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Acclaimed Author Visit Focuses on Gender Identity

The Library and Parents Association recently hosted author Kyle Lukoff. Kyle has written several picture books, a poetry book, an early reader series and two chapter books. He has received the Stonewall Book Award (twice), a Newbery Honor and has been the finalist for the National Book Award. As a librarian turned author, Kyle has used his years working with young people to craft beautiful stories about gender identity. Programming at Friends was scheduled for the entire community. 

On November 2, the Friends community gathered for a Book Club discussion of Kyle’s most recently published book, Different Kinds of Fruit, a funny and hugely heartfelt novel about a sixth grader’s life after she learns her father is a transgender man.

On November 10, the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA), Center for Peace, Equity and Justice (CPEJ), and the Library hosted a lunch discussion with the author for all members of the Upper School community, faculty, and staff. A GSA leader reflected on the experience: “It was a great space for trans and gender non-conforming students to connect with a fellow queer author and share our experiences with each other. We talked about various topics, such as his transitioning experience, language, and his inspiration. It was very interesting to see the difference between younger and older generations of trans and gender non-conforming people and to talk about how language, information, and ideas about gender have changed over time. As a queer student, it felt very special, especially with the current era of book-banning and anti-trans healthcare laws, to find solidarity and acceptance in his books and in our conversation.”

The following day, Kyle presented to the Middle School on current issues regarding challenging and banning books in public and school libraries across the country. Later during the Lower School Community Period, Kyle walked students through his process for creating the picture book When Aidan Became a Brother. 
Friends Seminary actively promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in all its programs and operations, including admissions, financial aid, hiring, and all facets of the educational experience. To form a community which strives to reflect the world’s diversity, we do not discriminate on the basis of race or color, religion, nationality, ethnicity, economic background, physical ability, sex, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. Friends Seminary is an equal opportunity employer.

Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.
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New York, NY 10003
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