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Elgin library to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility with special children’s story program – Chicago Tribune

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Elgin library to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility with special children’s story program – Chicago Tribune

The children’s book, “When Aidan Became a Brother,” by Kyle Lukoff tells the story of a little boy who everyone thought was a girl at birth and the different transitions he goes through in his life, not only as a transgender child but as a big brother.

It’s one of the books chosen by Aron Ryan, a Gail Borden Public Library’s KidSpace associate, for a special Rainbow Family Storytime being held Friday to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility.

The event, which includes crafts and other family activities, begins at 2 p.m. at the downtown Elgin library.

Since 2010, Transgender Day of Visibility has been held every March 31 to raise awareness about transgender people and celebrate their lives and contributions, according to GLAD, a civil rights organization dedicated to justice and equality for LGBTQ+ people.

Friday’s story time is the second annual time they’ll be holding a special event to mark the day, Ryan said. It’s being co-sponsored by ELGbtq+, which holds the Elgin Pride Parade.

“It is uniquely important to me as part of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Ryan, who is also Elgin’s new poet laureate. “The reason we do it is for the community.”

Ryan chose two other stories, “Today I’ll Be a Unicorn” by Dana Simpson and “The Boy & The Bindi” by Vivek Shraya to read with families. All three were written by openly transgender authors, he said.

Gail Borden launched its Rainbow Family Storytime in 2018, library spokeswoman Denise Raleigh said.

“We serve everyone in the community. We want to make sure we reflect the folks that we serve,” Raleigh said. “We have had so many people who appreciate our offerings.”

Rainbow Family Storytime draws all kinds of families, not just those from the LGBTQ+ community. “Some people are just wanting their family to understand that there’s a wider universe out there,” Raleigh said.

The library hasn’t had much pushback on their events or the LGBTQ+ books available to patrons, she said.

“We get, from time to time, people concerned about the books on our shelves in this genre,” she said. “We encourage parents and caregivers to help select books with their children. What we stay away from is preventing other people from selecting those books.

“By and large, our community understands the need to reflect our community,” Raleigh said.

Gloria Casas is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.



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