By Kelly Wallace, CNN
What happens when you bring a group of sixth-graders together to meet for the first time someone who is transgender? You get an easy and honest conversation that speaks volumes about how we can talk to our kids about gender and how much we can learn from their openness.
Hennessy, a 32-year-old transgender male, recently participated in a workshop held by SheKnows Media, a leading women's lifestyle company.
"What gender do you think I am?" Hennessy asked 11 sixth-graders in New York City who are members of SheKnows' unique Hatch program, which focuses on teaching digital literacy and citizenship to the next generation. The program is in its fourth year.
There is silence for a second, and then one girl says "male" and another says, "I heard earlier that you were transgender."
Hennessy, an actor in New York City. "I'm a transgender male," he says.
And then the questions begin. "When did you first realize you were transgender?" a boy asks before the conversation turns to terms the kids may or may not have heard before: transgender, agender (when you don't identify as male or female), gender fluid (you feel more masculine one day, more feminine the next) and sexual orientation.