Teaching Children About LGBTQ+ Relationships

Mar 31, 2024

Teaching children about LGBTQ+ relationships is essential, and this is nothing new! It’s a great way to sow the seeds of acceptance when they learn early on. A common cry from some families is “how do we explain this to our children?” 

Well, as simply as you would any relationship! Children are notoriously curious, but what they learn, they get from their surroundings. Children growing up in queer families may not ever need this conversation. However, for our allies and parents there are plenty of reasons to have this talk, and easy ways to go about it. 

Talking to kids about homosexuality and what it means to be gay is important in fostering a more inclusive society. For LGBTQ+ parents and families, this conversation can be both meaningful and empowering. This offers an opportunity to instill values of love, acceptance, and respect in their children.

A mother and daughter at a Pride parade.

Breaking Stereotypes

When discussing homosexuality with children, it’s essential to start by breaking down stereotypes and misconceptions. Begin by explaining that love comes in various forms! Being gay simply means that some people love others of the same gender. It’s important to emphasize that there is no one way to “look” or “act” gay. Gay individuals come from all walks of life and have diverse interests, talents, and personalities, just like anyone else!

Teaching Children Empathy and Respect

One of the most crucial aspects of discussing homosexuality with children is teaching them empathy and respect. Encourage your children to ask questions and express their curiosity, but also remind them that it’s essential to do so respectfully! Explain that some people may have experienced discrimination or prejudice because of their sexual orientation. That’s why kindness and understanding are so important.

Using Age-Appropriate Language

Tailoring your conversation to your child’s age and level of understanding is crucial. Younger children may benefit from simplified explanations, while older kids can grasp more complex concepts. Use age-appropriate language to ensure that your child can absorb the information comfortably.

For younger children: “Sometimes, boys love other boys, and girls love other girls, just like how mommies and daddies love each other.”

For older children: “Being gay means that a person is attracted to someone of the same gender. It’s a natural part of who they are, and it’s no different from how we love people of the opposite gender.”

Share LGBTQ+ Stories

Introduce your child to LGBTQ+ stories and role models. Reading books, watching movies, or discussing historical figures who identify as LGBTQ+ can help normalize these identities and provide a positive perspective. This can be an excellent way to help children understand that being gay is a normal and natural variation of human love. 

Emphasize Love and Family

Remind your child that what truly matters in any family or relationship is love and support. Explain that families can come in all shapes and sizes, and what makes them special is the love they share. Highlight the importance of accepting and celebrating diverse families, including those with LGBTQ+ parents.

Addressing Bullying and Discrimination

Sadly, some children may encounter bullying or discrimination based on their sexual orientation or family structure. It’s important to teach your child to stand up against such behavior. To be a supportive friend to those who might face such challenges. Encourage open communication and let your child know that they can always talk to you about any issues they face.

Teaching Children Empathy and Acceptance is Foundational

Raising children who embrace all forms of love is a beautiful way to contribute to a more accepting and harmonious society. Remember that your love and support are invaluable in helping your child grow into a compassionate and open-minded individual.

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Avery Lea

Avery Lea

Author

Avery Lea is a pansexual, trans-masculine freelance writer located in the beautiful, rainy state of Washington, just outside of Seattle. A videogame blogger by day and gay fanfiction writer by night, they now strive to put their passion for writing towards a more meaningful cause! Inspired by the heroes in their games who do all that they can to save the world, Avery wants to help other members of the LGBTQ+ community through their writing and outreach. Their goal as a writer is to write original queer fiction as well as provide helpful, concise, and uplifting web content for the community. Their core belief is that gender is a construct that can be torn down and rebuilt, and we can all do it together!

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