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Queer Kid Stuff has a lesson for preschoolers

As kids' appetites for niche non-fiction content grows, Lindsay Amer's YouTube channel strives to explain the LGBTQ+ community to three to sevens.
November 18, 2016

With anti-bullying and pro-kindness campaigns in full swing, and kids proving they are more tolerant of people’s differences than ever before, the stage has certainly been set for Lindsay Amer’s LGBTQ-themed YouTube channel.

Amer, 25, who has a theater background, launched Queer Kid Stuff in April with the hopes of explaining the LGBTQ+ community to young kids ages three to seven.

“There has to be a bit of simplifying around these topics just to make them understandable, but we’re still trying to keep them nuanced and complex. Still, we are boiling them down to the most important ideas,” says Amer.

Even though YouTube has millions of hours of videos, there isn’t really anyone else doing what Amer is, which is part of what inspired her in the first place.

“This is a niche I’m trying to fill, and it doesn’t really exist anywhere else,” she says. Amer’s strategy of tapping into kids’ penchant for non-fiction YouTube content, however, isn’t exactly a rarity. According to recent research from Insight Kids, 92% of US children like watching non-fiction content, and 62% say they enjoy doing so online. The researcher adds that children are naturally drawn to non-fiction content because it helps them do the work of growing up. 

Amer’s 10 x four-minute videos, which are a part of the first season of Queer Kid Stuff, are designed to do just that. They tackle issues like homophobia, marriage equality and the basic “what does GAY mean?!” Amer hosts the series with her own childhood stuffed bear named Teddy.

“Teddy acts as the voice of the child, meaning that he is new to the content but is open minded to the answers that I’m giving and is receptive to the growing a body of knowledge around the work that we’re doing,” says Amer.

Each video incorporates a different tool that Amer thinks will help explain the concepts, without being too repetitive.

“I’ve been using objects and ideas that come from a child’s world–toys, blocks, stop-motion animation–just things that are really relatable,” she says.

Most of the time, Amer is a one-woman film crew, but a recent grant from the Awesome Foundation enabled her to hire people over the summer.

To date, her videos have garnered close to 100,000 total views, but Amer is holding out for more.

“I’m excited to keep that momentum going and to see what kind of audience I can continue to build,” she says. “It’s not where I want it to be quite yet, but it’s definitely something. It’s really been reaching the LGBT community, so the next step is to grow and expand from there.”

Her main goals at the moment are to reach younger parents who are open minded, but might need a bit of help in explaining these complex topics to their kids and turn the channel into a self-sustaining small business.

But ultimately, Amer’s ambitions are a bit larger.

“I think the end goal, the peak of doing this, would be to make a Disney-scale animated movie of a Queer love story. I don’t know if the world is quite ready for that, one day it will be, but I hope I can speed that process along a little bit.”

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