on a trip to the zoo! They start the day with breakfast, which leads to a discussion about how families eat many different things for breakfast, do many different things together, and are unique in their own ways. But families, even though they have good times and challenging times, love to be together.

The Great Big Book of Families

By Mary Hoffman, Illustrated by Ros Asquith

A contemporary Richard Scarry-esque book that depicts contemporary families and life. The Great Big Book of Families has engaging illustrations of families, homes, schools, jobs, holidays, food, clothes, pets, hobbies, transportation, and feelings. At the end, readers are prompted to think about or create a family tree, noting that family trees evolve as a family grows.

Heather Has Two Mommies

By Lesléa Newman, Illustrated by Laura Cornell

Join Heather as she makes the transition from spending most of her time with her two moms to going to kindergarten. The first day is a success with lots of play and drawing of family portraits!

Julián is a Mermaid

By Jessica Love

Julián wants to become a mermaid and although he’s fearful of how his abuela will react, she ends up being his biggest ally!

Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship

By Jessica Walton, Illustrated by Dougal MacPherson

Errol and Thomas the Teddy have an inseparable friendship. One day, Thomas the Teddy tells Errol that he would like to be a girl Teddy and be named Tilly. Errol welcomes Tilly with open arms.

Worm Loves Worm

By J.J. Austrian, Illustrated by Mike Curato

Two worms fall in love. As they prepare for their nuptials, their insect friends have lots of questions about who will wear the dress and who will wear the tux.

Hello, My Name is Octicorn

By Kevin Diller and Justin Lowe

Octicorn, the child of a unicorn and an octopus, explores how it is sometimes difficult to fit in since he’s the only Octicorn around. Although he looks different than everyone else, he has a lot to share through his unique interests and ability to give great hugs, and in the end, concludes that he is like everybody else in that he just wants to have friends.

I Am Jazz

By Jessica Herschel & Jazz Jennings

Jazz shares her story on how it is for her being born a boy but identifying as a girl.

The Santa Clara County Office of LGBTQ Affairs Kid’s Activity Book

By Maya Gonzalez

A beautifully illustrated activity book by artist Maya Gonzalez, will engage your children through coloring pages and short stories exploring LGBTQ presence in history, nature, and community. Additional resources included.

Click on the link to enjoy:

Family Resources

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose has worked over the years with the following community partners to develop its annual Proud of My Family event that celebrates LGBTQ+ families, children, and their allies.


Instagram @thelgbtqyouthspace

The Youth Space is a community drop-in center and mental health program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and ally youth and young adults ages 13–25 who live in Santa Clara County. The Youth Space is a program of Family & Children Services and Caminar.

Community drop-in programming includes support groups, art workshops, field trips, and mental health services offered in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language. The Youth Space outreach team also offers gender/sexuality awareness workshop to organizations and students. In addition to workshops, we can also provide LGBTQ+ speakers from our Speakers Bureau to share their lived experiences.

The Santa Clara County Office of LGBTQ Affairs

#SCCOEPride or (408) 678–2900

Depending on the scope of the request, the Santa Clara County Office of LGBTQ Affairs may be able to provide training, case-specific assistance, cross-departmental best practices, external relations, communications, resources development, community engagement, and mobilization, and measuring progress.

The Santa Clara County Office of LGBTQ Affairs is committed to policy, programs, and research. The Office of LGBTQ Affairs:

  • Monitors and makes recommendations around policies that impact LGBTQ communities
  • Leads, collaborates on and supports a diverse range of programs that provide resources and opportunities for LGBTQ communities in Santa Clara County to thrive
  • Conducts, commissions, and analyzes research to learn more about the experiences of LGBTQ communities in Santa Clara County. Research findings are used to inform program development and to help tailor services and activities to needs

Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people of all ages and backgrounds find resources at the Center that are not available elsewhere. The Center offers HIV testing, special events, programming, art exhibits, support groups, library resources, and volunteer opportunities.

The Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center provides community, leadership, advocacy, services, and support to Silicon Valley’s LGBTQ People and their Allies.

The Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center strives to be the community’s premier resource hub and a recognized leader in promoting health, strength, diversity and inclusiveness.


For over 40 years, Silicon Valley Pride, formerly San Jose Pride, has honored the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) community and its allies with a Pride parade and festival. The annual parade and festival are produced by the Gay Pride Celebration Committee of San Jose (GPCCSJ, Inc.) an incorporated non-profit organization wholly organized and staffed by volunteers. We are the largest Pride organization in Northern California, outside of San Francisco. Attendees come from all over the Bay Area to participate in the festival and related events. The festival attracts thousands of guests each year and is the largest LGBTQ event held in the South Bay.

Housing Assistance

Additional resources for housing assistance for LGBTQ+ Youth (2023 Guide) can be found here.

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