Pride Month: Having Conversations about LGBTQ+ Identity and Inclusivity with Kids
The History Behind Pride Month
Pride Month is held in June to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City on June 28, 1969, when customers of the Stonewall Inn fought back against the common police raids on LGBTQ+ serving bars. Historians consider the Stonewall uprising to be the start of the modern LGBTQ+ movement because it sparked national activism and protests and raised awareness for the fight for LGBTQ+ equality in America.
Now, Pride Month is seen as a celebration of the progress America has made since 1969. It is also a time to learn about and raise awareness around LGBTQ+ issues that still exist. Pride Month is a great opportunity to talk with kids about different gender and sexual identities and the importance of inclusiveness, equality, and advocacy for what is right.
Tips for Talking to Kids about LGBTQ+ Identity and the Importance of Pride Month
Pride Month opens the door to having conversations with kids about different LGBTQ+ identities, how the LGBTQ+ community has been discriminated against, and how we can show support for LGBTQ+ rights year-round. Here are some tips for beginning conversations with kids about these topics.
Ask kids what they already know! Many kids already know the acronym LGBTQ+, or have seen rainbow flags in front yards and storefronts throughout the month. Ask questions to get the conversation going and see where you can fill in the gaps.
Explain the history behind Pride Month. Just like other historical movements, like women’s rights or civil rights, kids should learn about the movement for LGBTQ+ rights. Explain that the month began as an uprising against LGBTQ+ inequalities and that people protested and advocated for change. Don’t forget to talk about the successes and wins, like marriage equality - show kids that advocating for what is right can bring about real change.
Learn together. If you are asked a question that you don’t know how to answer, it is okay! You can learn along the way. The LGBTQ+ community is complex and you may not have all the answers - the important thing is that you are taking steps to discuss and learn.
Be supportive, positive, and affirming. Kids know that life is unfair, but make sure they know that we have the power to make life more fair for others. You want kids to know that people in the LGBTQ+ community are loved and that there is hope for equality. Focus on what we can do- and what kids can do- to help support LGBTQ+ rights, whether that be through supporting LGBTQ+ business owners, creating signs or art to show your support, or just showing empathy and inclusion to a friend who needs it.
The Power of Representation and Inclusive Media to Check Out
Last year during a Kids for Kids LIVE session around advocacy, we had guest speakers Sumaiya and Paige talk about the Pride Movement and the BLM Movement to kids. Both guest speakers talked about the issues of homophobia and racism - but they also talked about solutions and ways to advocate for change. Paige talked about the importance of representation for kids, saying that “when you’re growing up [the relationships you see in books and movies] become the outline for normal relationships” and “when you aren’t shown diversity it becomes shocking.” Many members of the LGBTQ+ community have emphasized the importance of representation in the media. It encourages them to be themselves and shows that they are loved and embraced in society. It also shows all people that love is love, regardless of their gender or sexual identity.
Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution by Rob Sanders
Our Rainbow from Little Bee Books
Be Amazing by Desmond is Amazing
When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff
My Rainbow by Trinity and DeShanna Neal
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
Shows & Movies
Queer Kid Stuff by Lindsay Amer, a YouTube channel that has informative videos about LGBTQ+ identity and history, specifically created for kids
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Available on Netflix)
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts
The Bravest Knight (Hulu)
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Disney+)
Andi Mack (Disney Channel)
The Loud House (Nickelodeon)
Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling (Netflix)
Steven Universe: The Movie (Cartoon Network)
Nella the Princess Knight (Nick Jr.)
Twelve Forever (Netflix)
First Day (Hulu)
Craig of the Creek (Cartoon Network)
Diary of a Future President (Disney+)
The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix)
Adventure Time: Distant Lands (HBO Max)
The Owl House (Disney Channel)
Steven Universe (Cartoon Network)
Sources: GLAAD, Care.com, @soyouwanttotalkabout.