When I first wrote Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution: The Story of the Trans Women of Color Who Made Lgbtq+ History, I learned just how many people are intimidated by the topic of transgender history. Sometimes that nervousness stems from the transphobic idea that trans identity isn’t an appropriate topic for children. More often, however, parents and teachers told me that they wanted to talk about transgender topics with their children, but they didn’t know where to start. To those people, I say, never fear! Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution is here to help.
Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution is a perfect resource for anyone who wants to teach children about the incredible past of the transgender community. My debut picture book tells the story of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, two transgender women of color who played pivotal roles in the early days of the modern LGBTQ+ liberation movement. Sylvia and Marsha were vibrant, tough, smart, creative, and revolutionary women who changed the world by sharing resources and friendship with their community. Therefore, a picture book about them the perfect way to introduce children to transgender history and concepts of justice and community building.
Lush illustrations and an exciting story help parents, teachers, and children understand transgender struggles – however that’s only part of what makes this book useful.
I also created resources for kids, parents, and teachers who want to know more. In the back of the book, you’ll find:
- Further background information about the Stonewall Riots
- Additional biographic information about Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson
- A timeline
- Discussion questions for starting conversations about gender, transgender history, and social justice
- Definitions for common gender-related vocabulary words
- Further tips for talking about gender identity with children and additional LGBTQ+ identity resources for parents and teachers
- Directions for crafts and ideas for activist projects in the spirit of Sylvia and Marsha
Additionally, if that’s not enough background information and resources for you, you can find even more on my website. While here, you’ll see lots of historical information about Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson and additional resources.
I applaud parents and teachers who are learning about transgender history and sharing these important stories. Children who need and deserve to hear them. Your commitment will help make this world better for transgender kids and all of us.