Team Pick: “Queer Kid Stuff” Brings Fun LGBTQ Videos to Preschool Children

Lindsay Amer is the creator of Queer Kid Stuff, a webseries starring Amer and her best stuffed friend, Teddy. Amer created the series to fill the gap in LGBTQ educational content geared towards young children. The idea came to her while searching for basic educational info for kids online.

What Does Gay Mean Thumbnail (1)

Amer says, “I remember sitting down one day and just Googling ‘What does gay mean?’ and I was really surprised at the results that came up. Just a dictionary definition and a few resources for parents/teachers on how to explain it to kids, but there was nothing that was actually meant for kids.”

Queer representation for teens has improved somewhat and we are constantly discussing and critiquing LGBTQIA representation in popular media for adults, but there is still very little media or info for young kids. Kids’ media content is being generated all the time. Whole TV channels and a massive merchandising industry are dedicated to it. But all-ages LGBTQ representation, particularly geared towards young kids, is something that’s still lacking.

According to Amer, “Kids are the future, plain and simple. If we want to create a more diverse and inclusive world for ourselves and generations to come, we need to educate young people properly to de-stigmatize LGBTQ+ identities.”

photome (2)

“On a more personal note, I grew up in NYC, arguably one of the most diverse places in the world. I am also quite privileged as a white, cisgender, currently able, queer woman, and despite all of that, I had a difficult time coming out. I think a huge part of that was the fact that I never saw LGBTQ+ folks in the media I consumed as a kid. I want to help create more diverse content for kids by representing voices and telling stories that rarely find representation.”

The pilot episode, “What Does Gay Mean?” is online, along with a colorful, printable activity sheet for parents or adults to complete with kids after watching the video together.

QKS worksheet

It’s pretty adorable, from the stop-animation opening song to the friendly playroom-styled set to Amer’s delivery of educational content in a fun, accessible way with chalkboard illustrations. There’s even a clever joke about bears! For the webseries, Amer says she is “really looking to approach the topics I’m dealing with from the child’s perspective.” She wants to create content that adults and educators could use with kids, but that kids could also find and watch on their own, “tak[ing] the gatekeeper out of the equation.” Season One of Queer Kid Stuff will be released in fall 2016 as a 10-episode series.

Amer is collaborating with a friend who works for the Education Department at a large theater company on the webseries. She hopes to cover topics across the LGBTQ spectrum from understanding gender and gender identity to defining “queer” to marriage equality. Says Amer, “the hardest part is narrowing it down to the next 9 episodes.”

Want to support Queer Kid Stuff? Consider donating to the Queer Kid Stuff Patreon page! Or email queerkidstuff [at] gmail [dot] com if you’re interested in joining a focus group, providing feedback, or collaborating on future episodes.

KaeLyn is a 35-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, over-caffeinating herself, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, eating carbs, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can preorder her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution today if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 178 articles for us.

27 Comments

  1. Um this is so important

    I grew up in a liberal, Atheist household in a very liberal area but because my parents just… Figured Id figure it out, at 10 years old I thought that Gay people were straight drag kings / Queens

    And that a Gay wedding was just a straight wedding, but in drag

    Y’all i was in the fifth goddamn grade and had no fucking clue

  2. This is SO CUTE. I actually got a little teary about how cute it is? I can’t wait to show this to my six-year-old niece! Our family is super accepting of me being gay, but I actually don’t think we’ve ever just explained to her what being gay actually means (which is such a weird realization!). She’s also going to be so excited about the talking teddy bear, let’s be real.

  3. Once when I was nannying for a long-time family of mine, we were about to play Life and the oldest girl (about five at the time) informed me that each of us (all girls) should pick a pink or blue spouse, depending on whether we wanted to grow up and have a husband, or grow up and have a wife. Then she asked me which one I wanted.

    She never had any idea what that did for my closeted little heart, but I truly respected her parents for that, and it’s what I always think of when people bluster on about “how do we explain it to the kids???”

  4. This is AWESOME.

    I was one of the people that figured out really early that I liked girls in a More Than Friends way, in elementary school. Somewhere between 2nd and 4th grade, maybe? I have a very clear memory of this moment of realization (thanks Andrea P. and your cute haircut and tiny freckles) followed immediately by the realization that I should definitely hide this fact as it was Not Okay according to society.

    Anyway, how great would it have been to have some official acknowledgement and normalization of gay people at school, for my class mates and I. Total game changer.

    Thank you for doing this!

    • I can’t wait to see what else @lindzam has in store for us with this series. It’s such a fundamental and simple topic: “What does gay mean?” It’s bizarre that there isn’t more out there for kids to learn about this basic stuff if they aren’t learning it at home! Hugs to little you!

  5. I was really surprised to find myself welling up with tears watching this! This series is so so important, and as much as I wish something like this had been around when I was growing up, I’m even more excited to know that this resource is here now. I’m definitely send this on to the parents I know!

  6. Wahhh this is SO CUTE. And so very well done, especially the set is just adorable and I think it really taps into a child’s world y’know?? And TEDDY!!! TEDDY IS SO CUTE. ITS LITTLE VOICE <3 I'm a bit sad about the name "Queer kid stuff" because while we're on the topic of gay meaning happy, queer just as much means weird and disturbing!!! Like… Who's to say kids aren't gonna ask "What does queer mean?" But oh well. I know opinions on where it's okay to reclaim this slur and where it isn't will be divided for the following thirty years or so at least probably. And maybe the plan was to also make an episode about that, who knows!

    • From chatting with Lindsay, I know there is a plan to make an episode about the word “queer,” which I am really interested to watch Amer put into kid-terms because it is still such a loaded word!

      The set is just the cutest. I like the little touches like the LGBT and activist books in the background.

      • That absolutely is the plan! Not to spoil too much, but one of the early episodes that will come out in the fall will tackle “what does queer mean?” I’m looking at queer as it comes from queer studies/theory and how it signifies difference and intersectional identities. I think it is extremely important to reclaim the word and pass that on to young people.

  7. I am SO INTO THIS as both a queer lady and a preschool teacher. It’s worth noting too that children are starting to develop their gender identity as well as their prejudices/biases around the ages of 3-5 and so media like this is super important. It’s shocking how gendered everything is for young children (have you shopped for baby onesies recently? Ugh.) and it drives me crazy.

    • I have shopped for baby onesies lately and it is disturbing how deeply and rigidly binary gender is reinforced from Day 1.

      I would love to hear how your preschool students react to the video (if you’re allowed to show it). I think it’s so great!

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.