Gender nation donates LGBTQ+ affirming story books to public school libraries. Founded by Morgan Walsh & Keiko Feldman, two LA moms committed to helping California schools provide access to LGBTQ+ affirming story books to their students. In the last 10 years a huge amount of wonderful age appropriate story books that either directly or indirectly address the LGBTQ+ experience have been written. California passed the Fair Education Act in 2010 mandating equal representation in educational materials but our public schools are already over burdened. Gender Nation partners with book publishers and uses private donations to purchase the books on our list in bulk and then we donate the book sets at no cost to public school districts, helping CA schools meet the mandate of The Fair Education Act at the same time as reaching children who need us. We all remember getting lost in a book, but what about FINDING yourself in one? Gender Nation's book list is crafted with input from educators, authors, LGBTQ kids, parents and other organizations like Gender Spectrum and Good Reads. To date more than 50k students in SoCal have access to our book sets through their school library. To meet the current needs of students and schools we are providing virtual story times where authors and performers make videos of themselves reading the books - we can then send these videos to teacher for remote learning programming. LGBTQ+ kids are 5 times more likely to try and harm themselves but that number drops dramatically when a child is given even just a small amount of validation. The feedback has been incredible. We believe that providing a child who might not otherwise have any support with a reflection of their feelings and experience might literally be saving lives. But the truth is, all students benefit from exposure to the people that make up our democracy. Normalizing the LGBTQ+ experience reduces bullying and fosters healthy childhood development.
Funded by Los Angeles, CA (February 2021)