A bookstore in Sheffield is hosting a reading event with an author who has written a children’s book about being non-binary.
Lapinski is the author of JAMIE, a book which follows an 11-year-old non-binary child who finds out their secondary school is separated into one school for boys and another for girls.
She said: “Everyone deserves to see themselves as the hero, but everyone also deserves to see people who aren’t themselves being the hero as well.”
Growing up, LD Lapinski said all of the heroes in the books she was reading were white, middle-class, cis-gender and heterosexual. They all lived in London or Oxford and there was little representation for people she could relate to.
She added: “But now we have such a wonderful variety of characters and settings and authors in Children’s literature. It really is a golden age of kid-lit. I think it’s wonderful that kids can see not only themselves but their friends taking centre stage.”
This comes amidst an ongoing discussion about the inclusion of LGBTQ+ issues in school sexual education programmes.
In Prime Minister’s Questions on 8 March, Miriam Cates, said: “Graphic lessons on oral sex, how to choke your partner safely and 72 genders—this is what passes for relationships and sex education in British schools.
“Children are being subjected to lessons that are age-inappropriate, extreme, sexualising and inaccurate. This is not a victory for equality; it is a catastrophe for childhood.”
The statement’s link between gender identity, LGBTQ+ teaching and sexual behaviour has caused groups such as Humanists UK to worry that the upcoming urgent review of government sex education guidance may target LGBTQ+ inclusivity.
Humanists UK Education Policy Researcher Dr Ruth Wareham said: “We are seriously concerned that this review is designed to row back on LGBT-inclusive relationships and sex education rather than tackle very real problems like harmful and inaccurate faith-based teaching on sex and relationships.”