Definitions for Students & Adults
When children ask questions, they want simple and direct answers.
As an educator or parent, when you answer children's questions, you may fall back on what you learned when you were younger. Since there has been so much silence around LGBT people, especially at the elementary level, people are often at a loss for what to say.
These resources provide a starting point for defining terms for students as well as adults.
A Guide to Age-Appropriate Definitions for Students
These simple, age-appropriate definitions will help you find the words when the need arises. There are two sets of definitions; one for grades K-3, one for grades 4-5.
What Does Gay Mean?
Check out ideas on how you could answer that question. Keep it simple. Understand what the student is asking. Did they hear it as a put down? Did they hear that someone’s dad is gay?
Definitions of Key Words for Educators and Parents/Guardians
These definitions are geared toward adults. They are longer and more detailed than ones you would use with children. They may help you feel more comfortable and clear about the language.
Bias and Bullying - A Few Definitions for Educators
A caution on the use of the words bully and vicitm and some words you may hear and wonder what they mean like -- intersectionality or microagression.
Definitions to Help Understand Gender and Sexual Orientation for Educators and Parents/Guardians
Often we are uncomfortable talking about something when we are not sure what words mean. Language particularly around gender, gender identity and expression shifts over time. This listing is a start to help you feel more comfortable and clear about some of the terms.