Watch TikToker Break Down How to Easily Incorporate Inclusive Language Into Conversations About Identity
Parents seeking out information and ways to teach their children (or hoping to learn right along with them) about inclusion, sex, and identity, can learn a lot from Emily Roach. Emily Roach (she/her) is a writer, influencer, and parent and dives into sex positive parenting in bite-sized and easy-to-understand videos. When exploring sex, gender, and inclusion, Roach brings the power of intentional and inclusive language into her worldview-building work.
In a recent video, Roach answers this question—among many others on her TikTok page: What is casual inclusivity and how easy is it to do?
Since bringing her sex positive parenting to TikTok, Roach has noted an ongoing theme in parent messages and comments to her videos, and was happy to respond. Largely, (heterosexual and cisgender) parents continue to say that they felt queerness was "too complicated" for their kids to understand and process.
"For us, it seems complicated because we all grew up with queer people being othered and just even just completely forgotten in a lot of cases. So we have to unlearn and then relearn, which is a lot more difficult than just having them as part of the reality in the first place," said Roach.
Reality building is as simple as reflecting things as they just actually are. In a recent video, Roach shares the simplicity of teaching your kids about queerness. Holding up a red cup, in the character of a child, she asks, "Mommy, what is this?" "Coffee," Mom responds assertively.
"Can it ever be anything else?" the child asks.
"No!" the parental character answers.
This is a common example of the cisgender heteronormativity at play in our society's culture and how conventionally gender and sexual orientation norms are understood. "Add to the fact that in school all we ever learn is this is coffee. And in 98% of the media we consume this is coffee," Roach adds.
Roach's focus on sex positive parenting is completely integrated with queer inclusivity. "Frankly, I don't think you can separate the two. I really believe they go hand in hand," she tells Parents. She builds on this in the video expanding the idea that the cup is really just a container. Anything can go into it. It is parents who have to process and unlearn years of misinformation about who a person can be and what they carry in their cup.
As a parent she shows other parents how this conversation can go in a new way, "Mommy, what's this?"
"That's a cup."
"And what goes inside it?" Casual inclusivity becomes as simple as telling a kid that everyone gets to define what goes into their cup. From coffee to hot chocolate to anything else, "Everybody knows what's in their own cup." We define who we are and shouldn't put labels on others—especially without their permission.
For straight parents concerned about sitting down to have a deep and serious conversation about LGBTQIA+ people and topics, Roach shows that it's just not necessary. Queerness shouldn't be a taboo subject that has to somehow be formally introduced to our kids. It's as simple as knowing that queer people are part of our reality too. Roach believes that practicing little key bits, learning to be casually inclusive with your children, is the healthiest way to engage in inclusive and positive parenting.