When her son Morty was beaten by New York City officials for handing out pro-gay leaflets, Jeanne Manford wrote a powerful letter to the New York Post to complain about how Morty was treated. In the letter, which was published, she came out as the mother of a gay son. Morty invited his mother to march with him in the June 1972 Christopher Street Parade. While marching, she had the idea to form a group to help parents and families of LGBTQ+ people. That was the beginning of PFLAG. The Mother of a Movement: Jeanne Manford–Ally, Activist, and Co-Founder of PFLAG, by Rob Sanders, is a true story of parental support and unconditional love. Here’s an excerpt from the Discussion Guide at the end of the book. She could listen. She could love. She could learn and lead. She could speak up. She could show support. That's what Jeanne did. Activist—someone who speaks out and protests about a cause or issue, especially a political or social cause. Ally—a person or group who works with others for a common cause or purpose, especially a supporter of a marginalized group, who is usually not a member of the group. To Think About and Discuss Use the open-ended questions below to begin conversations with the children in your family, class, club, or organization. When was a time you were an ally to someone? Why did you do it? How did it feel to stand up for someone else? Has there been a time when someone was an ally to you? Do you think it’s important to be an ally to others? Why or why not? What is an ally and how can I be one?** In the LGBTQ+ community, an ally is supportive of LGBTQ+ people, behaves in supportive ways, and invites others to be allies, too. While Jeanne Manford is a famous ally, throughout history there are people just like you who have been willing to provide support, encouragement, and help. Here are some simple ways YOU can be an ally: START BY LEARNING Allies are always learning so they can do more and help educate others. You won’t always have all the answers, and that’s okay! If you make a mistake, apologize and learn how to do better next time. DON’T LET FEAR STOP YOU There are lots of reasons why people might be afraid to be allies. Maybe they’re nervous about speaking up. Maybe they aren’t sure where to start. Listen to what others tell you. Figure out what feels scary to you. Then you can figure out how to take action. BE ACTIVE Start with something simple, like putting a rainbow sticker on your backpack and telling friends why it’s there. Use what you learn from books like this one to talk about why you care and help others be allies. Most of all, treat others with kindness and respect. THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO BE AN ALLY There’s noRead More
About Rob SandersRob Sanders is a former elementary school teacher who writes funny and fierce fiction and nonfiction. He is the author of such acclaimed titles as Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution., and Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights. He lives in Brandon, Florida. Visit his website or follow him on Twitter.
Piece by piece, stitch by stitch, that's how a quilt is made. From the blanket that his great-grandmother made for him as a boy, to the friends he gathered together in San Francisco as a young man, to the idea for a monument sewn of fabric and thread, Cleve Jones’ extraordinary life seems to have been stitched together bit by bit, piece by piece. Jones first had the vision for what became the AIDS Memorial Quilt during a candlelight memorial for Harvey Milk in 1985. Along with friends, Cleve created the first panels for the quilt in 1987. The AIDS Memorial Quilt grew to be one of the largest public arts projects ever and helped grow awareness of HIV and AIDS. The Quilt is an iconic symbol of hope and remembrance and is Jones’ shining achievement. Hear author, Rob Sanders, read Stitch by Stitch aloud.Read More
✩ “Its story is beautifully captured in the book’s smooth pacing and brief paragraphs. Readers will follow its journey from that march as it becomes both a monument to mourning and a means of changing the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS… the book is pretty darn impressive. Storytelling and history, beautifully stitched together.” —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews From the blanket that his great-grandmother made for him as a boy, to the friends he gathered together in San Francisco as a young man, to the idea for a monument sewn of fabric and thread, Cleve Jones’ extraordinary life seems to have been stitched together bit by bit, piece by piece. Mentored by Harvey Milk, Jones first had the vision for what became the AIDS Memorial Quilt during a candlelight memorial for Milk in 1985. The AIDS Memorial Quilt grew to be one of the largest public arts projects ever and helped grow awareness of HIV and AIDS. The picture book biography, Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt by Rob Sanders, is a touching tribute to Jones’ life of advocacy and the positive effects of a community working towards a common goal. The book includes a discussion guide, glossary, more information about Cleve Jones and Gert McMullen, and a timeline. An excerpt from the discussion guide provides strategies for sharing nonfiction with children and sample answers to questions that children may have after reading the book. When reading any book of nonfiction, questions may arise. It is also to be expected that children’s questions will go deeper and deeper with each reading of a book. Create an atmosphere where children feel their questions are welcome by being honest, succinct, and by providing answers based in fact. Feel free to ask the child, “What do you think?” or “How are you feeling?” Remember, you don’t have to have the answers to every question. There’s nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know.” or “Let me think about that.” The following are some sample answers to questions that children might have after reading Stitch by Stitch. Q: Is there a cure for AIDS today? A: Since the 1980s, thanks to medical advances, medication has helped people living with HIV live full lives. However, people who aren’t treated can still die of complications from AIDS. Q: How do people get HIV/AIDS? A: HIV/AIDS is hard to get. It’s not like a cold or the flu. HIV/AIDS can be passed from person to person through unprotected sex, sharing needles, and in other ways. The most important things to know is that transmission HIV/AIDS can be prevented, that there are treatments if someone is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and that you can be friends with someone with HIV/AIDS and not worry. Q: Was HIV/AIDS just a disease that gay men got? A: It may have seemed that way at first, but over time doctors and scientists realized that anyone could contract the disease. The doctors and scientists also discovered that the disease couldRead More