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Watch: Why kids need to know about gender and sexuality

"The American Academy of Pediatrics has found that children have a solid understanding of their gender identity by the age of four. This is when children are developing their sense of self. They're observing the world around them, absorbing that information and internalising it."

By: Parenting Desk |
Updated: July 1, 2019 10:33:00 am
lgbtq, gender, sexuality Representative image

Most parents tend to avoid “the talk” with their kids. If you are doing it to “preserve” your child’s innocence, think again. To not teach your child about body, gender and sexuality can lead to misplaced curiosity to begin with, perhaps giving rise to questions about their identity and their rights. Not to mention how your child might not inculcate important values like compassion and inclusivity.

Lindsay Amer, who creates LGBTQ and social justice media for kids and families, said in a Ted Talk, “The American Academy of Pediatrics has found that children have a solid understanding of their gender identity by the age of four. This is when children are developing their sense of self. They’re observing the world around them, absorbing that information and internalising it.”

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Talking about how children face discrimination and harassment from an early age, Lindsay added, “Just a few weeks ago, a 15-year-old in Huntsville, Alabama died by suicide after being bullied for being gay. In 2018, it was a seven-year-old in Denver, Colorado. There have been and will be many more. Lesbian, gay and bisexual teens are more than three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, and transgender teens are almost six times more likely.”

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In Lindsay’s web series titled Queer Kid Stuff, kids are told about gender, body positivity, pronouns and sexuality in an age-appropriate manner through “songs, simple definitions and metaphors”. “I choose rainbows and unicorns and glitter, and I sing that it’s OK to be gay with my childhood stuffed teddy bear. I make queer media for kids because I wish I had this when I was their age. I make it so others don’t have to struggle through what I did, not understanding my identity because I didn’t have any exposure to who I could be,” Lindsay said.

Watch the video here:

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