On the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, author Joy Ellison reflects on why we need to talk about transgender history with children.
When I was looking for a publisher for Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution! The Story of the Trans Women of Color Who Made Lgbtq+ History, one question haunted me.
Is it age appropriate? Should we really be talking about transgender history with our children?
Editors asked me. Agents asked me. My writing teacher flat out told me that I couldn’t write a picture book about this topic.
It hurt. Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson are my heroes – two transgender women of color and best friends who changed history during the Stonewall Rebellion. Sylvia and Marsha’s uncompromising love for themselves and courageous activism inspired me. They made me proud to be transgender and I wanted to share that pride with kids, especially transgender kids and children of color.
It hurt, but I wasn’t surprised.