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10/10/2015 10:33 am ET

'Heather Has Two Mommies' Author On The Struggle To Publish Gay Books

Lesléa Newman recalled stories of her groundbreaking book being stolen and defecated on.

As we reflect on milestones made within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community during October's LGBT history month, HuffPost Live spoke with Lesléa Newman, the author of the groundbreaking 1989 children's book Heather Has Two Mommies.

As the first lesbian-themed children's book published, getting it to readers was a challenge. Newman explained to host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani earlier this week that getting the book published was an entirely grassroots effort because nobody was willing to endorse it. She said the reception to its publishing was mixed -- some "thrilled," some "horrified."

"Libraries were reporting that the book was either stolen or returned with its pages glued shut," Newman recalled. "There was one library that found the book in the bathroom defecated upon. There were politicians who used the book for their own personal agenda. So all kinds of interesting things were happening during that time." 

Finding publishers interested in picture books with a gay agenda is "still a struggle," Newman said. But in 2008, she was finally approached to write a baby book featuring gay parents. 

"I was really pleased that the publishing world was coming to me after I had struggled so hard to put Heather out there," Newman said. "But obviously, you know, a lot has happened especially in the marriage equality movement that's made the world a better place, I think, for all of us and all our families."

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