Local PFLAG chapter donates LGBTQ+ featured books to local libraries

Lydia McNanney '23, Business Manager

Representation is a necessity for members of the LGBTQ(+) community to feel welcomed and accepted. This past year the Grosse Pointe chapter of PFLAG, a group for parents and friends of LQBTQ(+) kids, committed to providing this representation in the form of donating books featuring diverse couples and families to local libraries.

According to local therapist and PFLAG board member Ellen Miller, the lack of inclusive books in local libraries was alarming, and when brought to the group’s attention, fixing the issue quickly became one of their initiatives.

“We had noticed that the local and school libraries didn’t carry a lot of LGBTQ(+) inclusive books,” Miller said. “So that became one of the projects that we wanted to take on and donate those books to the libraries.”

Miller says that representation in the books present in libraries are vital for the community, as they can help connect and educate members of the LGBTQ(+) community as well as their friends and families.

“For LGBTQ(+) youth, seeing themselves in books shows them that their identities are valid,” Miller said. “There’s such an importance in seeing people that look like you, have similar values to you, and express themselves in a similar way”

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation believes that uniquenesses should be celebrated amongst individuals rather than ignored, and a key example of this can be found in the literature available.

“It is important for children to see their reality reflected back to them through the literature that is available and used in classrooms,” HRCF said. “It is also important for all students to understand that families are unique while at the same time they share many common values, beliefs, and traditions.”

The Grosse Pointe chapter of PFLAG was established in 2017, and since its commencement, chapter president Maurya Kay says the group has worked to provide a safe and accepting space for all members of the LGBTQ(+) community.

“We’re there to help parents and family members understand how to be supportive of their LGBTQ(+) loved ones and kids,” Kay said. “We have monthly meetings with different guest speakers who are individuals that either are members of, or serve the LGBTQ(+) community.”

This recent book drive has been the first education and advocacy outreach the group has done, but Kay hopes to hold many similar programs in the future in addition to the group’s monthly meetings.

“We plan to have an ongoing yearly donation of educational materials books for the libraries and local schools,” Kay said. “We want to just keep providing the necessities for serving this diverse community.”