“The Boy with the Rainbow Heart” was written in honor of Mason’s lesbian sister, Jessica, her children, and all children who find themselves feeling different in some way.
A Western New York author is trying to change the way people perceive one another… starting with our youth.
Will Mason of Cheektowaga is the author of a new LBGTQ themed children’s book “The Boy with the Rainbow Heart.” The book teaches “love and acceptance for all people – no matter what color a child’s heart may shine.”
Mason is a graduate of UB with a master’s in social work; he is also a former school social worker intern at Buffalo Public Schools. Realizing that there were no resources or books to help children understand the LBGTQ community, Mason decided to write a book that would create an open conversation to help parents and teachers discuss the topic of love and acceptance for all.
“The Boy with the Rainbow Heart” follows a little boy through the town of Gray. Although the boy has a heart that’s different from everyone else’s, once others began to understand how special the boy is his kindness and love spreads through the community and turns the town of Gray into the town of Shine. The book, which is geared towards young children, does not directly refer to the LBGTQ community, but it does teach kindness and compassion to others in its own way.
“I think the time is right for something like this,” said Mason. “With hate being spewed by certain populations, I think it’s a good time to get this book in front of the world and in front of kids.”
Mason also wrote the book in honor of his sister, Jessica, who came out when she was a teenager. While she has an overwhelming amount of support from her family and friends now, it wasn’t easy for her to be a young lesbian woman who was treated differently at school and at home.
“She was bullied and she received threats from people at school. This was really tough for her, but it brought our family closer together and it really opened my eyes to the issues the LBGTQ community faces.”
Mason recently launched an online campaign to raise $4,000 to publish “The Boy with the Rainbow Heart.” The goal is to donate copies of the book to all 44 Buffalo Public Elementary Schools. Amazingly enough, the campaign surpassed its goal in only 48 hours and The Pride Center of WNY has stepped forward as the lead sponsor.
“I was blown away,” said Mason. “I’m beyond grateful to all the amazing people who have backed this project in support for the entire LBGTQ community.”
If you’re interested in learning more about “The Boy with the Rainbow Heart,” visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/2114819346/the-boy-with-the-rainbow-heart-an-lgbtq-childrens