Promised Land: An LGBTQ+ Children's Book
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Promised Land: An LGBTQ+ Children's Book

Representation is an important factor in acceptance.

60
Promised Land: An LGBTQ+ Children's Book
Promised Land

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!


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

69317

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1557048

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

970226
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

895892
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

582649
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

370812
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

490362

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments