June is National Gay Pride Month, and while the annual Atlanta Pride Parade and Festival is held the weekend closest to National Coming Out Day in October, Atlanta parents still have plenty of opportunities to show their kids that families come in every shape, size, and color of the rainbow. While some Pride events haven’t historically been kid-centric, there are plenty of festivals, parades, walk/runs and concerts that give children the chance to celebrate or perhaps an environment to relate. Sprinkle on some glitter, proudly raise your rainbow flags and hit up these fab happenings from now until the end of June.
Atlanta Pride Run
The Atlanta Pride Run is excited to return in-person at beautiful Piedmont Park on June 20, with a virtual option for those not yet ready to mix and mingle. For over 30 years the objective of the Atlanta Pride Run has been to generate awareness for the LGBTQ+ community in the greater Atlanta area, and to fundraise for much-needed community partners. Sun. Jun. 20. Event details.
RoleCall at Avalon
Celebrate Pride Month with a special performance by RoleCall Theater's funniest members of the LGBTQ community at Palmer Plaza. This improv comedy show is first come, first served, and you'll want to bring something to sit on. Jun. 10. Event details.
Pride Night Ticket Package with The Braves
Show your team pride at the ballpark on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 as the Atlanta Braves take on the Boston Red Sox at 7:20 p.m. Arrive early for the pregame party at the Coca-Cola Roxy from 5:20 to 7:20 p.m., located only steps away from Truist Park. The party will feature DJ Kimber from Nonsense ATL and you'll receive a Braves Pride cooler bag to take home as a souvenir. Jun. 15. Event details.
National Center for Civil & Human Rights
Later in the Year
Atlanta Pride Events in October
Atlanta Gay Pride activities are spread out over most of October, and include speeches, special events, parties, and workshops. The week before the Atlanta Pride Parade, a Dyke March and a Trans March take place, and Piedmont Park is the center of activity for the festival weekend. Music, food, and fun are the order of the day, and you'll see all sorts of sweet rides in the Pride Car and Motorcycle Show. Expect a fun-filled, active weekend! Oct. 8-10. Event details.
Atlanta Black Pride
The annual Black Pride Celebration attracts LGBTQ+ people of all racial backgrounds from around the world in celebration of values, contributions, and PRIDE. Their mission is to educate, celebrate, promote self-empowerment, and ensure that the social and cultural needs of the LGBTQ+ individuals and families are met in the Atlanta Metro area. Sep. 1-6. Event details.
A Little Something for the Book Worms
In addition to pride parades and street fests there are other ways to open the age-appropriate lines of communication with your children about the LGBTQ community—and acceptance of all people, regardless of gender, race, religion and sexuality differences. We recommend browsing Charis Books & More (184 S Candler St. Decatur, GA 30030) and Brave & Kind Bookshop (722 W. College Ave., Decatur, GA 30030) for books dedicated to diversity and acceptance. These reads are a great place to start.
“PRIDE: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag” by Rob Sanders
Just in time for the 40th anniversary of the Rainbow Pride Flag comes a picture book that tells the empowering true story about how the flag came to be. From its start in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its role spanning the globe today, you’ll hear a story of love, hope, equality and, of course, pride.
“A Tale of Two Mommies” and “A Tale of Two Daddies” by Vanita Oelschlager
Both of these stories are great reads for ages 4-8 and allow us a peek inside the conversation between kids who are curious about one friend’s two mommies and another’s two daddies. They’re both perfect for introducing kids to same-sex families that are becoming increasingly more common to see in society.
“This Day in June” by Gayle E. Pitman
Show your kids the beauty of the pride parade without ever leaving your house. This picture book perfectly captures the diversity, exuberance and, well, pride on display and provides a solid springboard into a meaningful conversation. As a bonus, this book includes a reading guide chock full of facts about LGBTQ history and culture.
“And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Based on a true story of two male chinstrap penguins, Roy and Silo, who shared a nest in New York’s Central Park Zoo. After trying to care for and hatch an egg-shaped rock, the pair was given a fertilized egg in need of nurturing that became the beautiful penguin known as Tango.
“The Great Big Book of Families” by Mary Hoffman
Showcases many different types of families with 2-page spreads depicting facets of home life – from homes and holiday celebrations, to schools and pets, to emotions and family trees.
“Welcome to the Family” by Mary Hoffman
Explores one element of its prequel, “The Great Big Book of Families”, which is the arrival of new members into a family. Written with a humorous tone, you’ll have an opportunity to light-heartedly explore all different ways a baby or child can become a member of a family — natural birth within a nuclear family, adoption, fostering and same-sex families—while sending the message that all families are special and equal.
“The Family Book” by Todd Parr
Children are introduced to an array of families through whimsical, colorful illustrations. Pages are full of silly examples of differences (i.e.: some families like to be messy, some like to be clean), plus serious topics like adoption, same-sex relationships and single parenting.
“It’s Okay to Be Different” by Todd Parr
Similar to the “The Family Book,” Parr reinforces the need for acceptance of individuality through repetition and fun and colorful drawings. He mixes big ideas (“It’s okay to have different dads”) with random silliness (“It’s okay to eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub”).
“King and King” by Linda de Haan
In this fairytale, a prince must find a mate to help rule the kingdom so the Queen can retire. While being introduced to a series of princesses, the prince meets a suitor’s brother and it’s love at first sight. Collage-style illustrations are bright, colorful and altogether engaging.
“10,000 Dresses” by Marcus Ewert
Bailey loves dresses in all the colors of the rainbow. Dresses that sparkle, that shine, that twirl. His parents, however, are in his ear to remind him that he’s a boy and boys don’t wear dresses. In comes Laurel, a friend that shows him that it’s okay to be whoever he wants to be. This is an inspiring friendship story that any kid can relate to — but especially those who refuse to conform.
“This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids” by Dannielle Owens-Redi and Kristin Russo
Have a child who recently came out or is early-on in the stages of questioning their sexuality? First off, congratulations that you’ve created an environment where your child feels open enough to talk about those feelings. Next up? This book. Written in Q&A format, it’s a go-to resource for parents committed to understanding and being the best support possible for their child. The authors share insight on everything from the emotional to the practical topics, peppered with real-life experiences from gay kids and their parents.
Featured image by iStock.
—Maria Chambers & Shelley Massey