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You Went To School To Learn, Girl, Things You Never Ever Knew Before

essietee's picture
See video
See video


Kaye's picture

simple as ABC--and nuanced

Essietee, what a delightful prototype of an LGBT ABC book you've created!  The illustrations, text, and prompts for further discussion provide perspectives on gender and sexuality that are both playful and rich in potential (drawing on a few of the "p" words that frame our class).  I like how you've presented your project via YouTube and appreciate how your soothing voice and calm presence on the video further enhances the appeal of the book. 

I've taken the liberty to highlight your key words so that others might comment on them as well:  Ally, Bi-Sexual, Community, Diversity, Equality, Fluid, Gender, Hormones, Intersex, Justice, Karma, LGBT, Marriage Equality, Normal, Orientation, Pride, Queer, Rights, Sex, Trans, Understanding, Values, Women's Studies, X-factor, You, Ze/Zim/Zer.  And, I'd like to share some thoughts for you to consider are you continue to work on this project.

I'm glad that you used "hormones" to represent the letter "h" and that you highlight their diversity.  Stating how hormones "help make you 'you' ... "help support your cells and organs and help make you strong and healthy" and that everyone has both testosterone and estrogen (although at different levels) avoids casting hormones as the determinant of gender without ignoring that they contribute to sexual differences.

As you've discovered, some letters are indeed difficult to weave into any ABC book.  For the letter "k", you might want to use the word "kinds," which could let you include different kinds of people in terms of races, ethnicities, abilities, etc.  Or possibly, the word, "kids."  For the letter "w", women's studies does work, but it might help if you say something how women are but one gender, and people now work in gender studies?  Or maybe, you could use the word "work" to highlight how people of different genders and sexualities work in all different types of jobs.

On your "S is for Sex" page, you write that there are "private parts that make you a boy or a girl."  While I appreciate the need to keep your audience in mind and not over-complexify what you say, you also don't want to reinforce sex/gender binaries.  I'm not sure what to recommend here.  Including the word "can" (private parts that can make you a boy or a girl) keeps open other possibilities, yet still doesn't cohere with your page, "I is for Intersex." 

I think you've crafted a successful book to help children develop a "broad sense of self as well as an understanding of others" and hope that his project does indeed "take off"!  A few more questions:  Did you create all the illustrations?  How do you plan to get feedback from parents of young children and from others, including authors and/or sellers of children's books?  I'm curious to know what they consider to be appropriate ages for readers/listeners. 

Looking forward to the next edition!


Amophrast's picture

I like that your audience is

I like that your audience is both children and those who want to talk to/educate children. The book looks great!