October is LGBT History Month, a time to share the history of a community whose stories are far too often neglected or ignored. Magination Press, the children’s book imprint of the American Psychological Association, is celebrating with a new children’s book about two pioneering lesbian activists: When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Martin and Del Lyon Built a Community.
Written by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD, and beautifully illustrated by Christopher Lyles, the book depicts Phyllis and Del pointing out landmarks through the city that can be seen out their window. Each landmark tells a piece of the story of one of San Francisco’s most legendary couples and how their work for LGBT rights transformed their community, sending ripple effects around the world.
Written for children ages 4 to 8, When You Look Out the Window includes a reading guide that explains how Phyllis and Del left their mark on each landmark pointed out. A note for parents, caregivers and educators provides information about why teaching LGBTQ history is important, suggestions for ways to use the book, and additional resources.
Said Pitman: “The stories of LGBTQ people have been left out of the history books for far too long, and all the more so when it comes to children’s books; too many children grow up without ever hearing about the brave men and women who helped bring about a world where LGBT identity is not something to hide or be ashamed of. In When You Look Out the Window, I hope to inspire children with Phyllis and Del’s story, showing them how their love for one another, their courage in being who they were in a homophobic era, and their dedication to social justice transformed San Francisco, and helped change the world.”