New children’s book supports ‘invisible’ same-sex parents

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The first Peruvian children’s book featuring LGBT parents will be released later this month.

‘Camilla has two moms?’ tells the story of a 9-year-old girl who lives with her two mothers.

Author and activist Veronica Ferrari says her book “seeks to make visible all these families of lesbian mothers and of gay fathers existing in Peru.”

Same-sex relationships are not currently legally recognised in Peru, after the most recent attempt to pass the Civil Unions Bill was shelved in April 2015.

Adoption by same-sex couples is also not possible – with lesbians banned from having IVF.

The book shines a light on the lack of protection and recognition same-sex parents currently get in Peru, as the young protagonist becomes the subject of rumour and ridicule due to her family set up.

However, there is a happy ending for the family, as Camila’s mothers explain that “love ties their family together”.

Although the author hopes her book will make a difference, she is also aware of the backlash it may receive from anti-gay parts of the community.

“For half of the books (we sell), LGBT families will buy it, the other half, it will be conservative groups that threatened to burn it,” she said.

Discussing her inspiration for the story, she credited seeing so many LGBT families at last year’s Peruvian LGBT Pride Parade as her main reason for putting pen to paper.

“After the significant participation in the last Gay Pride we started thinking there must be many homosexual parents that need to themselves reflected in these kind of stories.”

“We want to tell them they are not alone and that living with dignity implies being prepared to be visible and confront the consequences with love and courage, and this way helping the fight against discrimination.”

The book’s publisher is Zoe’s Closet, an independent publishing house which primarily produces LGBT content.

“These stories are universal and anyone can identify with them,” their Facebook page explains.

“We want to contribute to a fairer, more dignified, better country and believe that books are a great way to do it.”

Earlier this month, a gay rights group launched Bangladesh’s first gay comic strip character in a bid to raise awareness about the plight of homosexual people.