The Center Orlando to bring LGBTQ children’s books to the community

By : Colton Adkins
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center Orlando is expanding again, and this expansion is bringing in something for the kids.

George Wallace, The Center’s executive director, says the new expansion will include a children’s library complete with LGBTQ children’s books and youth novels. A children’s library will be added into the new Center coming to Kissimmee as well.

The libraries will get started with the help of Teach for America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing about an equitable and excellent education for all children, who donated $500 worth of LGBTQ children’s books to The Center.

In celebration of the upcoming libraries, The Center is donating a copy of Alex Gino’s children’s book “George” to anyone in the community that wants one.

“George” is the story of a 10-year-old transgender girl who is trying to come out and be her authentic self.

“When people look at George, they see a boy. But George knows she’s a girl,” the book’s description reads. “George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part… because she’s a boy.”

The story follows George, who gives herself the name Melissa secretly, as she comes up with a plan with her best friend Kelly to play Charlotte in the play and to finally let everyone know her true identity.

“George” received widespread critical acclaim and earned several accolades for Gino upon its initial release in 2015; winning a Stonewall Book Award, a California Book Award and a Lambda Literary Award in 2016.

Gino — who identifies as genderqueer and uses singular they pronouns — has been an avid LGBTQ activist since the 90s and now serves as a member of We Need Diverse Books, a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry.

Wallace says that The Center has already distributed about 100 copies of the book and plans on donating a full case to both the Zebra Coalition and Orlando Youth Alliance.

A free copy of “George” can be picked up at The Center Orlando, located at 942 N. Mills Ave., during The Center’s normal operating hours Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sundays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

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