The ChangeMakers, a group of Youth Leaders at The Alliance for LGBTQ Youth in Miami, have come together to publish a new children’s book in response to Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law. The law, which was passed as a bill in the House exactly one year ago on February 24, 2022, aims to silence LGBTQ youth in search of their identity, prohibiting teachers from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms. While conversations about the law have largely gone quiet, its effects are still being felt by Florida students and it is inspiring similar bills across the nation.

The book, titled “The Courage to Be Truly Free: Coco’s Blueprint for Self Revival,” plays off the title of a new Ron DeSantis book launching the same day. Written as an educational tool for children and lawmakers alike, it tells the story of a zebra who goes on a journey of self discovery. Along the way, they meet different characters who teach them lessons about self-reliance and community, ultimately giving them the courage to be truly free to be themselves.

Empowering the voices of the youth who’ve been impacted by this harmful legislation, the book carries a message of hope and resilience, teaching lessons of self-discovery and acceptance that many can no longer learn at school. Each page is filled with colorful illustrations and relatable characters, donated by Beuren Studio, that young readers can easily identify with.

This story of love, acceptance, and strength serves as a tool to inspire others to lift up their voices and speak out against discrimination and bigotry. It teaches kids about diversity, inclusion and standing up for what’s right and is designed to spark conversations between children and adults about acceptance and empathy.

The Alliance for LGBTQ Youth is a non-profit organization based in Miami dedicated to empowering LGBTQ youth, their families, and communities through comprehensive care, leadership development, and policy advocacy.

The book is available February 28th on Amazon, as a Kindle ebook or a paperback for purchase, with all proceeds going to The Alliance for LGBTQ Youth. The book will also be available as free download on as a free resource to all.

There is a book reading scheduled at Common Ground, the only LGBTQ and feminist focused bookstore in Tallahassee, Fla.—just a few blocks from the Florida Governor’s Mansion. The book will be shared publicly for the first time at this safe space during their ongoing Drag Story Hour on Tuesday, February 28th at 6pm.

The book ideation and production was done by BBH USA. For more information and a free digital version of the book, please visit the book’s website at