Acceptance and Understanding

Gulliver is very excited to meet their new classmate- another dog! Their new friend is great … and a bit different. Gulliver learns that accepting someone who is different might earn you a great friend.

How to start a conversation

Watch this videos first, then watch it together. The goal is help you create a safe space for respectful curiosity, acceptance and understanding.

Acceptance and Understanding

  • Being 2SLGBTQ+ is not something a person can choose.
  • Kids usually start to figure out who they are attracted to between 9 and 12.
  • Your sexual orientation or gender identity is NOT caused by early childhood experiences, parenting or the way someone was raised.
  • There is nothing wrong with children who want to adapt non-traditional gender roles (boys wearing dresses, girls playing with trucks) nor is it a guarantee of their future sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Parents struggle with the lack of uncertainty accepting a child that is different and often need help. Families need support navigating criticism from their community
  • All children need a supportive home life, schools with anti-bullying protocol and therapy for any harassment they feel for being different
  • Kids can be singled out for being different. Teasing, and/or bullying can be extremely upsetting to children too young to understand their sexuality and gender identity.
  • Children are desperate to know that they are loved and accepted by their parents.

Things to remember:

  • Make the effort to understand how your child is feeling.
  • Make the distinction between their feelings and yours. If you are having difficulty with your feeling as a parent- seek assistance.
  • Watch your words. Recognize the way you talk about 2SLGBTQ+ communities sends a very clear message to your children about your level of acceptance.
  • Follow your child’s lead- if they don’t want to talk about their sexual orientation or gender identity, respect that too.
  • Don’t assume. The only person who really knows how they feel is your child. Pushing them to be something they are not or forcing them to explain themselves before they are ready can be equally harmful.
  • Remind your child you love them very much no matter what they are.
  • 2SLGBTQ+ children who are not accepted have a high chance of depression, mental health issues, homelessness, suicide and drug use. Get informed and seek support so you can be there for your child.

To listen to some great stories about acceptance and understanding,
check out the Rainbow Optimist “Drag Storytime”: