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Making history with my LGBT children's books

Will Young reading Two Dads on CBeebies Bedtime Stories
Will Young reading Two Dads on CBeebies Bedtime Stories

My name’s Carolyn Robertson. A little over ten years ago I became an adoptive Mum together with my wife, Vicky.

Adoption felt like the right choice for us as we both knew that there were many children languishing in the care system and we felt we could offer a child a loving home. Three years later we adopted again and we are now proud Mums to two terrific boys.

I taught in primary education for 20 years in central London and have always been interested in children’s literature. When I began to hunt around for children’s books on adoption and LGBT families I soon discovered there were hardly any.

"Disappointed by the dearth of books I decided to write my own. I set out to create bright and fun books that reflected our family life and celebrated diversity without being ‘worthy’ and showed just how normal our types of families are."

So far I have written four books: ‘Two Dads’, ‘Two Mums’, ‘Two Mums and a Menagerie’ and ‘Little Stork’s New Home’.

With ‘Two Dads’ I played around with some ideas and eventually came up with the concept of a story that simply celebrated all the fab and unique things there are about a two daddy family.

"After writing the story I drew some appalling stick man type illustrations that I envisaged would go alongside the text. Finally I contacted a real illustrator, Sophie Humphreys who worked her magic and brought the book to life."

I have been thrilled by the way my books have been received and many families, schools and nurseries have had a lot of joy from them. My books are affirming for LGBT and adoptive kids and it's incredibly important for our children to see their families represented in books. 

A couple of weeks ago I was approached by the BBC to see how I felt about my book’ Two Dads’ being featured on CBeebies bedtime stories read by Will Young. Of course I said yes! CBeebies have started to be a little more inclusive of late but this was the first time they wanted to broadcast something about exclusively gay adoptive parents read by an out gay celebrity.

It was broadcast on Saturday 9th February and it was utterly wonderful. I watched it alongside all my brilliant LGBT adoptive friends and their kids; the love in the room as we watched was incredible.

"Although warmly received by 95% of the population there has been some backlash over 'Two Dads' being broadcast on Cbeebies."

Some people accused the programme of 'pushing an agenda' or 'converting children' or that children are too young to know about LGBT families. There's an assumption that lesbian and gay relationships are 'sexual relationships' and this has to be explained to children. However young children don't think of heterosexual couples in a sexual context. Children just think of them as 'families' and that's exactly how it should be for LGBT couples. 

Having this type of visibility has been fantastic. I believe that our wonderful families should have much more positive representation across popular culture. I feel like I've contributed a little to that happening and I am immensely proud.


You can watch Will Young reading my book Two Dads on CBeebies via the BBC iPlayer by clicking here.

All my books can be found on Amazon, in book shops or via links on my website by clicking here.

1 comentário

13 de fev. de 2019

Welcome to Daddy & Dad, Carolyn! Thank you so much for your contribution x

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