A picture book about the trans women of colour who started an LGBTQ+ revolution.
Story; Reading Guide
Joy Michael Ellison is a queer and non-binary trans writer, whose
creative writing has appeared in publications including Columbus
Alive, Lunch Ticket, the Baltimore Review, Story Club Magazine.
They are a PhD candidate in Women's and Gender Studies at Ohio
State University, where they are researching transgender
Teshika Silver is a queer, Black illustrator and designer. She is also teaching artist and facilitator and strives to create cultural work that uplifts, heals and promotes the resilience of marginalised people. She lives in Chicago with her dog, Penny.
Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution is a beautiful story of
friendship, bravery, and the courage to stand up to be yourself and
do what is right! As an LGBTQ+ parent with two small kiddos, this
book gave me the opportunity to start family conversations about
LGBTQ+ history, the Stonewall Riots, and the importance of black,
trans women in our movement in a friendly, and age-appropriate way.
Not only was this book educational and informative, but it was a
pleasure to read over and over again! -- Tatiana Quiroga, Director
of Family Equity & Diversity, Family Equality
When we share books like this with young people introducing them to members of the trans community, we can begin to set them on a path of acceptance and understanding. I love this story not only as a possible first introduction to the trans community, but also as a provocation to use with students to discuss rebellion, revolution, protests and demonstrations. -- Michael Rawls
This beautiful, resourceful, informative and important addition to trans history helps our younger generation to connect to a deeper understanding of our past. Remembering the foundations of current freedoms, and aiding solidarity for our future, cannot be underestimated. It helps us all to be brave. -- Dr. Wenn B. Lawson (PhD) CPsychol AFBsS
A brilliant children's book for teaching the newest generation about kindness, gender identities, LGBTQIA+ rights and the power of being yourself. -- Books Bird
This inspiring story of friendship, community, and revolution rightly gives Sylvia and Marsha their place on our kids' bookshelves alongside the mostly White and male figures who have dominated LGBTQ picture book biographies. -- Mombian
This book is sure to be a welcome and useful addition to any home library or school, where it can educate, and tell children about a moment in history that went on to change the world. -- Trans-Scribe
Here, the LGBTQ+-rights movement of 1969 is brought to life among the neighborhoods of New York in which the queer community took refuge. Ellison's light-hearted text and Silver's bright illustrations focus on Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, two transgender women of color, and their goal to bring respect and equality to the queer, especially transgender, community. While this book targets a young audience, it makes the compelling concepts clear-from the homophobia and transphobia that Sylvia and Marsha experience to the upsetting reality of trans homeless youths living on the streets. The book focuses on gender identity through its heroines, affirming their part in a sisterhood that struggles for a safe and equal existence. Ellison and Silver use fictionalized but realistic dialogue to propel an energetic plot that touches on the events at the Stonewall Inn and the subsequent result of Sylvia and Marsha opening their house and hearts to their transgender sisters. Included also are helpful resources defining LGBTQ+ terms; highlighting short biographies of Sylvia, Marsha, and other key players; and introducing discussion questions and activities. -- Stephanie Cohen * Booklist *