Talking to Young Children about Pride Month
Celebrate Pride Month with a collection of wonderful picture books and resources to use a home or in the classroom. Promote acceptance, not discrimination and listen to children without judgement through simple and honest discussions.
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. This started as Gay Pride Day to honour the 1969 Stonewall riots in America. Over time, it evolved into a month of events recognising the impact of the LGBT community throughout history. Parades and events promote equal rights and an end to LGBT discrimination. Groups also organise memorials to remember those who lost their lives to HIV and AIDS.
Children can surprise us with deep, but difficult questions. As challenging as it maybe it is important to answer LGBT questions with understanding and empathy, no matter your beliefs. Planned Parenthood says “the knowledge and respect that you foster when you have these conversations helps create a safer, more inclusive community for everyone.”
Children's Questions During Pride Month
Here are a few ways to approach children’s questions. You will also find links and resources for further information.
Promote Acceptance, Not Discrimination
Every day we meet people different from ourselves. Promoting an attitude of acceptance supports a positive environment for everyone to be who they are. As we know this isn’t always the case. Many in the LGBT community are discriminated against from homophobic slurs to violence. Encourage children to treat everyone with respect, fairness and compassion.
- GLSEN provides a collection of Key Concepts and Terms “designed to provide a basic understanding of words, phrases and ideas related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their experiences.”
- Helen Zaltzman hosts a podcast The Allusionst. The episode Allusionist 12: Pride explore the origins of the term ‘Pride’. You will also find additional links on the history of the Pride movement.
- Mashable: 5 ways parents can talk to kids about LGBTQ identity
- Stonewall: Home learning pack: Different Families
Listen Without Judgement
If a child wants to discuss LGBT identity, listen with an open mind. Listening without judgement provides them with a safe space to express themselves. As adults, it is our responsibility to use a positive attitude rather than discriminatory stereotypes.
Slate’s series Outwards aims to expand the LGBTQ conservation, including the article The Straight Parents’ Guide to How Not to Raise a Homophobe—and How to Be a Better Ally
Keep it Simple and Honest
An open and honest attitude will let your child ask further questions knowing there will be no judgement on your part. This is important as children get older and their questions may become more complex. Planned Parenthood has information on how to discuss child queries and resources for parents and educators.
- Planned Parenthood: What should I teach my elementary school-aged child about identity?
- Planned Parenthood: How do I talk with my elementary school-aged child about sex and sexuality?
- The Gay Straight Alliance sets out Ten Ways Homophobia Affects Straight People.
Additional Resources To Talk about Pride Month
- GLSEN: Educator Resources and Developing LGBTQ-Inclusive Classroom Resources
- LGBTQ History: Teaching LGBTQ History Resource Links
- LGBT+ History Month: Resources
- The Proud Trust: Schools and Training Resources
- Queer Kids Stuff: “Queer Kid Stuff imagines a kinder and more equal future through highly-accessible education and entertainment for kids ages 3+”
- Safe @ School: Lesson Plans and Tool Kits
- School Wellbeing: LGBT* History Month Religion, Belief & Philosophy
- Schools Out UK: Drawing the Line: Defining a Distinction Between your Professional and Personal Life Online
- Stonewall: Best practice, toolkits and resources
- Teaching Tolerance: Celebrate LGBT Pride Month With Perspectives!
- Woo Jr: LGBT Trailblazers: A Pride Month Curriculum For Kids
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Great Books to Celebrate Pride Month
You can find a much longer list of books in the post 22 Diverse Children’s Books with LGBTQ Characters.
10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino
Taking about Pride and related topics can be a struggle for some adults. What tools or activities do you use to teach or discuss LGBTQ+ topics with children?
Do you have any favourite picture books? Let me know in the comments below. I am always on the lookout for great LGBTQ+ and Pride books. I will try and include them in this list so let me know below.