Emmet notices when Poppy draws her family she now has two moms. Poppy’s dad is transgender. Poppy explains that her father’s heart and brain didn’t match how they looked on the outside. Everyone has something that makes them different. That’s what makes life so interesting.


Names and pronouns are the two ways people refer to others. They are personal and important. They are also key part of our identity. Calling someone by the wrong name by using incorrect pronouns can feel disrespectful.

How to start a conversation

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


  • An umbrella term used for people whose gender identity is not in harmony with their birth assignment, either wholly or partially, or who experience their gender identity as radically different from what is expected of a “man” or “woman.” 
  • It includes but is not limited to people who identify as transgender, trans woman, trans man, transsexual, cross-dresser, gender non-conforming, gender variant or gender queer. 
  • There are many communities that live under this umbrella and there is no single or universal experience of what it means to be trans*. 
  • Some transgender people don’t feel their gender identity is either male or female. These people often refer to themselves as non-binary.
  • You can’t tell if someone is transgender just by looking at them- don’t assume.
  • Some transgender people choose hormones or surgery as part of their transition. Some don’t and are no less transgender.
  • Asking a transgender person about their private parts is never appropriate and none of your business.
  • Pronouns, like names are a person’s identity. Using the proper pronoun is respectful and important.
  • Questions are good, as long as they are respectful.
  • When in doubt, listen with an open mind
  • There is always time to be an ally. Acceptance and understanding goes a long way.

Things to remember

  • Language and labels are an important part of understanding how to be supportive of all gender identities. Starting early conversations around gender roles and stereotypes is a good start.
  • Early conversations are important. Lack of understanding and fear of trans* people can lead to hate and discrimination.
  • Watch your words. Recognize the way you talk about trans* people sends a very clear message to your children about your level of acceptance.
  • Find opportunities to show that trans* people are part of many communities
  • Pronouns are important. If you are not sure- ask, or start the conversation with “ Hi, I’m Sarah, I use she/her pronouns- and you?”
  • Here are some examples of the most common pronouns: she/her/hers, he/him/his, they, them, theirs.
  • Being trans* is only a part of a person’s identity. It’s important to get to know the other parts that make that person special as well.

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