Chatting about LGBTQ+ topics in your unit
Simple advice, what different terms mean and activity ideas
There are so many identities and experiences within the LGBTQ+ community, the idea of talking about it during Pride Month, or at any other time during the year, might feel overwhelming.
We’ve put together some simple advice, explained lots of terms and suggested activities that you can do with any section.
The Proud Trust has advice for trusted adults, which volunteers often are, who want to talk about LGBTQ+ topics with their units. They also have more general advice, for example, how to support a young person who comes out to you.
The Safe Zone has a useful glossary of terms, including less known identities such as agender, demisexual and aromantic. It might be worth printing it off or having it open on your phone so you can reference it during your meeting. We’ve listed a few terms to help you get started talking about LGBTQ+ identities.
Ace and aro (sometimes called the ace and aro spectrum)
Umbrella terms used to describe people who experience a lack of, varying, or occasional experiences of romantic and/or sexual attraction.
Bisexual is used to describe a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards more than one gender and is often shortened to ‘bi’. There are similarities between bisexuality and pansexuality, but they aren’t the same.
When someone’s sex assigned at birth and gender identity correspond in the expected way. The opposite or transgender.
Experiencing attraction to people of the same gender. It can be used by people of any gender, not just men.
A term for a combination of chromosomes, gonads, hormones, internal sex organs, and genitals that’s different from the two expected patterns of male or female.
Women who are attracted to other women.
A person who experiences attraction for people of all gender identities and expressions. It’s often shortened to ‘pan’.
An umbrella term to describe individuals who don’t identify as straight and/or cisgender. It’s used in a positive way by lots of LGBTQ+ people as a reclaimed slur, but not by all LGBTQ+ people. The term ‘queer’ can often be used interchangeably with ‘LGBTQ+’.
A person attracted to people who aren’t the same gender as them.
An umbrella term for anyone whose sex assigned at birth and gender identity do not match up. We have more in depth information about transgender identities on our Supporting trans members webpage.
We’ve split the activities into Rainbows and Brownies and Guides and Rangers, but most of them can be easily adapted for a every section.
Activities for Rainbows and Brownies
- Introduce the Pride flag and discuss the meaning of the different colours. You might want to chat about other flags too. Members can design and make their own flag to celebrate diversity and different families. Find out more about the Pride flags.
- Members could use local maps to help them plan a route for a Pride parade through the local area. Learn more about what Pride is about.
- Read It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr as a unit and get girls to talk about their differences and similarities. They could create self-portraits to celebrate these differences.
- Do some LGBTQ+ colouring or fill out a worksheet and learn more about different identities. Download free resources.
Activities for Guides and Rangers
- Learn about Pride as a celebration of diversity and as an event that promotes respect. You could even hold your own unit-based Pride celebration. Find out more about Pride.
- Explore gender with The Genderbread Person activity. This activity breaks down the different ideas that make up the LGBTQ+ spectrum and makes it easy to understand. Guides and Rangers will learn all about attraction, biological sex, gender identity and gender expression.
- Vocabulary Extravaganza by The Safe Zone is an activity to help members learn about different terms used by the LGBTQ+ community. This resource should help make it clear to members how powerful language is, clear up any misconceptions or questions and teach members new words.
More information for young members
If young members have questions or want to learn more about being LGBTQ+, The Proud Trust has lots of resources which explore lots of topics, like faith and staying safe.
More information for adult members
You might want to do some extra research of find even more activities for your unit to do.
Stonewall and The Proud Trust have lots of information, including a useful glossary of terms. We love The Safe Zone’s free resources too, and the affordable books, free resources and information by Pop’n’Olly.
And if you want even more ideas, last year we shared ideas for showing Pride without a parade, from reading LGBTQ+ books to baking rainbow food.
If you’ve got questions about Girlguiding and LGBTQ+ identities, check out our webpages on lesbian, gay and bisexual members and on trans members, or email [email protected]. You could also find out if your local area has an Inclusion adviser for more information or do the new Including all e-learning on the learning platform.