How to celebrate pride with young children?
Often, I receive questions on how to celebrate Pride with transgender, non-binary, or gender fluid children, particularly young children. Pride has been an important event in my daughter’s life, more important than I think I realized when she was newly transitioning. Having come out to me in November, she and I took the trip to DC Pride in June, it was there that she wore her first dress. She was beautiful with a little clippie in her hair and pink sandals. But the parade was a little…shall we say, adult? So, what is a parent to do? Here are five suggestions.
How to Celebrate Pride With Young children
- Go anyways. My kids all hate parades, I think it is the noise that bothers them. Going to the parade doesn’t mean you have to go where all the noise and craziness is. Look at the parade route and see if you can find places to duck in and out. As we wound through Dupont Circle, we saw pieces of the parade and then dropped into shops and got ice cream. Seeing trans flags and the community celebrating, holding hands, and having fun was the point.
- Local areas often have smaller Pride parades that are more family-friendly. It is exciting to think of going to New York, San Francisco, or Miami Pride but just as nice might be your local Annapolis or Frisco Pride. These are smaller towns with active communities and will be scaled back from the big corporate parades in big cities. We have traveled to several in different states and often find the smaller gatherings are geared more towards families.
- Don’t make Pride the focus. If your kid is reluctant don’t make the parade or even the central focus. That first year she was very into Pokémon Go, so we walked around the streets collecting Pokémon. In fact, we ended up at the National Zoo and saw some animals as well. Pride should be about having a special day together and making your child feel celebrated- whatever that looks like.
- Get together with friends. For many years now our TNBY family gets together in various venues to celebrate. One time we went to a family’s pool. Another year we rented out a spray ground and had a pot-luck.
- Celebrate at home. Check out Outschool for one-off classes on LGBTQ or Pride history. I just searched Pride and found the following: Queer Squad: LGBTQ+ History, Culture & Social Hour, Painting Pride- Creating LGBTQ+ Bookmarks, LGBTQ+ Family Pride: Celebrate Pride at a Carnival in Minecraft Bedrock. You might also consider checking for bookstores having Pride storytime. During the pandemic, we baked a beautiful cake. Decorated with rainbow flags and colors and her TNBY friends gathered for game time on Roblox.
So, these are my suggestions for how to celebrate pride with young children. No matter how you choose to celebrate, I encourage to do so. Celebrate the beauty of authenticity, the courage in sharing and the blessing that we have been chosen to be parents of these incredible people.