Once upon a time there was a little boy. This little boy loved stories. He loved all kinds of stories: silly stories, funny stories, sad stories, folk stories, real stories, make-up-stories, and many more kinds of stories. All day long he loved to hear stories, tell stories, read stories, and write stories. Every night before going to bed he needed to hear at least one story. Through these stories he learned all about the world around him, and about the magical world of imagination, and even about himself.
One day, as the boy went out to explore the world, he got to see and feel so many real and fantastic things that he had only heard about in stories. He also saw that the world he explored wasn’t always as beautiful and exciting as the ones in his stories. At the same time, though, he saw that there were many wonderful and magical things in the world around him that were missing from his stories. For one thing, he saw many different kinds of love and families that he had not read about in stories. This made him sad. Other boys and girls – and grownups too – should be able to see all these wonderful and fabulous things in their books and stories. So he wondered and thought and looked…
Then one day, while reading the newspaper he found a very interesting story. It was the story of a teacher who read a book to her class about two princes who fall in love. The name of the book was King & King. The boy thought that sounded like a very nice story. Sadly, however, lots of other grownups in the school were angry at that teacher and didn’t want her reading those kinds of stories; they thought teachers should only read stories with one kind of family and one kind of love. The boy thought this was wrong and silly.
Later that day the boy went to his computer and looked for the King & King book on the internet, to see if he could find the book. He looked and looked and finally found it! Not only that, he found that there were other books like it! There were other books and stories that talked about different kinds of love, different kids of families, and different kinds of kids. How fabulous!
The boy found the one little bookstore in his big city that had the King & King book. He went to the bookstore, found the book – which was not very easy to find – sat down, and read it cover to cover. Then he read it again.
Have you ever fallen in love with a book? Have you read a book that felt like it was written all about you and just for you, and you wanted to hug it, and hold it, and keep it close to your heart, and take it with you everywhere go you, and show it to everyone you know? That is exactly how the boy felt about this new book. He was in love.
That day the boy decided that he would try to find as many books as he could that talked about different kinds of families and different kinds of love. Not only that, he decided he wanted to share these books with the whole world, with kids and grownups everywhere, so they could read them, learn from them, teach them, enjoy them, and fall in love with them. And maybe, just maybe, one day he would even sit down and write his own book…
Elliot Glassenberg, the founder and director of the LGBT Youth Literature Project, grew up in Chicago, IL, USA, loving books and stories of all kinds. When he went to school he read as many books and stories as he could. One day, he went to a big school in New York City where he studied all about education and literature. Afterwards, he became a teacher and got to share all different kinds of books and stories with his students, and also got to learn and hear different stories from them. He still reads lots of stories and his favorite stories are stories about love, and also stories about magic. His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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