How to Respond to "What does LGBTQ Stand For?"
Like all words and concepts that kids are curious about, it’s best to confront their curiosity head-on. The goal is to answer their question honestly so they don’t assume something they heard in a random conversation.
One of the terms that seems to spark endless curiosity from kids is ‘LGBTQ.’ If your child asks you about it, tell them you’re happy to define the true meaning. Here’s a simple definition:
L is for ‘lesbian’ which is when a woman loves another woman romantically.
G is for ‘gay’ which is romantic love between two men.
B is for ‘bisexual’ which is when someone has romantic love for both men and women.
T is for ‘transgender’ which is when someone changes from one gender to another.
(Note: If your child looks like they need more information here, you could say something like “transgender people’s brain tells them something different from their outside body parts. For example, someone’s inner thoughts might be something like ‘That dress would look really good on me’ but that person has a penis so, according to society, they’re not supposed to wear dresses.” If your child doesn’t look curious or ask more questions, leave it alone.)
Q can either stand for ‘queer’ or ‘questioning.’ Queer is an umbrella term for all members of gender and sexual minorities. ‘Questioning’ is when someone isn’t sure whether they’re attracted to the opposite sex or their own sex.
Be sure to say that all of these definitions are about love-how people find love in the world and how people love themselves for who they are.
Encourage questions! If you don’t know the answer, either figure it out together or tell them it’s a great question and you need a little more time to think about a good answer.
Also, it’s important to follow up on anything you discuss. Make sure your child knows that they have a safe, informed person to talk to. It’s really important. If you’ve already assured them that they can rely on you, say it again.