15 Books on LGBTQ History for Kids

In honor of Pride.

LGBTQ history is often missing from the school curriculum. That’s starting to change as states like California mandate its inclusion. But wherever you are and whatever grade you teach, you can make sure it’s part of your curriculum. This list of LGBTQ history books for kids is a great place to start—now during Pride and throughout the school year.

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Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart

A lovely choice for young children, this book describes the meaning behind each colorful stripe of the rainbow flag. Did you know that orange stands for healing?

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman

In lieu of an in-person parade, This Day in June invites readers to join in an exuberant celebration of Pride and share in a day in which we are all united. Also, check out the Reading Guide!

Sewing the Rainbow: A Story About Gilbert Baker by Gayle E. Pitman

This is the story of Gilbert Baker, the man who created the rainbow flag, set against the backdrop of San Francisco in the 1970s at the height of the gay rights movement.

When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Build a Community by Gayle E. Pitman

Another gem from author Pitman, this book introduces children to renowned LGBTQ activists and lesbian couple, Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin. Watch as Phyllis and Del transform their community and fight for change across the country.

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and The Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders

For an introduction to LGBTQ heroes, look no further than this children’s book from Rob Sanders, which tells the remarkable and moving story of social activist Harvey Milk and his collaboration with Gilbert Baker to create a symbol of equality of inclusion. 

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution by Rob Sanders

Also by author Sanders, this picture book is narrated by the Stonewall Inn, the location of a raid that would spark an uprising that marked the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the United States. 

The Gay Rights Movement by Eric Braun

With its engaging format, this book is an excellent choice for older elementary students. They’ll learn about key people and events in the fight for equal rights, as well as the challenges the movement faces to this day.

Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community by Robin Stevenson

What is Pride anyway? Answer that question with this lively book that covers how Pride came to be and what it means to the people who celebrate it.

Queer Heroes: Meet 53 LGBTQ Heroes From Past and Present! by Arabelle Sicardi

This beautifully illustrated book highlights the contributions of LGBTQ artists, writers, innovators, athletes, and activists … from Sappho to Freddie Mercury.

Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights by Jerome Pohlen

Share this book lest your students think the fight for LGBTQ rights is only a recent development. They’ll love the engaging personal stories, and you’ll love the included activities that help bring history to life.

Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets by Gayle E. Pitman

For upper elementary, this is a very readable chapter book covering the events leading up to the riots, the riots themselves, and the aftermath. 

Our Gay History in Fifty States by Zaylore Stout

Author Stout went on a cross-country trip to create this state-by-state account of significant people and places in LGBTQ history with the message that LGBTQ history is American history. This is a nice choice for middle school.

Troublemaker for Justice: The Story of Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the March on Washington by Jacqueline Houtman

A major player in the Civil Rights Movement, Bayard Rustin’s contributions are missing from most history books, in large part because he was gay. A terrific biography for middle to high school students.

The Book of Pride: LGBTQ Heroes Who Changed the World by Mason Funk

The story of the gay rights movement comes to life through interviews with the leaders, activists, and ordinary people who made it happen. Teens and tweens will be inspired by these stories.

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum

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Written specifically for teens, this book chronicles the Stonewall Riots and the gay rights movement that followed. A riveting telling.

Do you have any LGBTQ history books for kids you love? Share in the comments below.

Plus, 30 Children’s Books with LGBT Characters.

15 Books on LGBTQ History for Kids

Posted by Kimmie Fink

Kimmie is an editor at WeAreTeachers. She has 13 years of classroom teaching experience and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction.

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