Practicing Responses to Students’ Questions

Today, children hear about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at younger ages than in years past. LGBT people are mentioned more frequently in the newspapers, on the radio and on TV. Some children have parents or other family members who are LGBT. Children also hear the word “gay” used as a slur.

Educators need to be prepared to respond to questions from students. If students are met with silence when they ask questions, they will assume they have said something wrong.

These resources will help prepare you to answer students' questions on these topics in a clear, age-appropriate way.

Most of the things we teach about are topics that we have had practice talking about in school. However, most of us did not grow up talking about LGBT topics and did not discuss them as part of our professional training as educators. This activity gives educators the opportunity to practice talking about LGBT topics

Feeling comfortable answering this question may help you be more comfortable stopping a student from saying, "That's gay!" There is no one right answer.  Practice what you could say. Keep it simple.

Marriage equality or marriage between two people of the same sex is in the news a lot these days – and students are hearing about it. Think about ways to answer students’ questions on this topic.

Having ideas of what to say will help you respond more easily when you hear gender based put-downs.

An award-winning film from Welcoming Schools. Watch it with colleagues. See how children themselves answer questions. See what they have heard about gays and lesbians. Hear what they want from the adults in their school to help stop hurtful teasing and gay putdowns. Use the film as a starting point to discuss how to answer students’ questions.