Chris Tompkins ’22 (Los Angeles, MA in Clinical Psychology, LGBT-Affirmative Psychology Specialization) had their book, Raising LGBTQ Allies: A Parent’s Guide to Changing the Messages from the Playground, published by Rowman & Littlefield on May 14, 2021. The purpose of the book is to prevent queerphobia and bullying before they begin.
“After I had been out of the closet for almost 15 years—and dedicated my life to LGBTQ advocacy work—my 6-year-old nephew, David, asked me at a family function if the woman next to me was my girlfriend,” said Tompkins. “How could he not know that I was gay? So, in 2015, I wrote my family a letter to address a conversation I realized they weren’t having.”
That letter became an article first published on HuffPost, a TEDx talk called, “What Children Learn from the Things We Don’t Say,” a training, and a presentation that led to him working at the Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall to help support LGBTQ incarcerated youth. Tompkins’ letter became Raising LGBTQ Allies: A Parent’s Guide to Changing the Messages from the Playground.
“With the rise of anti-LGBTQ legislation popping up across the country, my book’s message is timely and relevant for families, school administrators, and youth-serving professionals nationwide. I once heard that if you don’t like something, then get involved,” said Tompkins. “I couldn’t think of a better way to get involved than for my book to be a part of more parenting conversations.”
By emphasizing the importance of having open and authentic conversations with children at a young age, Tompkins takes readers on a step-by-step guide through the many ways they can prevent new generations from adopting homophobic and transphobic beliefs, while helping them explore their own subconscious biases.