from the playground...

What are these guides?

Messages from the Playground is a metaphor. We all played on the same playground. There are collective societal messages we hear growing up we either consciously or subconsciously latch onto.


Messages from the Playground are the subconscious beliefs we all pick up from our childhood. We all have them. They formulate our belief system and it’s our belief systems that control the way we operate our lives.



Not communicating something, communicates something.


Who are these guides for?

These guides are a tool to be used with any youth ages 6-24. My intention is twofold:


  1. Prevention. To prevent is much more effective than to treat. If we can uncover a word, a message, a label a child hears on the playground, we can prevent it from becoming internalized.

  2. Uncover. Once something is internalized, it becomes part of our belief system. For an LGBT child, the closet is a hotbed for shame. If any of us feels guilt or shame, we unconsciously seek punishment, including - unhappiness, unhealthy relationships, and self-deprecating behavior.



When, why, and how do we use the guides?

Children need to be affirmed for who they are. Children will also learn anything we teach them. If we can equip a child with an understanding of something before it’s communicated otherwise, we experience acceptance of others and acceptance of self.


7 simple and effective steps to use guides:


  1. Create a safe space to uncover messages.

  2. Ask what messages are/were heard and write specific words in outline.

  3. Talk about each message, become aware, and notice any feelings in the body.

  4. Consider how message impacts life and self-image.

  5. Once message is in conscious awareness, create a plan to identify how it shows up.

  6. Forgive and release old message, be willing to choose new messages.

  7. Develop affirming words, messages, and actions to replace old ones.




My ultimate goal is to create a conversation with parents around the possibility they may or may not have an LGBT child.

At the very least, their child will jump rope or play tag with one on the playground.




Have this important conversation or encourage someone you know. These conversations can lead to powerful and lasting outcomes.


Messages from the Playground: Healing Homophobia Before it Begins and Preventing Bullying Before it Starts” has been featured on: