Growing Up in an LGBTQIA+ World


LGBTQIA+ World - Women with pride paint.I know that many people these days are trying to figure out how to have a conversation with their kiddos about all the flavors of families we encounter today. As a person with a gay father and a highly complex family tree, I thought I would share a few ideas to help you feel grounded when you talk to your kiddos about LGBTQIA+. 

1. Know your definitions.

The acronym used today is a bit longer than the one you first learned as a youth because so many people fall outside the typical gender binary and heterosexually-dominant world that want to feel included. Brush up on the definitions of the acronym here so that you can speak with more authority. 

2. Bring compassion and understanding.

Kids are naturally curious, and bias tends to grow from an example they see, whether it comes to gender, sexual orientation, race, or anything else. Remember to take the time to model acceptance and love for other people who are different from you because just as we couldn’t all do the same job, we can’t all be the same people. And don’t forget everyone on the planet wants to feel safe and be loved.

3. Use positive examples from your life and the world.

If you learn of a family with two moms or two dads, it is so simple to start by reminding your kiddo that we love people for whoever is on the inside and that love shouldn’t be limited to just people like ourselves. If you don’t know anyone part of the LGBT community, then find a TV show to watch together or talk about Hollywood actors or past Olympians who are out and happy. 

4. Read books together that have LGBT families.

Whenever I need to share a new idea with my kids, I always go to the library to find a good book. I always read my kids Everywhere Babies because of the diversity of family groups represented in the illustrations. Brightly also has a great list of books for kids and teens about LGBTQIA+ topics, which is searchable by age group. 

5. Remind your kid that you will love them forever.

Kids need to know that they are safe and loved. Make sure that you remind them that they are allowed to grow in any way they feel is right, into the magical person you know they will become. There are so many challenging times that kids need to grow through that can cause them anxiety or thoughts of suicide, so make sure that they know you are a resource for them, NO MATTER WHAT. There is no better gift we can give our kids than acceptance, so help encourage them to feel comfortable talking with you when they are young so they will keep talking into their teen years and beyond. 

For other resources on LGBTQIA+, check out Akron Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Children’s Mercy of Kansas City for more tips on talking to your kids. 


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