National Coming Out Day is October 11th, and to mark that occasion the Lawrence GSA and the Falmouth Academy GSA will be meeting for a social event and book talk. Myself, the GSA leaders, and co-owner at Eight Cousins Bookstore, Sara Hines will be hosting the students in the Lawrence Library and discussing some important books dealing with LGBTQ issues. To prepare for my piece in this event I have taken a huge bag of books home to read and re-read that I want to discuss with the students. Today I created a book display that showcases some of of LGBTQ literature in the library – fiction and nonfiction.
The Pants Project follows Liv, who was born in a girl’s body but identifies as a boy. When Liv starts middle school he is forced to wear a skirt, per the school’s strict dress code. While battling bullies, losing a best friend, and trying to navigate a new school, Liv is able to find some loyal friends who want to help change the dress code as a means to make everyone feel comfortable in their own skin. This book is wonderful for students questioning their gender, or students who want to understand what it means to be transgender and provides a window into the mind of feeling so out of place in your body. This book also works on a different level for our students, because we do have a dress code in our school, so a lot of students will find a common ground with Liv. Although, our students are allowed to wear skirts, pants, dresses, and shorts!
Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart was one amazing read I couldn’t put down, and stayed up until past my bedtime finishing it. Lily, born Timothy is slowing trying to transition, but is meeting some resistance from her father about hormone blockers and her choice of clothes, makeup, and hair. She also is having difficulties getting through the day without being bullied by a group of boys. She meets Norbert before school starts, who she lovingly refers to as Dunkin, because Norbert also doesn’t think his name fits him and absolutely loves Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin is battling his own demons, an absent father, mental health issues, and deciding where he fits in at a new school.