Kids Queer-ies: What is …


Art by Ryan Thomas-Palmer.

Disclaimer: Much of the queer experience and queer indentity does not exist in black-and-white and it is hard for many queer people to definitively explain or categorize things about themselves or their lives. That being said, if you believe any of the information below to be inaccurate or you have other concerns regarding this series, please comment below, or contact us at

What is Kids Queer-ies?

Kids Queer-ies is a series of articles the Communicator will publish regularly. Each new article will answer a common question kids have about gender or sexuality. Though the series is created to help children understand gender and sexuality, readers of all ages are encouraged to check it out and see if they learn something.

What does it mean to be gay?

A gay person is attracted to people of their same gender. That means that a lot of gay women seek relationships and eventually marriage with other women and gay men seek relationships and marriage with other men. Similarly, lesbian means women who are attracted to other women. Gay women and some non-binary people (see below) will use this term in addition to or instead of the term gay.

What does it mean to be bisexual?

A bisexual person is attracted to people of multiple genders. Bisexual people often seek relationships with someone of any gender. If they want to marry, many bisexual people will fall in love and marry someone regardless of gender.

What does it mean to be pansexual?

A pansexual person is also attracted to multiple genders, but pansexual people often seek a relationship with someone based on who they are as a person, and don’t focus on their gender.

What does it mean to be asexual?

An asexual person does not experience sexual attraction to any gender. Similarly, an aromantic person does not experience romantic attraction to any gender. Someone can be asexual but still experience romantic attraction, or aromantic and still experience sexual attraction. Someone could also be both asexual and aromantic, meaning they experience no sexual or romantic attraction.

What does it mean to be transgender?

A transgender person identifies with a gender that is different from the biological sex they were assigned at birth. For example, if someone was born with male biological indicators—such as XY chromosomes or a penis—but identified as a woman, they would likely identify as a transgender woman.

What does it mean to be non-binary?

A non-binary person does not identify with either binary gender—male or female—regardless of any biological indicators or biological sex they were assigned at birth. Non-binary people often identify with the pronouns they/them/theirs instead of she/her/hers or he/him/his; others use different pronouns like ze/zir or ze/hir.

What does it mean to be queer?

“Queer” is an umbrella term, meaning it can describe anyone who is not straight or who doesn’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. This term originated as a slur used to offend people in the LGBTQIA+ community; since then, many—but not all—members of the community have reclaimed it.

What is homophobia?

Homophobia is discrimination against someone because they are gay, meaning a person who is gay would be treated worse than a person who is not. Transphobia is discrimination against someone because they are transgender. There are also more phobias against other people in the LGBTQIA+ community, like lesbophobia, biphobia, panphobia, etc.