Transgendered children's books
Specifically of the cross-dressing picture book variety.
There's a hot hot debate going on right now on the Child_Lit listserve about this kind of stuff. It was heated in no small way by one of the more infamous posters (and by "infamous" I mean "annoying") who went so far as to equate cross-dressers with NAMBLA. You can imagine how THAT went down.
Michael Joseph, the moderator, had this to say. I thought it particularly interesting.
Just a brief sidebar--no response is expected--but of relevance to this discussion I think and where the discussion is taking place. A year ago I attended a conference for children's writers, editors, illustrators and aspirants to those professions, & I led an hourlong discussion at a table consisting of ten individuals representing the various strata in the children's literature community, being 1 very famous children's author, 1 less famous but widely published author, 1 editor at a major house, 1 successful and otherwise articulate agent, and several would-be authors. In view of the fact that we'd all just heard a panel discussion about "risk" in children's literature, but, strikingly, no mention was made of the professional or economic risk of writing or publishing the voices and lives of "at risk" populations--in which I included, and emphasized transgendered and queer children--I thought I'd open discussion by asking what everyone felt about it, you know, why isn't there and maybe shouldn't there be more books about and for poor kids, African Americans, queer/transgendered kids?
The responses were, the very famous writer said he wrote for the skin "inside," the agent, clearly exasperated, said, "well, there's Tango?" one of the aspirants complained that "political correctness" had led one editor to insist she put a "chinese person and a hispanic" into her book, and another of the aspirants somewhat hysterically attacked me for leading discussion away from what they were there to discuss; none of the other discussants had a word to say.