Post submitted by Charlie Girard, Former Digital Organizer 

Yesterday, people across the U.S. and in three other countries came out in force to support transgender and non-binary youth during the fourth annual Jazz & Friends National Day of School and Community Readings cosponsored by HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools program and the National Education Association (NEA).

HRC and the NEA invited parents, teachers, elected officials and community members to host local read alouds of children’s books about transgender and non-binary youth, including youth of color. More than 200 readings took place in three countries, 37 states and the District of Columbia.

Readings took place in schools…

In community spaces…

In living rooms…

And even on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives!

HRC was particularly honored to have non-binary role models Bex Taylor-Klaus and Jacob Tobia attend a reading with the HRC’s Los Angeles Steering Committee.

Maya Christina Gonzalez and Matthew SG, authors of They, She, He, Me: Free to Be!, held a reading online with more than 2,000 people tuning in!

This annual nationwide action is inspired by the residents and students of tiny Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, who unequivocally rebuked bigotry and censorship in 2015 after a national anti-LGBT hate group threatened legal action against a school planning to support a local transgender child by offering an inclusive classroom lesson.

Thank you to all of the participants who joined this year! Each event was unique, but they all showed transgender and non-binary youth that they are valued and respected.

Our next annual Jazz & Friends National Day of School and Community Readings will be on February 27, 2020. Interested in joining us next time? Email us at!

HRC Foundation's Welcoming Schools is the nation's premier professional development program providing training and resources to elementary school educators to:

  • Welcome diverse families;
  • Create LGBTQ and gender-inclusive schools;
  • Prevent bias-based bullying;
  • Support transgender and non-binary students

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