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Special Topics in Being a Parent - A Queer and Tender Guide to Things I've Learned About Parenting, Mostly the Hard Way

Special Topics in Being a Parent

A Queer and Tender Guide to Things I've Learned About Parenting, Mostly the Hard Way

By S. Bear Bergman
Illustrated by Saul Freedman-Lawson
Categories: Graphic Novels & Non-Fiction, LGBTQ+ Literature, LGBTQ+, Trans Literature
Paperback : 9781551529394, 328 pages, 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-07-30
Expected to ship: 2024-07-30


An illustrated guide of practical parenting advice informed by queer experiences for anyone doing the work of parenting, from the author and illustrator of Special Topics in Being a Human

Being a parent is enormously joyful, but it is also an enormous amount of work. Parenting requires you to make dozens of decisions a day, every one of which in some way shapes the person your child will grow into. It can be difficult to know in these moments whether you're on the right track. Progressive parents especially can feel adrift when caregiving in ways that were not modelled for them.

From S. Bear Bergman - advice columnist, educator, and queer dad with fifteen years of parenting under his belt - comes Special Topics in Being a Parent, a witty and insightful collection of child-rearing tips for those in search of realistic ideas about screens and lunches that don't come with a side order of judgment. Using his own choices - and errors - by way of example, Bergman offers suggestions for various stages of the parenting journey, from asking "Are we ready to have a kid?" to talking with children about diversity and difference, to questioning gender expectations placed on both kids and parents. With plenty of humour and compassion, and featuring charming illustrations by Saul Freedman-Lawson, this guide helps parents to live their parenting values while enabling their kids to grow their capacities, understand the world, and above all, feel connected and loved.


Honest, loving, and inclusive, Special Topics in Being a Parent takes much consideration when discussing the perspective of both the parent and the child. Beautifully illustrated with truly heartwarming, funny moments, this thoughtful look at compassionate parenting would make a wonderful gift for anyone welcoming a child into their home. -Liz Climo, cartoonist and author of I'm So Happy You're Here

S. Bear Bergman knows that when it comes to parenting, all you need is love - but that's a bit like saying when it comes to physical reality, all you need is atoms. The practical, surprising, upending, exhausting, and exalting ways that love actually happens are the heart of this touching, funny, helpful, and beautifully illustrated book. -Charles Demers, comedian and author of Property Values

Bravery, honesty, curiosity, and joy. If you're raising children in this complicated, messy world (or at least thinking about it), Special Topics In Being a Parent encourages you to meet your children with the same kind of bravery, honesty, curiosity, and joy that you hope they will carry with them throughout their lives. Full of encouragement, compassion, and practical tips for everything from how to get small people out the door on time without losing your last shred of sanity to how to talk about injustice and upsetting current events, it is the perfect resource for imperfect parents who are ready to let go of the need to constantly optimize themselves and their kids and to embrace all that is weird and wonderful. -Jennifer Peepas, writer of

S. Bear Bergman has done it again - this time with a book about the challenging task of raising more ethical, more loving kids (and their parents). Special Topics in Being a Parent is infused with wisdom, wry humour, and most importantly, a wealth of actionable, genuinely novel tips and tricks for getting through parenthood with more wholeness, more joy, more love. I so wish I'd had this book when my kids were younger, but since I'm not done parenting, I'm not done needing this. -Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author of Nurture the Wow and On Repentance and Repair

Special Topics in Being a Parent is an honest, humorous, sincere, and powerful guide for parenting. As a queer parent myself, I found this book to be so relatable. The stunning illustrations by Saul Freedman-Lawson complement the text wonderfully. I definitely learned a few tips and tricks from Bear that I will use for my own parenting. This is one of my favourite new books, and I recommend it to every parent out there. -Hasan Namir, author of Umbilical Cord and Banana Dream

S. Bear Bergman's books are the new essentials: they belong on every bookshelf in every home, and if you're looking for a gift for literally anyone at any time, Bergman's books are gifts that give and give and give. Special Topics in Being a Parent might seem like it's only for parents, but it's for everyone who's ever around kids: it offers beautiful advice, practical advice, and advice so ingenious that it feels like it should be torn out and framed. And luckily, thanks to gorgeous illustrations by Saul Freedman-Lawson, framing pages from this book to hang in your living room or kitchen isn't out of the question - so maybe buy two for everyone you know? Bergman's gift for bringing out the graciousness, gentleness, and humanity in us all cannot be overstated, and this book is required reading. -Sophie Lucido Johnson, artist and author of Dear Sophie, Love Sophie