What is Gender? A resource for kids, families and teachers.

We are so pleased to share a new learning resource with you. Building from the original Genderbread Person graphic by Bruce Lawson, and the awesome Gender Unicorn graphic by Trans Student Educational Resources — Thrive has created a modified version specifically for younger kids, families and teachers to better understand what gender is and to explain some basic terminology. The focus is on gender only and uses neutral, easy to understand language. It is intended for kindergarten aged kiddos and beyond, and can serve as a resource to answer common questions from students and parents of all ages.

A printable PDF is available here.

You are welcome to share this resource freely — please share unedited and for no commercial gain.

Thank you to the many members of the community who provided critique and feedback to make this resource better. This was created by a parent of a young trans kiddo and through it’s development we engaged with many parents of gender non-conforming kids, teachers, trans & non-binary identifying kids and adults, social workers, educators and kids of a variety of different ages and the response was amazing. We appreciate your participation and perspectives so very much.

A little history. Queer and trans organizers have been making the distinction between gender identity, gender presentation/expression, sex, and attraction for decades. This is not an original concept from Thrive — just a modification for younger ages. Here are some articles about the original sources here and here. For teens and adults we highly recommend using the Gender Unicorn graphic as a teaching aid — available from TSER’s website here.

There is always room for improvement. Thrive welcomes constructive feedback on how to strengthen this document - please email feedback to: hello@thrivekc.org

Workshop for Kansas School Administrators


If you are a School Administrator, District Administrator, or School Board Member in the Shawnee Mission, Olathe, KCK, Gardner, DeSoto, Spring Hill or Blue Valley school districts, then this workshop is custom made for you. 

Hardly a day goes by when there isn’t news about how federal, state, or local policies are impacting the lives of people who identify as LGBTQ+. This is hard for people who are LGBTQ+ and their families and friends, and when youth hear decisions in the news that adversely affect them, the call volume on the suicide prevention hotlines spikes. It also means educators are often on the front lines of issues which many of us don’t fully understand.

We are inviting you to particpate in a powerful
workshop experience created specifically for you. 

On Wednesday, August 1 we will conduct a half-day workshop focused on school and district policies and practices which impact LGBTQ+ students. The workshop includes opportunities to:

  • Hear from Kansas students about their experiences as LGBTQ+ youth in school
  • Analyze the regulations, policies, and laws which impact you and your students
  • Learn from educators who have successfully navigated controversial topics
  • Grow in your comfort and familiarity with LGBTQ+ terminology and vocabulary
  • Increase your awareness of the resources available to you as you create safe learning spaces for all your students
  • Enjoy a complimentary lunch provided to the participants from The Russell
  • Earn a certificate of completion which acknowledges your participation in the workshop


At Regnier Hall at KU Edwards Campus
12600 S Quivira Rd, Overland Park, KS 66213

This workshop is at no cost for school administrators, district administrators, and current school board members who work in Kansas, but there are only 24 open spots, which will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re interested, please sign up here for more details:

The workshop will be conducted by trained facilitators from GLSEN, Welcoming Schools, and other local advocacy groups. Additionally, there will be opportunities for you to talk with students, parents, and teachers who identify as LGBTQ+, so you can come with questions and leave with first-person answers.

We are hopeful you will join us!

Sincerely, THRIVE

Our Partners: 

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