Talking to Children about Gender Identity

Updated on Mon, 04/12/2021 - 2:42pm

Adams 12 Five Star Schools believes that every student and staff has the right to a safe, supportive and inclusive environment.

Gender identity and expression are new topics for many people. It is not the intention of the district to change anyone’s beliefs or values; however, it is the responsibility of the district to provide a safe and welcoming learning and working environment for all. Below are some external resources and common language to refer to when having conversations about gender with children:

External Resource Links for Families

Common Language and Definitions

  • LGBTQ+ is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning. These terms are used to describe a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 
  • Sexual orientation refers to a person’s emotional and sexual attraction to another person based on the gender of the other person. Common terms used to describe sexual orientation include, but are not limited to, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual. 
  • Gender identity is a person’s internal sense and self-identification as man, woman, or something else; it is not necessarily visible to others. 
  • Gender Expression/Presentation refers to all of a person’s external characteristics, behaviors, and appearance, such as clothing, grooming, mannerisms, speech patterns, and social interactions, that represent or express one’s gender identity to others; it may conform with society’s standards for women or men or neither.
  • Transgender is a gender identity, not a sexual orientation. Transgender refers to people whose gender identity, expression, or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth; it is a broad term and is good for non-transgender people to use as an adjective (transgender people) but not as a noun or verb (transgenders or transgendered).​

District Partners


District Policies
District policies are rooted in State and Federal law as well as input from LGBTQ+ students, the District Trangender Advisory Group, data, research and best practices from leading LGBTQ+ organizations such as A Queer Endeavor, One Colorado, The Trevor Project, The Gay and Lesbian Student Education Network (GLSEN), and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

  • District Policy 8400 & 8410: Nondiscrimination  
  • District Policy 5110 Bullying/Harassment

State and Federal Law
State and federal law as well as District Policy require that all District programs, activities, and employment practices are free from discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, transgender identity, gender identity and gender expression. These guidelines are issued in keeping with these mandates to create a safe learning and working environment  for all students and all staff and to best support the needs of any Adams 12 Five Star Schools student or employee who is transgender or gender nonconforming.