For as long as there has been human civilization, LGBT people have played a part—from farmers to poets, generals to foot soldiers, peasants to queens and kings. Given today’s headlines involving marriage equality and gender transitioning, it would be easy for children to assume that the campaign for LGBT equality is a 21st-century development, rather than the final act in a struggle that started well over 100 years ago. Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights, with 21 Activities (Chicago Review Press, ages 9+) by Jerome Pohlen helps young readers understand the rich history of LGBT people and put more recent events into context.
After providing a brief history up to 1900, subsequent chapters in the book discuss the struggle for our rights from the 1920s to today. The history is told through personal stories and firsthand accounts of the movement’s key events. Readers will learn how many famous personalities from our community kept their sexual orientation a secret, and they may be surprised to discover just how many accomplished figures throughout history were also gay. —Suzie Lynde