Two children standing in front of traditionally gendered pictures; the girl is playing with a doll in a dress and standing in front of a picture of lipstick, another of a crown, and a third of a high heel shoe; the boy is plyaing with a super hero doll and standing in front of an image of a boxing glove plus another of masculine athletes on a podium

Teaching Children About LGBTQ+ and Gender Identity

Two children standing in front of traditionally gendered pictures; the girl is playing with a doll in a dress and standing in front of a picture of lipstick, another of a crown, and a third of a high heel shoe; the boy is plyaing with a super hero doll and standing in front of an image of a boxing glove plus another of masculine athletes on a podium
Photo courtesy of Planned Parenthood Espanol

Talking about gender and gender identity with children can be a challenging conversation for parents, caregivers and educators. This pride month, as we celebrate the positive impact and the importance of the LGBTQ+ community, we can help our children understand the differences of gender identity, respect others, and encourage them to be their most authentic selves. 

Most children typically understand the physical differences between boys and girls and the attributes associated with gender between the ages of 18 and 24 months. They can also identify their own gender by the age three. Gender identity refers to an internal sense people have of who they are, which can be related to their biological traits, developmental influences, and environmental conditions. Self-recognition of gender identity develops over time, similar to how the physical body develops. 

As children are innately aware of their gender identity at a young age, it is important that they understand the diversity of gender expression in both their educational and home environments. 

Here are some resources you can use to talk to your children about the LGBTQ+ community, gender expression, and gender equity: 

Resources in English

Videos

Books

Photo of the book "Pink is for boys" by Robb Pearlman, Illustrated by Eda Kaban
Photo courtesy of DadSuggests.com

Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman
This timely picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids-and their grown-ups-to express themselves in every color of the rainbow.

The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman
This book showcases diverse families and their lives together.

Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
Marlon's life was about to change forever when this very special boy bunny fell in love with another boy bunny. With its message of acceptance, this book explores the topics of same gender marriage and democracy.

Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman
This book is a great resource for reading time that teaches children about nontraditional family structures.

Photo of the book "Pink is for boys" by Robb Pearlman, Illustrated by Eda Kaban
Photo courtesy of DadSuggests.com

Resources for Parents

Photo of the book "Pink is for boys" by Robb Pearlman, Illustrated by Eda Kaban
Photo courtesy of DadSuggests.com

Gender Development, Expression and Play: Include NYC 
This toolkit contains activities for children and parents about gender identity and how to respond to children in certain scenarios of gender expression. 

How do I talk with my preschooler about gender identity?: Planned Parenthood
Learn how to teach your kid that their gender doesn’t limit them, how to talk about different kinds of families, how to know if your kid is transgender, and more.

Talking to Your Child About What It Means to Identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender: Children's Hospital of Los Angeles
By talking with your child at a young age about sexual orientation and gender identity, you can teach them the value of empathy and respect for others, as well as open the door for any future conversations regarding their own identity.

Talking to Young Children About Gender: Gender Spectrum
You may be nervous about talking with young kids about gender, but gender doesn’t need to be a difficult, serious topic. 

What Do You Say to ‘That’s So Gay’?: Welcoming Schools
How to talk to children to stop bullying and anti-LGBTQ comments.

List of additional books with LGBTQ+ characters

Resources for Educators and Child Care Providers

Photo of the book "Pink is for boys" by Robb Pearlman, Illustrated by Eda Kaban
Photo courtesy of DadSuggests.com

Focus on Ethics: Gender Expression and Identity: NAEYC
This article gives a case study for educators and parents to better understand gender expression and how to encourage children to freely express themselves in the classroom. 

Lesson Plans to Create LGBTQ Inclusive Classrooms: Welcoming Schools
Comprehensive resources for educators to teach about LGBTQ people and topics to foster equity and belonging in schools.

Ready, Set, Respect!: GLSEN
This resource was developed especially for elementary school teachers trying to build inclusive classrooms.

Supporting LGBTQ Students in Elementary School: Edutopia
Three strategies elementary school teachers can use to foster a sense of inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students.

Supporting LGBTQ+ Families: Head Start
This compilation of resources helps professionals and other community member support families of parents who identify as LGBTQ+ or whose children are LGBTQ+. 

Recursos En Espanol

Videos

Libros

Photo of a book titled "AHORA ME LLAMO LUISA" by Jessica Walton and Dougal MacPherson

Ahora me llamo Luisa de Jessica Walton
¿Niño o niña? Solo uno mismo sabe qué es y cómo se siente, y ante eso, lo más importante de todo es la amistad. Una historia conmovedora, dulce y tierna sobre ser uno mismo.

Los Mejores Colores de Eric Hoffman
Este libro es sobre Nate, un niño pequeño con dos mamás que aprende que es posible tener más de un mejor amigo y un color favorito. Contiene actividades e ideas de enseñanza.

Soy Jazz (Spanish Edition) de Jessica Herthel y Jazz Jennings
La historia de de una chica transgenero basada en la experiencia de la vida real de Jazz Jennings, que se ha convertido en portavoz de los transkids en todas partes.

Tres con Tango de by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, Francesc Strino i Prat (Translator)
Esta es la historia verdadera de Roy y Silo, pingüinos barbijos, que tienen una delicada línea de plumas negras por debajo del pico, como si fuera un collar. Después de algún tiempo, en 1998, Rob Gramzay, el guarda del Zoo del Central Park, descubrió que estos dos pingüinos machos que estaban juntos siempre eran pareja.

Nicolás tiene dos papás de Leslie Nicholls, Ramon Gomez
El primer cuento chileno sobre familia homoparental y diversidad sexual.

Único como yo de Laurin Mayeno
Es una historia sobre amor sin condiciones y la belleza de la individualidad. Es un libro único que apoya a niños que no encajen en un estereotipo de género y refleja del poder de una comunidad amorosa y solidaria.

Photo of a book titled "AHORA ME LLAMO LUISA" by Jessica Walton and Dougal MacPherson

Recursos Para Padres

Photo of the book "Pink is for boys" by Robb Pearlman, Illustrated by Eda Kaban
Photo courtesy of DadSuggests.com

Conversando sobre la Diversidad de Género con Niños: Gender Spectrum
Esta guía ayuda a padres y cuidadores a tener conversaciones sobre género con niños.

Cómo Hablar Sobre El Género y La Orientación Sexual: Somos Familia
Este paquete tiene herramientas para familias a discutir género y la orientación sexual. 

¿Qué debo enseñarle a mi hijo/a en escuela primaria sobre identidad?: Planned Parenthood 
Este recurso tiene respuestas a preguntas comunes de padres sobre la identidad de sus hijos y cómo apoyarlos. 

Los niños y la identidad de género: apoyar a tu hijo: Mayo Clinic 
Este artículo ayuda a padres a comprender la importancia de hablar con tu hijo sobre identidad y la expresión de género, al igual que cómo iniciar la charla.

Conversando con tu hijo sobre Identidad: Guía de Recursos
Esta es una colección de recursos para aprender sobre las orientaciones sexuales e identidades de género con tus hijos, y bríndales tu apoyo si se identifican como LGBTQ.

Recursos para educadores y proveedores de cuidado infantil

Photo of the book "Pink is for boys" by Robb Pearlman, Illustrated by Eda Kaban
Photo courtesy of DadSuggests.com

LGTBIfobia – Recursos Educativos
Una colección de recursos para educadores sobre diversidad sexual y cómo apoyar estudiantes LGBTQ y prevenir la homofobia en escuelas.  

Educando en la Diversidad Orientación Sexual e Identidad De Género en las Aulas
Una guía para educadores y cómo enseñar a los estudiantes sobre la identidad sexual y dar forma al sistema educativo para que sea más inclusivo.  

Una guía para entender, apoyar y alentar a los niños, jóvenes y familias LGBTQI2-S
Este recurso proporciona información para los proveedores de servicios, educadores, aliados y miembros de la comunidad que buscan apoyar la salud de los niños y jóvenes que se identifican como lesbianas, gays, bisexuales, transgénero, explorando, intersexuales, y/o dos espíritus (LGBTQI2-S) y sus familias

Cuidado de Niños y  Jóvenes LGBTQ
Este folleto fue diseñado para proveer información sobre el cuidado y el apoyo de personas lesbianas, gais, bisexuales, transgénero, niños y jóvenes en cuestionamiento. 

Qué Responder al Comentario: ‘Es Tan Gay’: Welcoming Schools
Este documento para educadores incluye escenarios diferentes sobre cómo explicar lo que significa ser gay y cómo apoyar estudiantes que se identifican como gay.