They’re So Flamboyant

How do you welcome newcomers? How do you include others in your community? They're So Flamboyant by Michael Genhart, PhD explores inclusion, exclusion, and the stereotypes, fears, and assumptions that can lead to discrimination. Each band of birds—a gaggle of geese, a dole of doves, a charm of finches, a brood of chickens, a scream of swifts, and an unkindness of ravens—all have their feathers ruffled and express their apprehension when a “flamboyance” of flamingos moves into the neighborhood. Bright pink colors, long legs, how dare they! Even a watch of nightingales patrols after dark. When the band of jays decides it is time to settle down the neighborhood, the pride of peacocks takes the lead, with support from a waddle of penguins, a venue of vultures, a mob of emus, and a gulp of cormorants. Finally, they all land at the flamingos’ welcome party only to realize that they had all been birdbrained. Their new neighbors are actually quite charming, and not so scary and different after all. Read an excerpt from They're So Flamboyant.

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They’re So Flamboyant 2021-11-29T14:32:33-05:00

Celebrate LBGTQ History By Becoming an Ally

Evelyn Hooker is the extraordinary woman behind the research, advocacy, and allyship that led to the removal of the “Homosexuality” diagnosis from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A pioneering psychologist, Hooker was also a poet and a towering figure in LGBTQ+ rights.  Evelyn Hooker and the Fairy Project, written by Stonewall award-winning author Gayle Pitman, captures Hooker’s groundbreaking work like never before. At the end of the book, a “Note to Readers” provides information about how to be an effective ally to LGBTQ+ people; other end matter included are a timeline, discussion questions, reading list, and additional resources, all written by Sarah Prager. Here’s an excerpt from the “How to be a LBGTQ+ Ally” section: Limerick for Dr. Bieber There once was a doctor named Irving whose theories were rather unnerving. It seems so cliché that moms made their sons gay. A theory that’s not worth preserving! Evelyn Hooker wasn’t gay, but she helped gay people live better lives through her actions. That’s what an ally does--advocate on behalf of a group of people they are not a part of. Someone inside the LBGTQ+ community who advocates for gay rights isn’t an ally, they’re an activist. You have to be outside the group to be an ally. The word comes from war talk--your ally in a war is not your own armed forces, but forces that fight on the same side against a common enemy. Here are ways to be an effective Ally: Be Inclusive: This book focuses on gay people because that’s where the discussion was centered at the time. The LBGTQ+ community is made up of many more kinds of people than just gay and lesbian people. To be an ally to one, you should be an ally to the whole extended community. Be a Follower:  Being an ally is often about listening. Allies don’t tell their LBGTQ+ friends what they should do or how they should do it; they help their friends carry out what their friends want...they just help where they are needed and follow the direction of the group they want to  help. Be Proactive:  While following is important in many situations, so is taking initiative in other contexts. Don’t expect an LBGTQ+ person to explain everything about being LBGTQ+ to you. Try to do your own research before asking. It’s also the job of an ally to speak up for LBGTQ+ people in a situation where someone says something mean or incorrect about them. You can speak up without speaking over or instead of LBGTQ+ people. Be a Student:  Learn from your mistakes and realize that you’ll always be learning. Learn about: LBGTQ+ history, gender-neutral pronouns, and current issues important to the LBGTQ+ community. When you make a mistake, own it, apologize, and move on. Be a Friend:  Like you would for anyone, be a kind friend to LBGTQ+ people around you. Listen, offer support, respect people’s pronouns and identities, and show up when you are asked to. In the

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Celebrate LBGTQ History By Becoming an Ally 2021-10-26T18:08:27-04:00

Feathered Friends Teach About Inclusion

Collective noun: a noun such as "team" or "flock" that refers to a group of people or thing A drumming of woodpeckers A regatta of swans A waddle of penguins A happiness of larks A flamboyance of flamingos Feathered friends are flustered when flamingos move into the neighborhood… This story is a welcome springboard for age-appropriate discussions of assumptions, stereotypes, and inclusion. Engaging wordplay makes a serious point about inclusion. —Kirkus Reviews They’re So Flamboyant by Michael Genhart, PhD, is a story about inclusion, exclusion, and the stereotypes, fears, and assumptions that can lead to discrimination. Indirectly, They’re So Flamboyant also refers to the word “flamboyant”—a word traditionally used in a derogatory sense to refer to someone who is gay. This story playfully reclaims the word and shows the flamboyant flamingos as gracious and neighborly, modeling positive and welcoming behavior for the other birds. Conversations with children about the assumptions and stereotypes that can lead to excluding behavior are vitally important if we are to live in a world that is more inclusive, fair and welcoming. Here are some tips to help you talk with kids about inclusion and discrimination. Conversations about diversity should be straightforward, open, and honest. As children notice the world around them and ask questions, adults can have age-appropriate conversations with kids about age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, body type, disability, income-level, or religion. Since stress associated with discrimination can affect self-esteem, talking with children about diversity as well as modeling inclusivity can help kids learn to appreciate people from all backgrounds. While, in the story, the flamingos model welcoming behavior, it’s important to let kids know that it is not the responsibility of those being discriminated against to make others feel comfortable.

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Feathered Friends Teach About Inclusion 2021-10-14T18:51:14-04:00