Promised Land: An LGBTQ+ Children's Book

Promised Land: An LGBTQ+ Children's Book

Representation is an important factor in acceptance.
41
views

If there's one thing that the media could have more of, it would be representation. It is important for all marginalized groups to be represented in the media, including literature. Literature and other forms of media surround every inch of our society. In order for minorities to want to explore these forms of media, it helps if there are characters in them that reflect them in some way. Characters that they relate to. These characters, if they exist, often are stereotypical and often have little complexity. In the cases of LGBTQ+ characters, their most important storyline is often their sexuality. Imagine if every straight character's main triumph was realizing that they were straight or their storyline only revolved around their sexuality. That is often the only storylines that LGBTQ+ characters get. Their sexuality is always most important, which is not how it should be.

For the LGBTQ+ community, representation has always been slim, especially in literature. But in children's literature? It's almost unheard of. Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris have created a children's book, Promised Land, that gives more depth to LGBTQ+ characters. The story doesn't revolve around their sexuality, instead, the character's love is a small detail, just like it should be. This story has all of the elements of a great children's book; adventure, an evil villain, a brave hero, and even a cute animal sidekick. It also happens to have two male characters that fall in love.

Another amazing aspect this book has is that Reynolds and Harris hand-picked their artists for the beautiful illustrations throughout this book. Christine Luiten and Bo Moore created 32 unique and intricate illustrations for this beautiful children's book.

Both Reynolds and Harris are part of the LGBTQ+ community themselves, so they used their experiences to fuel the creation of this children's book. Reynolds thought it was important to write stories that he never saw growing up, which is why representation is so important. This book gives LGBTQ+ youth something to relate to and look up to. In a world that has always told us that we are different, it is important for children to have characters that show them that they aren't alone, that there are people out there who love like they do.

When asked why they wanted to create this book, Harris reflects on some of the tragedies that the LGBTQ+ community, and LGBTQ+ youth in particular, have experienced. In an interview with Odyssey, he said he felt "helpless about how you could even begin to change the message so something like that would never happen again." This was his way of contributing to the change in conversation that needs to take place in order for the LGBTQ+ community to be normalized.

When asked the same thing, Reynolds said, "We wanted to create a story where the sexuality of the characters was not the focus and one where their relationship was not an issue. Our hope is that young people growing up and struggling with their sexuality can look at the characters in our book and see themselves represented." He added, "We also hope it may be able to contribute to early acceptance from young people ahead of the time when they may encounter LGBTQ+ classmates, friends, or relatives later on in their lives."

Both Reynolds and Harris realize that although we have made progress, there is still very far to go for the LGBTQ+ community in terms of equality. When asked what is the hardest obstacle for the LGBTQ+ community Harris states, "People choosing fear and hate, to not value all human beings equally instead of choosing love and acceptance. I think that’s what it comes down to in any case of human inequality, isn’t it? " LGBTQ+ fight against others for their equality every day.

Representation helps that fight. It shows members LGBTQ+ community that they can be heroes, villains, sidekicks, and lovers just like their straight counterparts can. It also shows people who are not members of the LGBTQ+ community, that we are just like them. Telling stories that allow LGBTQ+ characters to be more than their sexuality is what is going to impact our society the most. As Reynolds said, "Visibility is one of the most important factors in promoting acceptance."

Reynolds and Harris' hope is that this book will expand the minds of those who read it. Whether it be LGBTQ+ individuals or not. They want to fight against the idea that LGBTQ+ representation in media, especially children's books, is not going to "turn someone gay," as that was one of their biggest criticisms. This book isn't about sex or sexuality for that matter, it's a classic storyline about heroes fighting a villain.

This story will help many LGBTQ+ youth. For them to see characters that are like them in books they're reading is extremely important. No spoilers here but the main characters will have you rooting for their triumph the entire way. Not to mention there are some badass women who break gender roles with such grace that my feminist heart almost exploded.

Pre-order your copy here and look out for the release February 14th!


Cover Image Credit: Promised Land

Popular Right Now

If Taylor Swift Songs Were Types Of Alcohol

Because what's better than a drink and some T-Swift?
8732
views

With Taylor Swift's quick return to the music scene... and in a big way, might I add, I decided to associate some of the best Taylor Swift songs with alcohol.

I mean, who wouldn't want to drink to Taylor Swift's catchy melodies and perfect choruses to get over an ex or tell someone exactly how you feel about them?

Taylor Swift has been around for a decade at this point, and let's face it, pretty much all of her songs could go along with at least one type of alcohol.

1. "Welcome To New York" - Moscow Mule

It only makes sense. Visit the Big Apple and you have to indulge in the state's signature cocktail. Moscow mules are a New York classic, and if it's your first night in the city and you haven't bought yourself one, are you even in New York?

2. "Blank Space" - Everclear

Think about it... A night of drinking Everclear will leave you with a giant blank space the next day. You might also look like Taylor did in the music video.

3. "Tim McGraw" - Beer

Tim McGraw is a throwback to Taylor's high school love. What better way to reminisce than with a couple friends and a keg of your favorite cheap beer?

4. "Style" - Cristal Champagne

What's more stylish than with a glass of the most expensive bubbly you can find? Just like Taylor Swift, Cristal will never go out of style.

5. "Shake It Off" - Martini

Get it? Cause you shake a martini? I might be the only one who thinks that's funny but you might end up dancing a little bit with a martini in hand when "Shake It Off" come on the radio.

6. "Red" - Merlot


Red has to go along with a red wine. What else could go along with yet *another* T-Swift breakup song?

7. "22" - Margaritas

Let's face it, when you're 22, you really only drink margaritas. They're fun- and all the hipsters are probably drinking them too.

8. "Teardrops On My Guitar" - Southern Comfort

When your heart is broken, who are you going to turn to besides the only alcohol that gives you comfort...Southern Comfort that is.

9. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Fireball

I can't say I've ever met anyone who spent a night with Fireball and didn't regret it the next morning.

10. "Look What You Mad Me Do" - Tequila

T-Swift's latest single is an angry one. What better to make you angry than tequila? Taylor basically just called out everyone who had ever talked about her behind her back and she did it in true Taylor fashion-by writing a song. She was probably drunk on tequila when she wrote it too.

11. ...Ready For It? - Bottomless Mimosas

Because it's just that good.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Board Games Are More Important Than You Think They Are

They've become a defining part of my family.

1468
views

Remember when you were a kid and you'd have a family game night? Or your friends would come over and you'd open the game cabinet and play at least three different games together?

Maybe it's just me, but those are some of my best memories from my childhood. My family loves games, board games, and electronic games.

Of course, as I got older, gaming consoles like PlayStation and Wii became more and more popular. That meant that the game cabinet was opened less and less, collecting dust.

Thankfully, I live in New Jersey near the shore and Hurricane Sandy left my family with no power for five days. Sure, it was scary not having power and walking around my neighborhood seeing fallen trees or roof shingles, but we were inland enough to not have had any flood water damage.

No power also meant no PlayStation or Wii games. The gaming cabinet was opened again, this time with vigor. Now, four years later, and I still think about sitting in the dark with a flashlight playing Scrabble with my family.

That was also the week I learned how to play Yahtzee and dominated my dad in every game. My sister constantly was looking for someone to play her to Battleship. We exhausted Rummikub.

The game was already a family favorite, and that's including extended family. Family barbeques had been ending with late night games of Rummikub for at least a year by the time Sandy hit.

We were ready to strategize and crunch numbers, but after day three, we never wanted to a number ever again.

This semester, there's been a surge of board game love again in my family. My sister bought Jenga, which we are currently trying to exhaust ourselves with. My favorite board game also had a comeback: Life.

I loved this game so much that I had the SpongeBob version as a kid. I would play it with my best friend, just the two of us, playing game after game of Bikini Bottom themed Life. Now, I have a car full of "kids" that I've started to make pets in my head. I can handle having five pretend dogs, but not five pretend kids.

I don't know what it is about board games, but my family has always had an affinity for them. We've gone through our cycles of playing video games and card games, but we always come back to the classics. Maybe it's more a defining part of my family than I originally thought.

Related Content

Facebook Comments