There are lots of terms for gender identity, and it’s not important that you or your child memorize definitions. It is more important for children to understand that gender identity and expression are spectrums, and they don’t need to be afraid if they see someone different or if they feel different in terms of how they identify or express their gender. These conversation starters are a way to make sure your child feels comfortable asking questions and talking with you about these topics.

You can also talk with your children about cultural differences in terms of gender. A great way to start talking about these issues is learning about gender expression and how masculinity and femininity are defined in different cultures (e.g., Scottish kilts).

Sex assigned at birth is about what someone observes about another person’s body, not how that person may feel internally about being male, female or another gender

When you see people who challenge conventional ideas about gender identity and expression-like Prince (gender expression) or Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox, who identify as transgender-you could also start a conversation with your child using some of the following:

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