Black gay dad has never seen his family in story books


Leon Wenham explained that he wrote You, Me and Lots and Lots of Love because he had never seen his family reflected in the books he would read to his five-year-old son (Instagram)

A black and gay father wrote his own storybook after being disappointed by the lack of diversity in traditional tales.

Leon Wenham explained that he wrote You, me and a lot and a lot of love because he had never seen his family structure reflected in the books he would read to his five-year-old son, whom he adopted as a single parent last year.

Black and gay adoptive dad writes his own storybook to normalize diversity

The title of the next self-published book, he explained, is “something I often say to my stepson: ‘In our house there is you, me and a lot, a lot of love.’ “

The father added, “The book is about our adoption journey and it explains and encourages some of the great feelings and emotions that many adopted children have.

“The other main message of this book is to normalize diversity from an early age. I purposely used as many different ethnic characters as possible in the book, in order to show the children that everyone is different and that’s good. This book is for ALL children and ALL families.

“Finding inclusive books for children can be difficult, but my mission is to make sure every child understands how different it is to be. “

Storybooks dominated by white nuclear families

Talk to Online Mail, he clarified: “One of the reasons I chose to write the book is… I could not find any book representing our nuclear family.

“I’m black from the Caribbean and all of the books were very conventional and featured Caucasians and I think when you have an adopted child that doesn’t have a conventional family, if you keep seeing that in the books, that is just not the case, really useful for them.

“It just highlights that they are different, which can be quite difficult for a four or five year old.”

According to a study by the Center for Literacy in Primary Education, only four percent of new UK children’s books feature main characters who are people of color, while only seven percent of children’s books feature a person of color in some capacity. whether it be. Children’s books featuring LGBT + families, on the other hand, often dominate the lists of the most banned books internationally.

Upcoming You, Me and Lots and Lots of Love storybook is based on Leon’s experience as an adoptive father

The father explained that although his son’s school is diverse and his son has many friends, the stories often fail to teach children about the various types of families.

He said: “This is an example of why I am doing this book is to normalize diversity from a young age.

“The normalization of diversity from an early age is the priority. Number two explains adoption to children in a way that encourages and encourages them to share their emotions and recognizes some of the great emotions that children and adults go through in the process.

“One of the key things is also putting the spotlight on black fathers because I think black fathers have had a pretty bad reputation over the decades – even within the black community.

“Being a black single homosexual adoptive father, I think that’s a pretty positive thing. In the long run, it would require that more black families or black singles, the black LGBT community really see adoption as an option to parenthood. “

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