Democratic congresswoman Angie Craig (Minn.) took to the House floor to read in full a radical children's book on a young girl's gender transition that was put out by her own wife.
The Minnesota lawmaker used her allotted five minutes of speaking time to read Calvin, a children's book produced by the Human Rights Campaign's Welcoming Schools program, which is directed by Craig's wife Cheryl Greene. The book, suggested by HRC for kindergarten students, encourages children to explore gender transition and reject biological sex.
"It's critically important to make sure that transgender and nonbinary youth not only feel supported but valued and affirmed for who they are," Craig said before reading from the book. She made no mention in the floor speech of her wife's connection to the book.
The HRC's Welcoming Schools program creates training, lesson plans, and book lists that "introduce the youngest readers to gender identity and transition." In Calvin, a young girl reveals her identity as "a boy in my heart and in my brain," and her parents buy her swim trunks and "handsome" back-to-school clothes that make her feel more comfortable. Calvin's father explains that "being transgender means other people think you're one gender but inside you know you are a different one."
The stated goal of the book, according to the program's lesson plan for Calvin, is to "help students understand what it means to be transgender using developmentally appropriate language for younger students" and "increase student understanding of ally behavior."
Wednesday marked the third time the congresswoman has promoted the program on the House floor—Craig also delivered book readings in February 2021 and in February 2020 for HRC's annual day to support transgender youth.
Craig has previously read titles off the Welcoming Schools book list, including When Aidan Became a Brother, a story about a gender confused big sister-turned-brother, and They, She, He Easy as ABC, a children's guide to inclusive pronouns.
The program's recommended reading for preschoolers is The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish, a nursery rhyme book written by Lil Miss Hot Mess, a founder of the Drag Queen Story Hour initiative.
"One of the best ways for schools to create a welcoming environment for students and families is through children’s literature," Greene, the congresswoman's wife, said in January 2021. "Inclusive books provide students with both mirrors to affirm their own identities and windows into lives that are different from theirs."
Craig, first elected in 2018, narrowly beat her Republican challenger in 2020. Her seat in Minnesota's Second Congressional District will be hotly contested this November, as Democrat approval ratings plummet across the country.
In the 2018 midterms, HRC spent $26 million in support of Democrats like Craig to "pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration." The campaign deployed 4,200 volunteers to register more than 30,000 new voters.