No matter who we are or where we come from, we all play on the same playground. There are certain collective societal messages we hear growing up that we either consciously or subconsciously believe. As a result, we develop certain belief systems from which we operate our lives.
Raising LGBTQ Allies sheds light on the deeper, multi-faceted layers of homophobia. It opens up a conversation with parents around the possibility they may have an LGBTQ child, and shows how heteronormativity can be harmful if not addressed clearly and early. Although not every parent will have an LGBTQ child, their child will jump rope or play tag with a child who is LGBTQ.
By showing readers the importance of having open and authentic conversations with children at a young age, Chris Tompkins walks parents through the many ways they can prevent new generations from adopting homophobic and transphobic beliefs, while helping them explore their own subconscious biases.
Offering specific actions parents, family members, and caregivers can take to help navigate conversations, address heteronormativity, and challenge societal beliefs, Raising LGBTQ Allies serves as a guide to help normalize being LGBTQ from a young age. Creating allies and a world where closets don’t exist happens one child at a time. And it begins with each of us and what we say, as much as what we choose not to say.
Chris Tompkins is a teacher, TEDx speaker, spiritual life coach, and LGBTQ inner-advocate based in Los Angeles, California. More importantly, he’s an uncle of five. Chris believes all kids are the future and teaches social-emotional learning throughout Southern California.
Section I: Awareness
1: MFTP Part 1: We All Play on the Same Playground: What We Believe and Why
2: MFTP Part 2: Language Matters: The Meaning Behind Our Words
3: MFTP Part 3: Change Our Beliefs, Change Their Story
Section II: Willingness
4: Gender, Sexuality, and Santa Claus: An Easy Approach
5: Benign Neglect: Not Communicating Is Still Communicating
6: Shame: Prevention vs Treatment
7: Trauma, Resilience, and Human Dignity: Raising a New Generation
Section III: Change
8: Building a New Playground: 6 Simple and Effective Steps
9: New Messages, New Playground, New World: A Mother’s Faith
10: New Toys: Instructional and Interactive Exercises
11: Uncle Chris: The Journey of a Soul
About the Author
Tompkins, a spiritual life coach and TEDx speaker, debuts with a thoughtful guide to creating LGBTQ allies with “open and authentic conversations within families and classrooms.” Using the metaphor of a playground for society-at-large, Tompkins asks parents and teachers to join together and recognize their biases, shift the conversations around gender and relationships, and talk openly about homophobia, transphobia, and bullying. Then, he offers concrete steps for ways to “build new playgrounds for all children.” When dealing with a child who is a bully, for example, he recommends a process of acknowledging their behavior, challenging their negative messages, and helping them forgive themselves. He encourages incorporating same-sex couple examples in lessons and conversations, stocking classrooms with LGBTQ-affirming books and resources, and having open, vulnerable conversations with children that involve asking questions about their relationships and interests. Along the way, Tompkins writes movingly of his closeted teen years, history of substance abuse, and how he made peace with who he is, adding a trenchant personal framework to the well-reasoned advice. Complete with discussion questions, meditations, and practical actions, this guide is a powerful treatise on creating a more accepting world.
This book is filled with Chris's hope for our children—that all children receive the message of inclusion and worthiness. It is also filled with his vulnerability as he shares his personal story and journey.
Chris Tompkins thoughtfully guides readers to a deeper understanding of themselves and the life experience of their LGBTQ loved ones. This must-read book serves as a blueprint to making the world a more loving place for queer and trans children—a shift that could save lives. Raising LGBTQ Allies is a needed resource for all youth-serving professionals. It should be part of syllabi and professional development trainings nation-wide and beyond.
1/8/21, Publishers Weekly: Featured in the "Happy Parents’ Day: New Parenting Books 2021" announcementsLink: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/new-titles/adult-announcements/article/85273-happy-parents-day-new-parenting-books-2021.html