MegaphoneThe right-wing group One Million Moms has launched a campaign asking publisher Scholastic to stop publishing and promoting LGBTQ-inclusive children’s books. Let’s launch back.

One Million Moms is a project of the American Family Association, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. On its website, One Million Moms writes: “Scholastic is not safe for your child and parents should be warned. Scholastic Inc., the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, is using its platform to promote pro-homosexual and pro-transgender books for children.” (I won’t boost their traffic with a live link. Google them if you wish.)

They call out the book George, by Alex Gino, about a transgender girl, and also note that the publisher has posted several roundups of books about two-mom and two-dad families and about transgender children. “Scholastic does not have our children’s best interests at heart. Tell Scholastic to stop harming children…. Ask that they discontinue publishing and promoting pro-homosexual and pro-transgender books for children,” they claim. As supporting evidence, they cite an anti-transgender statement from the American College of Pediatricians—but don’t let that fool you. That’s a socially conservative advocacy group, and a far cry from the main professional organization for pediatricians, the LGBTQ-supporting American Academy of Pediatrics.

Scholastic, like many organizations, has had a long journey to getting comfortable with LGBTQ content. In 2009, they requested that author Lauren Myracle change the lesbian moms of one character in her middle-grade novel Luv Ya Bunches into a mom and a dad, or they would not carry the book in their hugely popular book fairs. After hearing from many people (including Mombian readers!) they backed down. Since that time, they have also brought their HRC Corporate Equality Index rating up from a 50 to an 80; not quite a perfect 100, but a good step in the right direction. And they published a blog post in 2016 on “Finding me: LGBTQ Books for Kids“; and one in 2017 on their blog for teachers about how to “Create Inclusive, Affirming Schools for LGBTQ Students,” in addition to the roundups of LGBTQ-inclusive books that irked One Million Moms. Additionally, they have been a sponsor of the Lambda Literary Awards for several years. They thus seem to have become very good allies.

Scholastic books that include LGBTQ characters include not only George, but also the picture book Monday Is One Day, by Arthur Levine; teen graphic novel Drama, by Raina Telgemeier; and young adult novels Drag Teen, by Jeffrey Self, and The Incredible Magic of Being, by Kathryn Erskine. (H/t to Louisa for her comment re: Erskine’s book.) Additionally, Scholastic distributes LGBTQ-inclusive books from other publishers through its book fairs, such as Luv Ya Bunches (part of a series by Myracle) and Families by Susan Kuklin, which caused one Catholic magazine to inveigh against them last fall.

Let’s reassure Scholastic that they made the right decision in supporting LGBTQ children and families through LGBTQ-inclusive materials. Contact them now to tell them why you appreciate LGBTQ representation in children’s and young adult books. Here are (under 280-character) blurbs you can use as a starting point if you like—but please customize as you wish (e.g., change “meant” to “would have meant” if it’s a hypothetical for you):

As an LGBTQ parent, I feel it is vital for my children to see families like theirs in the books they read—and for all children to read about the many types of families and people in our world today. Thank you, @scholastic, for books that make a difference.

As the child of an LGBTQ parent, I know how much it meant to me to see families like mine in books I read–and how important it is for all children to read about the many types of families and people in our world today. Thank you, @scholastic, for books that make a difference.

As the parent of an LGBTQ child, I feel it is vital for my child to see themselves reflected in the books they read–and for all children to read about the many types of families and people in our world today. Thank you, @scholastic, for books that make a difference.

As an LGBTQ person, I know how much it meant to me to see people like myself in books I read–and how important it is for all children to read about the many types of families and people in our world today. Thank you, @scholastic, for books that make a difference.

As a parent and ally to the LGBTQ community, I feel it is vital for my children to see LGBTQ families and people, among others, in the books they read. It will help them become better classmates, colleagues, and citizens. Thank you, @scholastic, for books that make a difference.

Here’s the contact info: