Recommended Materials

Info Sheets

Welcoming Community Network: 10 Ways to Make a Difference

Welcoming Community Network: What Does it Mean to be a Welcoming Congregation

UCC LGBT Resources


About Biblical Interpretations

Helminiak, Daniel A., What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
San Antonio, TX, Alamo Square Press, 2000
The Bible has been used to justify slavery, inquisitions, apartheid and the subjugation of women. Now, in this book, which has sold over 100,000 copies, read what the Bible really says about homosexuality. Helminiak, a respected theologian and Roman Catholic priest, explains in a clear fashion the fascinating new insights of top biblical scholars, (John Boswell of Yale, Daniel Boyarin of Berkeley, Bernadette Brooten of Brandeis, L.William Countryman of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Victor P. Furnish of SMU, Saul M. Olyan of Brown and Robin Scruggs of Union Theological Seminary)  who show that those who perceive Bible passages as condemning homosexuality are being misled by faulty translation and poor interpretation.
Available at the Akron Public Library.

Miner, Jeff, and John Tyler Connoley,  The Children Are Free:  Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-Sex Relationships
Indianapolis: Jesus Metropolitan Community Church, 2002
In The Children Are Free, Rev. Jeff Miner and Rev. John Tyler Connoley offer a comprehensive yet easy-to-read examination of the biblical evidence regarding loving same-sex relationships and God’s attitude toward them. In Chapter One, the authors lead the reader through a discussion of each of the six passages traditionally used against gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. They demonstrate how an anti-gay interpretation is a misapplication of these scriptures. In Chapter Two, Miner and Connoley turn our attention to the biblical stories and passages that affirm loving same-sex relationships. Did you know Jesus once met a gay person? Jesus’ loving response is just one of the well-researched stories presented in this chapter. Chapter Three asks readers to take seriously the call of Jesus to think more deeply about biblical rules. And Chapter Four calls Christians to action, making a connection between the conflicts in the early Church and those occurring within the Church today.

Rogers, Jack,  Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality:  Explode the Myths, Heal the Church
Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009
In this revised and expanded best seller, Rogers argues for equal rights in both the church and society for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people. He describes how he moved away from opposition to support, charts the church’s history of using biblical passages to oppress marginalized groups, argues for a Christ-centered reading of Scripture, debunks stereotypes about gays and lesbians, and explores texts used most frequently against homosexuals and gay ordination. In this newly revised edition, he maps the recent progress of major U.S. denominations toward full equality for LGBT persons, adds a new chapter that examines how Scripture is best interpreted by Jesus’ redemptive life and ministry, and updates his own efforts and experiences. The book also includes a guide for group study or personal reflection.

About Coming Out

Tigert, Leanne McCall, Coming Out While Staying In: Struggles and Celebrations of Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals in the Church
Cleveland: United Church Press, 1996
This book reflects the author’s and other’s personal struggles with the church as a source of pain and alienation–as well as support and spiritual renewal. Tigert offers a voice of hope for those who experience oppression as gay, lesbian, and bisexual Christians.

About Gender Identity

Boenke, Mary, editor, Trans Forming Families: Real Stories About Transgender Loved Ones
2nd edition, updated and expanded
New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 2008
A collection of positive short stories by parents, families, and friends of transgender people who have come to accept and embrace their transgender loved ones. It includes stories of male to female and female to male transgender sons and daughters of loving parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends who have helped them on their journey. These are invaluable stories intended to help those struggling with misinformation, pain, anger, and fear for their loved ones.

Cook, Anne Thompson, Made in God’s Image: A Resource for Dialogue about the Church and Gender Differences
Chicago: God Loves Each One Ministry, in partnership with the Reconciling Ministries Network, 2006; booklet
Ann Thompson Cook communicates a gently assertive expectation that we as Christians need to get up to speed on something too rarely discussed but very important for the life of the church and its ministries.

About Fostering Understanding

Is It a Choice?: Answers to 300 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Gay and Lesbian People
Eric Marcus
HarperOne, 2005
Available at the Akron Public Library

Always My Child: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Your Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, or Questioning Son or Daughter
Kevin Jennings
Fireside, 2002

Finding Out: The ABC’s of Same Sex Relationships
Homer and Sue Spencer
Fithian Press, 2002

How Homophobia Hurts Children: Nurturing Diversity at Home, at School and in the Community
Jean M. Baker, Ph.D.
Routledge, 2002

Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America
Mitchell Gold and Mindy Drucker
Greenleaf Book Group, LLC, 2008
Available at the Akron Public Library

Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is
Abigail Garner
Harper Paperbacks, 2005
Available at the Akron Public Library

Out of the Ordinary: Essays on Growing Up With Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Parents
Noelle Howey, Ellen Samuels, Margarethe Cammermeyer and Dan Savage
Stonewall Inn Editions, 2000
Available at the Akron Public Library

For Children

The Different Dragon by Jennifer Bryan, ill. Danamarle Hosler
This bedtime story about bedtime stories shows how the wonderful curiosity and care of a little boy, with some help from one of his moms, can lead to magical and unexpected places. Join Noah and his cat, Diva, on this nighttime adventure and you too will leave with an unforgettable new dragon friend!

A Peacock Among Pigeons by Tyler Curry, ill. Clarione Gutierrez
Hardcover –2015
This LGBT-themed book tells the tale of learning how to stand out when you can’t fit in. This children’s story teaches the importance of celebrating our differences and learning to love the feathers you live in.
Peter the peacock doesn’t know how it happened, but he found himself growing up in a flock of pigeons. Surrounded by a world of grey, he found himself feeling less than his peers and was embarrassed by his feathers. After he fails to blend in, he decides that it’s time to learn to fly on his own. Along the way, he meets new bird friends from all different flocks that teach him a lesson he will never forget.

Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman and Ian Hoffman,  ill. Chris Case
Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be. Some kids at school say he can’t wear “girl” clothes, but Jacob wants to wear a dress to school. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants? This heartwarming story speaks to the unique challenges faced by boys who don’t identify with traditional gender roles.

Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman, ill. Carol Thompson
Board book – 2009
Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with its mommies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there’s no limit to what a loving family can do together. Shares the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children.
Available at the Akron Public Library

George by Alex Gino
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.  George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.  With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
Available at the Akron Public Library

Heather Has Two Mommies: 20th Anniversary Edition
Leslea Newman and Diana Souza
Alyson Books, 2009
Available at the Akron Public Library

For Families with Children

Combs, Bobbie, with Danamarie Hosler, illustrator, 123 A Family Counting Book
Ridley Park, PA: Two Lives publishing, 2001 Ages 2-6
Have fun with the kids, moms, dads and pets in this delightful book that celebrates alternative families as it teaches kids to count from one to twenty. All of the full color paintings depict families headed by gays and lesbians. Two dads read a bedtime story to their kids; two moms share popsicles with their kids on the porch; and several families gather around the campfire on a summer night.
Available at the Akron Public Library

Combs, Bobbie, with Desiree Keane and Brian Rappa, illustrators, ABC – A Family Alphabet Book
Ridley Park, PA: Two Lives Publishing, 2001 Ages 2-6
Have fun with the kids, moms, dads and pets in this delightful book that celebrates LGBTQ families as it teaches young children the alphabet.
Available at the Akron Public Library

dePaula, Tomie, Oliver Button Is a Sissy
San Diego: Harcourt Children’s Books, 1979
A little boy must come to terms with being teased and ostracized because he’d rather read books, paint pictures, and tap-dance than participate in sports. “There is a good balance between the simple text . . . and the expressive pictures . . . an attractive little book.”–School Library Journal
Available at the Akron Public Library

Leaf, Munro, with Robert Lawson, illustrator, The Story of Ferdinand
New York: Viking Children’s 1936 Ages 4-8
Ferdinand is the world’s most peaceful–and–beloved little bull. While all of the other bulls snort, leap, and butt their heads, Ferdinand is content to just sit and smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree. Leaf’s simple storytelling paired with Lawson’s pen-and-ink drawings make The Story of Ferdinand a true classic. The story still rings true as a symbolic portrayal of growing up as a sensitive boy.
Available at the Akron Public Library

Skutch, Robert, with Laura Nienhaus, illustrator, Who’s in a Family?
Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1997 Ages 4-8
Family is important, but who’s in a family? Why, the people who love you the most! This equal opportunity, open-minded picture book has no preconceptions about what makes a family a family. There’s even equal time given to some of children’s favorite animal families. With warm and inviting jewel-tone illustrations, this is a great book for that long talk with a little person on your lap.
Available at the Akron Public Library

For Teens

What If Someone I Know Is Gay?: Answers to Questions About What It Means to Be Gay and Lesbian
Eric Marcus
Simon Pulse, 2007
Available at the Akron Public Library

Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies
Ellen Bass and Kate Kaufman
Harper Perennial, 1996

GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens
Kelly Huegel
Free Spirit Publishing, 2003
Available at the Akron Public Library

Movies and DVDs

Call Me Malcolm

“You can’t say the word transgender and people really know what you’re talking about. But anybody who says the word transgender means something different by it anyway, so it really is a story and not just a label.” – Malcolm

Call Me Malcolm is an amazing story of the human spirit and God’s spirit, and the liberating struggle to realize and express with confidence the marvelous gift of one’s truest sense of self. As Malcolm shares his own story and through the stories of others we meet, Call Me Malcolm offers us a glimpse into the real lives of real people who are transgender. But it is only a glimpse. There are many stories to be told and Malcolm helps us make connections to our own stories, encouraging us to share them. That can seem daunting in a culture which has done more to heap shame on persons who identify as transgender. The good news of Malcolm’s story is the way in which shame and fear are overcome by grace, compassion and knowledge. Viewers cannot help but come to a deeper understanding of faith, love, and gender identity, and by doing so, arrive at a deeper understanding of their own journey. Available at the Akron Public Library
View on YouTube

Growing Up Trans: Inside the Struggles and Choices Facing Transgender Kids and Their Families
Just a generation ago, it was adults, not kids, who changed genders. But today, many children are transitioning, too — with new medical options, and at younger and younger ages. In Growing Up Trans, FRONTLINE takes viewers on an intimate and eye-opening journey inside the struggles and choices facing transgender kids and their families.
Available at the Akron Public Library.
View on

A Position of Faith/Bi-sex’u-al
Two videos about sexual orientation are combined in one DVD.  Available for purchase from UCC ResourcesFree leaders guide.

A Position of Faith tells the story of the landmark event of Bill Johnson’s ordination as the first openly gay man, and the process that made it possible. The story is poignant and inspirational, and includes a letter from Bill Johnson’s mother, interviews with Bill, young people, and church leaders (clergy and lay), who either supported or opposed Bill’s candidacy.
View on YouTube

bi-sex’u-al was created to encourage dialogue about bisexual orientation and identification. This video will not answer all questions about bisexuality. It is an introduction to three individuals through their own stories of faith and sexuality.  We hope it will inspire you to think deeply about these stories, and your own story, in the light of faith.
View on YouTube

Have questions or wish to engage in conversation? Please contact us.