Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People who Made History

Written By: Sarah Prager

Illustrated by: Sarah Papworth

For Ages: 8 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: Historical Figures, LGBTQ Community, Own Voices, Activism, BIPOC Narratives, Black Identity & Culture, Global Community.


This book is phenomenal! I can’t explain how much the world needs this book, and especially the queer community. Flipping through the pages, a beautiful array of faces that have changed the narrative of history stare back at the reader. Honestly, I don’t know where to start in reviewing this book, it’s all incredible and makes me emotional. The artwork is gorgeous, the individuals featured are scattered across the globe, and I learned SO MUCH.

I’ve taken queer theory classes in grad school, and love queer history in general. This book taught me even more. These are the books that deserve to be on our kids’ shelves. By teaching about the greatness that has come from the LGBTQ community, which I am so proudly a member of, we can show younger generations today that there is a place for them in history.

Having such an emphasis on historical figures from the trans community is wonderfully refreshing, and I learned about a lot of people that I had never heard of before. Politicians, activists, even the doctor that invented a method of early TB detection have all transitioned to live authentically. Being able to access this information and learn about the rich history of activism and social justice is a privilege, and I don’t take it lightly. These figures are crucial parts of our global history, and to not learn about them is a disservice. Ma Rainey, Magnus Hirschfeld, Wen’wha, Glenn Burke, and many many more are within these pages. You need to order this book IMMEDIATELY, I cannot stress this enough.

This book was sent to us by HarperKids, but all opinions are our own!

Sarah Prager

Sarah’s writing has been published in The Atlantic, The Advocate, HuffPost, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, Bustle, JSTOR Daily, GO Magazine, It Gets Better Project’s blog, and various other outlets. She has been a guest on HuffPost Live, the Michelangelo Signorile Show on Sirius XM Progress Radio, History Is Gay podcast, and The List on ABC2. Sarah has presented on LGBTQIA history to over 140 groups across five countries, including the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Harvard Business School, and Microsoft HQ in Times Square.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Language & Literatures from Boston University in 2008, with a course of study that included one academic year spent at the Universidad de Burgos in Spain where her courses focused on political science. During her time at BU, Sarah served as president of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace Alliance and the LGBTQIA student organization. She also held several months-long internships a variety of non-profits for causes from public health to LGBTQIA rights in locations from Paraguay to Bulgaria.

Sarah served as the Volunteer Chair of the Boston Pride Committee for Pride 2010, which involved recruiting and organizing hundreds of volunteers for Boston’s 40th annual Pride Week. She earned her Certificate of Professional Communication from Emerson College in 2012. She has worked for many non-profits including Justice Resource Institute, Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

She lives with her wife, their two young children, and three cats in central Massachusetts.

Sarah Papworth

Sarah lives and creates in a Cotswold village within the West Midlands, UK.  In August 2018 she joyfully joined the Lilla Rogers Studios, in the USA, as one of their artists.

Starting her design career in Homeware, Sarah worked for a high-street retailer for 8 years creating trend-reports, design, product development, and covering managerial duties. Now Sarah work on Editorial, books, pattern, and a variety of areas from her home office. 

Within her box of tools, Sarah loves to use mixed media. Mainly she hand-creates textures and line-work to input into Adobe Photoshop to create pieces with more speed. Favourite materials include watercolour, acrylic paints, pens, crayon, pastels and good old fashioned pencil.

In Sarah’s spare time, she enjoys yoga, reading, moving my furniture around and painting walls or the odd table/chair with beautiful hues.  She can easily spend a whole weekend in the garden pottering around, painting pictures and contemplating life and the cosmos with a cup of chamomile tea.

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