One thing you often hear from homophobes is “But how do I explain queerness to my kids?!” It’s always a little odd to hear; kids usually understand it pretty quickly.
But we’re not going to lie — some of the more advanced LGBTQ stuff can get a little tricky to understand. After all, look at all the adults who get it wrong. That’s why we’re so impressed with the web series Queer Kid Stuff, which explains all sorts of queer topics in a way that little kids can understand.
Queer Kid Stuff is hosted by Lindsay Amer and her stuffed friend Teddy. The show’s made for the younger set — 3-years-old and up. There’s a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood vibe to the series as Lindsay invites friends on to explain concepts to Teddy.
The most recent episode is a great example of this, explaining drag. The hosts make the obvious illusion to the concept of playing dress-up, and frame drag in that way.
First, Lindsay invites her friend Jeff on, who explains that he’s a drag queen — and through the magic of editing, he turns into his drag queen alter ego, Ms. Ter. Teddy — as they do every week — asks both Jeff and Ms. Ter their pronouns. Teddy also asks a few other questions — like why Ms. Ter has a beard. (She explains that while in drag, she likes to push the boundaries of gender — and because it looks great!)
When asked what drag queens do, Ms. Ter explains that drag queens are the “hosts” of the queer community. Their performances invite people in — fellow queer folks to see a show, of course, but also outsiders charmed by the over-the-top characters drag queens play.
Teddy also asks about whether or not drag queens are transgender — and Ms. Ter explains that some are and some aren’t. (The video doesn’t get into the debate over whether or not drag is transphobic, but that’s a bit heavy for kids. After all, even amongst adults there’s not really a consensus on that.)
Unfortunately, we don’t get to see how Jeff becomes Ms. Ter — though that’s slated for the next episode. Previous episodes have talked about many other aspects of the queer community, including pronouns, asexuality and even the beginnings of Pride.
One of the greatest things about Queer Kid Stuff is the way it boils down concepts in a simple fashion. (In fact, it can be useful for explaining things to your well-meaning but confused straight friends and family.)