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Saturday, August 29, 2015

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Opinion Blog

Children's books with gay protagonists encouraging

By Olivia Dimmer          Posted: 03/10/14 9:37pm         

Children’s books and media often have a very similar plot line: The knight slays the dragon, rescues the princess, and marries her. Then they live happily ever after.

But a new children’s storybook written by Daniel Errico, the author flips the script.

Yes, the knight slays the dragon and rescues the princess. But in “The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived,” the hero lives happily ever after with the prince.

The main character just happens to be gay.

“Cedric, the knight in the story, is a regular hero who happens to have a different idea for his happy ending than someone else might,” Errico told BuzzFeed in an email. “I hope that readers see that there is a bravery and beauty in being true to yourself. I believe it’s important to show kids different forms of love in a positive light instead of just one. Alternatively, avoidance could potentially put kids at a disadvantage towards understanding and acceptance later on in life.”

While Errico has been swarmed with support from the LGBT community, there has been some backlash from conservatives as well.

But despite that, Errico’s story is one that needs to be told – especially to young children.

For children who might grow up to be gay, reading a story about a hero they can identify with might help them feel less ostracized in the teenage and adult world.

For children who aren’t gay, this story can introduce them to diversity and act as a springboard for parents looking to talk to their children about people’s different sexual preferences.

Either way you frame it, this alternative storybook has one very happy ending.

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