Responding to Questions

Children often have questions about LGBTQ and gender topics that many educators are not prepared to answer. How teachers respond to these teachable moments or to LGBTQ and gender put-downs is critical for creating a school climate that is affirming and welcoming for all children, youth and families.

Welcoming Schools has several resources to help teachers give affirming, inclusive responses to children’s questions, to interrupt gender stereotypes and prevent bias-based bullying.

  • Why does Bess have two moms? Which one is her real mom?
  • What does transgender or non-binary mean?
  • Why is Martin wearing pink? Pink is a girl’s color.
  • What does gay mean?

Featured Resource

What Do You Say to ‘That’s So Gay’ & Other Anti-LGBTQ Comments?

It doesn’t matter if it’s a first grader who might not know what the word “gay” means, a sixth grader trying to sound cool, or a tenth grader “teasing” a…

Read Moreabout What Do You Say to ‘That’s So Gay’ & Other Anti-LGBTQ Comments?

LGBTQ+ Definitions, Responding to Questions, LGBTQ+

What Does "Gay" Mean?

There is not one right answer
Many people have grown up without hearing the words “gay” or “lesbian.” Therefore, you may not be sure how to respond when a student…

LGBTQ+ Definitions, LGBTQ+, Gender

Defining LGBTQ Words for Elementary School Students

When children ask questions about LGBTQ words, it is often best to offer simple and direct answers. You might choose to answer a student’s question with another question to figure…

Gender, Responding to Questions, Bullying

Be Prepared for Questions and Put-Downs about Gender

It is important to practice how to respond to questions related to gender and how to interrupt gender based teasing and bullying. Being prepared will help you embrace teachable moments…

LGBTQ+, Responding to Questions

Be Prepared for LGBTQ Questions & Concerns

When receiving professional development training from HRC Welcoming Schools or using our materials, families, school staff or school boards may initially feel nervous about creating inclusive classrooms and schools, especially…

Responding to Questions, Family, LGBTQ+, Parents/Caregivers

"Yes, They Are a Family!"

Children ask questions to understand the world around them. Be prepared with these sample responses about family.