Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series: Part X

Gender, Gender Identity, and LGBTQ+ Inclusion

Gender development is a normal process for all children, and there are often variations in the process. In every situation, children need love and support from those around them through gender development. Love, acceptance, and unconditional support through all developmental stages can help support healthy gender development.

Trying Together published resources on this topic including gender identity development in early childhood; how sex, gender, and gender identity are defined; supporting gender nonconformity; non-gendered play in early childhood; and information about local organizations supporting LGBTQ+ youth. 

Featured Resources

Gender, Gender Identity, LGBTQ+ Inclusion: A Family Guide

Gender, Gender Identity, LGBTQ+ Inclusion: A Family Guide gives caregivers clear definitions to some terms in the topic of gender development. This guide also explores gender identity development at each age along with some supportive strategies.

How are Sex, Gender, and Gender Identity Defined?

Parental support is key to healthy gender identity development in early years of life, but an understanding of the definitions of important terms will help parents better navigate support. View detailed definitions and explanations of these terms.

Gender Identity Development in Early Childhood

As children age, they go through different stages of gender identity development. It is important to show support through early childhood. Learn more.

Non-Gendered Play in Early Childhood

Through social learning, play can be a tool for children to guide their understanding of gender and develop gender identities. It becomes key to make play non-gendered to foster exploration through play. Learn more about non-gendered play and strategies on how to navigate stereotypes in play. 

Supporting Gender Non-Conforming or Binary Young Children

Even though the adults in a child’s environment have no control over their gender identities, they are influential on whether the child feels respected and accepted or shamed and rejected. Learn more on how to be supportive.

Children’s Books to Celebrate Gender Expression, Inclusion, and Pride

Books can help children see both a reflection of themselves and empathy towards others. View a list of children’s books that promote various ideas of the LGBTQ+ community that may be a helpful resource for children.

LGBTQ+ Organizations: Resources for Families

There are both national and local organizations to support the LGBTQ+ community. View a list of national and local organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

More Information

Additional resources and information can be found on the Trying Together website.

Series Navigation

The Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series highlights several early childhood topics to support parents and caregivers who are caring for young children. Use the list below to navigate through each series topic:

Learn more about the series.

Request free printed materials from our Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series.


Picture: A young baby looks up at the camera.
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