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AFT Union Encourages Gifting Book About Transgender Children For The ‘Holiday Season’
A fist raising up to celebrate, background transgender pride flag - stock photo
(Credit: BUKET TOPAL Creative #: 1307699821)

In the most recent edition of the American Federation of Teachers Union monthly magazine, the AFT encouraged members to “share the love of reading this holiday season” by taking advantage of their partnership with the company First Book by giving “gifts of cheer” to kids and families. Of the six books highlighted by the magazine, one was “Being You: A First Conversation About Gender.”

In the magazine titled “American Educator: A Journal of Educational Equity, Research, and Ideas,” the AFT features a promotion on page one, highlighting the partnership between the AFT and First Book.

“Share the love of reading this holiday season!” the ad encourages. “Visit First Book’s Holiday Shop to purchase gifts of cheer and festive books, games, and more on a budget.”

“Keep kids and families engaged all winter with amazing, affordable books and resources,” the ad continues.

Photo Taken By The Daily Wire, "American Educator Magazine"

As seen above, the promotion prominently features “Being You” by Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli.

According to Penguin Randomhouse, the book’s publisher, the book is geared toward pre-school children and is “based on the research that race, gender, consent, and body positivity should be discussed with toddlers on up.”

“This read-aloud board book series offers adults the opportunity to begin important conversations with young children in an informed, safe, and supported way,” the publisher added.

“Being You” was supposedly developed by “experts in the fields of early childhood and activism against injustice, this topic-driven board book offers clear, concrete language and beautiful imagery that young children can grasp and adults can leverage for further discussion.”

“Research shows that talking about issues like race and gender from the age of two not only helps children understand what they see, but also increases self-awareness, self-esteem, and allows them to recognize and confront things that are unfair, like discrimination and prejudice,” the publisher said online.

In a sample reading provided by the publisher set to the background of children’s tunes, the narrator discusses reproductive body parts and implies that “grown-ups” assign the children’s gender to them at birth based on those body parts and even sometimes guess.

“Different bodies have different parts; elbows, noses, belly buttons! Some bodies have a vagina, some bodies have a penis. Every person’s body parts look different. But there are some parts we all have,” the narrator reads. “When a baby is born, grown-ups might say ‘It’s a girl!’ if their body has a vagina, or ‘It’s a boy!’ if their body has a penis. Sometimes, grown-ups aren’t sure but they choose the words girl or boy anyway.”

As shown in pages from the book available online, different children are seen pointing to their body parts, including one who is bending over and pointing to private parts during this portion of that text:

"Being You" via Yarn Strong Sista

At a different point, the book states that “Pronouns are words that people use to talk about someone instead of that person’s name, like they, she or he. Some words might feel more like you than others.”

Various characters announce their pronouns on these pages with statements such as, “I go by ze,” “Ella, por favor,” “He and him work for me,” and “My pronouns are they and them.”

The book then asks, “What are your pronouns?”

“Being You” also implies that gender is based purely on “feelings” and that gender can change on a day-to-day basis.

“Whatever your feelings are, they are real and important. You are the expert in being YOU,” one of the pages reads.

Throughout the book, children and adults proclaim things like, “I’m a girl!” “Today I feel like a boy!” “I’m an in-betweener!” or “I’m trans!”

The book was released this past August and has 68 reviews on Amazon.

“I’m very selective about books for my kiddo. I was able to preview some of these pages online while I was looking for books to start the gender conversation with my little one (born a girl but has been calling themselves a boy since they could speak, also on the Autism spectrum, so big concepts like gender are a little tougher) so that we could be sure that our kiddo could have the tools and language to talk about their gender when they are ready,” one reviewer stated.

“We read this together and both of us loved it. It’s a regular in our rotation now and it helped give my kiddo the language they needed to be able to communicate with us better about who they are,” she added. “I’m really glad that I found this book!”

Another criticized the book, saying, “This book is terrible. If you want your kids to be very very confused then please read them this book. Sorry for not being a ‘kind and brave adult’. I would prefer to have my kids running and playing outside and being themselves rather than defining themselves by if they ‘feel like a girl or a boy today.'”

Both the authors and the illustrator work in education or children’s literature, according to Amazon.

Ralli is the “Coordinator of Early Literacy Programs at Brooklyn Public Library where she develops and manages programming for BPL’s award-winning First Five Years initiative.”

Madison is a “lifelong student of radical Black feminism and an early childhood educator” and also works as “a trainer for the Center for Racial Justice in Education, the Human Root, and the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, facilitating workshops for teachers on race, gender, and sexuality.”

Anne (Andy) Passchier, the book’s illustrator, is a non-binary illustrator from The Netherlands, currently based in the USA, who uses the pronoun “they” and lives with two cats.

The AFT did not respond to The Daily Wire’s press inquiry at the time this article was published.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  AFT Union Encourages Gifting Book About Transgender Children For The ‘Holiday Season’