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  • Alright, let's get this kicked off.

  • (Music)

  • (Singing) It's OK to be gay.

  • We are different in many ways.

  • Doesn't matter if you're a boy, girl or somewhere in between,

  • we all are part of one big family.

  • Gay means "happy."

  • Queer Kid Stuff.

  • You are enough

  • here at Queer Kid Stuff.

  • (Applause)

  • Opening a performance with lyrics like "It's OK to be gay"

  • for a roomful of adults is one thing,

  • but it's entirely different for a roomful of kindergartners.

  • What you've just heard is the theme song for my web series "Queer Kid Stuff,"

  • where I make LGBTQ+ and social justice videos for all ages.

  • And when I say all ages, I mean literal babies

  • to your great-great-grandma.

  • Now, I know what you're thinking:

  • "Whoa, they're talking about gay stuff with kids."

  • But talking to kids about gay stuff is actually crucial.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics has found

  • that children have a solid understanding of their gender identity

  • by the age of four.

  • This is when children are developing their sense of self.

  • They're observing the world around them,

  • absorbing that information

  • and internalizing it.

  • Now, most parents want their children to become kind, empathetic,

  • self-confident adults,

  • and exposure to diversity is an important part

  • of that social and emotional development.

  • And -- gender nonconforming kids

  • and trans kids and kids with trans and nonbinary and queer parents

  • are everywhere.

  • In the series, my stuffed bear cohost and I talk about the LGBT community,

  • activism, gender and pronouns,

  • consent and body positivity.

  • We tackle these topics through songs,

  • not unlike the one you just heard,

  • simple definitions and metaphors.

  • We approach these ideas, to steal a phrase from an old professor of mine,

  • from "under the doorknob" --

  • getting down to toddler height

  • and looking up at the great big world through their tiny little eyes,

  • taking these seemingly complex ideas and simplifying them --

  • not dumbing them down,

  • but homing in on the core concept.

  • Gender is about how we feel and how we express ourselves.

  • Sexuality is about love and gender and family,

  • not about sex.

  • And these are all ideas children can grasp.

  • In one of my earliest episodes about gender,

  • I used the idea of pronouns

  • to underscore the definition and introduce gender-neutral pronouns

  • like "they" and "them."

  • I encourage children to think about their own pronouns

  • and to ask others for theirs.

  • In later episodes, I build on this foundation

  • and introduce big fancy words like "nonbinary" and "transgender."

  • I get emails from viewers in their 20s

  • who use my videos to explain nonbinary gender to their grandparents.

  • But, I get one comment over and over again:

  • "Let kids be kids."

  • Well, that's a nice sentiment and all,

  • but only if it actually includes all kids.

  • Just a few weeks ago,

  • a 15-year-old in Huntsville, Alabama

  • died by suicide after being bullied for being gay.

  • In 2018, it was a seven-year-old

  • in Denver, Colorado.

  • There have been and will be many more.

  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual teens

  • are more than three times more likely to attempt suicide

  • than their heterosexual peers,

  • and transgender teens are almost six times more likely.

  • According to one study, roughly one third of homeless youth

  • identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning,

  • and about four percent of homeless youth identify as transgender,

  • compared with one percent of the general youth population surveyed.

  • According to the Human Rights Campaign,

  • there have been 128 killings of trans people

  • in 87 cities across 32 states

  • since 2013.

  • And those are the only the reported cases.

  • And 80 percent of those killings were of trans women of color.

  • The queer situation is bleak,

  • to say the least.

  • The YouTube comments on my videos

  • are not much better.

  • I'm used to the harassment.

  • I get messages daily telling me I'm a pedophile

  • and that I should kill myself in a number of increasingly creative ways.

  • I once had to put the word "truck" on my block list

  • because someone wanted me to get run over by a truck.

  • "Shower" and "oven" are in there, too,

  • for the less creative and more disturbing Holocaust reference.

  • When neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville,

  • I was unsurprised to learn

  • that the creator of a violent Reddit meme about one of my episodes

  • was in the tiki torch crowd.

  • This barrage of negativity is what we're up against:

  • the crushing statistics, the violence, the mental health risks,

  • the well-meaning but flawed response my parents gave me when I came out,

  • that they didn't want me to have a harder life.

  • That's what we're up against.

  • But in the face of all that,

  • I choose joy.

  • I choose rainbows and unicorns and glitter,

  • and I sing that it's OK to be gay with my childhood stuffed teddy bear.

  • I make queer media for kids

  • because I wish I had this when I was their age.

  • I make it so others don't have to struggle through what I did,

  • not understanding my identity

  • because I didn't have any exposure to who I could be.

  • I teach and spread this message through joy and positivity

  • instead of framing it around the hardships of queer life.

  • I want kids to grow up and into themselves

  • with pride for who they are and who they can be,

  • no matter who they love or what they wear or what pronouns they use.

  • And I want them to love others for their differences,

  • not in spite of them.

  • I think fostering this pride and empathy

  • will make the world a kinder and more equal place

  • and combat the bigotry and hate that festers in our world.

  • So, talk to a kid about gender.

  • Talk to a kid about sexuality.

  • Teach them about consent.

  • Tell them it is OK for boys to wear dresses

  • and for girls to speak up.

  • Let's spread radical queer joy.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

Alright, let's get this kicked off.

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B1 US TED queer gender gay transgender sexuality

【TED】Lindsay Amer: Why kids need to learn about gender and sexuality (Why kids need to learn about gender and sexuality | Lindsay Amer)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2019/08/05
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