A Church for All (2018), written by Gayle E. Pitman and illustrated by Laure Fournier, is a charming tale about LGBTQ spirituality that is influenced by one church’s social justice approach to religion. In an informative end note, Pitman describes attending Glide Memorial Church, the church that inspires the book, at the suggestion of a friend. She writes: “For the first time I found a spiritual community that fully accepted and embraced LGBTQ people.”
Pitman notes that for many LGBTQ people, homophobia and transphobia experienced in religious institutions can make religious observation uncomfortable at best, but she explains that she found a home at Glide. She also shares Glide’s remarkable history as a beacon of social justice and spirituality.
The story itself doesn’t read as if it is about Glide specifically, which means readers can project their own spiritual experiences or desires for religious inclusion onto the lyrically written and brightly illustrated text. The story moves forward with brief but thoughtfully chosen descriptions of Sunday morning preparations to head to church. The sparse but meaningful text is paired with deliberately diverse images representing a beautiful range of queer love and family.
I highly recommend this sweet read for personal and public libraries. It’s an inspirational text with a snapshot of queer history embedded within it!
This review is part of my “Snapshots of LGBTQ Kid Lit” project. I’m working on a book, The New Queer Children’s Literature: Exploring the Principles and Politics of LGBTQ* Children’s Picture Books, which is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi. Part of my research is identifying and interpreting English-language children’s picture books with LGBTQ* content published in the US and Canada between 1979 and 2019. Follow my blog to follow my journey!