How to Let Other Parents Know About Your Rainbow Family
The top three dates in October that you SHOULD be aware of…
💅 October 3rd Mean Girls Day (if you don’t understand, then you can't sit with us)
🏳️🌈 October 11th National Coming Out Day
🐭 And October 31st Halloween “I’m a mouse, duh” (another Mean Girls reference!)
National Coming Out Day, celebrated on October 11th, is not just a day, it's a celebration of the courage it takes to be authentic in a world that sometimes seems to REALLY struggle with diversity and the LGBTQ+ community.
The journey of coming out is so unique but unfortunately… it’s usually not a one-time event, but rather a series of courageous steps, each taken in different settings and circumstances. And sometimes, those settings can be unexpectedly humorous!
💬 Navigating the Parent's WhatsApp Group
Our little one has recently started school and we have been introduced to the wonders of the parent WhatsApp group - a digital haven where children’s photos flow… except, these weren’t just any kids; they were the adorable offspring of parents I hadn’t even met yet.
My camera roll was full of lovely children (none of whom I had the pleasure of knowing personally). Oh, the wonders of modern social interaction!
Now I am usually the first to slate a WhatsApp group but I have to admit, this group has helped me out on a number of occasions when working out when to send our daughter to school in PE uniform!
However, I’ve found myself in a bit of a predicament. The group, while friendly, is giving major heteronormative vibes. So, how do I tell them we are a queer family?
👩👩👧 Top Tips on Coming Out to Other Parents & Carers:
1. First off… you don’t have to! If you aren’t ready then there is no pressure. When the time comes, remember your family unit should be respected, not tolerated.
2. Invite other parents and carers to family/child-focused pride events! Some of my favourite memories are from local pride events in Bristol, from Drag Queen story time and craft-making sessions in the local library to our daughter dancing with her friends to live music and of course, collecting all the free rainbow merch we can find. As she gets older I want to encourage her to share these experiences with her school friends so why not invite them
along to celebrate with us? You might be surprised and they could already be attending!
3. If you're feeling bold... just return the favour and send a family photo of you all (head-to-toe rainbow attire is optional!) You don't need to do this in the first week of term, maybe you've got a gorgeous family pic from the weekend so just go ahead and share it!
Remember… Navigating conversations about family structure can be sensitive so stay calm. Sometimes, you might face negative reactions - just know that it's other's lack of understanding and not a reflection of your family’s worth.
Don't forget... You could inspire someone else in the group to come out as well! We can never guarantee that somewhere is a safe space but knowing you aren’t alone can be a huge relief to others.
🌈 Bonus Content: How to Talk to Your Children About LGBTQ+ Families!
1. Be ready to answer their questions! Children learn through play, positive role modelling and talking. You don’t need to sit talking about the legalities but try playing with their dolls and modelling different family units with age-appropriate language that they will understand. When drawing pictures, talk about who is in the pictures and model different families whilst explaining that all families are different but all families are special and valid.
2. Use books! There are so many brilliant books and resources available. Kenny lives with Erica and Martina is a favourite in our house, as well as My Magic Family for looking at different family units and celebrating them.
3. Children are never too young to be learning about different families. If they are in an education setting, speak to your key worker, teacher, or Headteacher and ensure that they are inclusive and celebrate diversity. This can look like having diverse books and resources, ensuring they celebrate Pride month and ensuring that they work with LGBTQ+ people and organisations for additional learning and reflections. Click here for some easy ways that your school or setting can support the LGBTQ+ community.
The key is talking to your child and making them aware that there is a whole world outside their home! Make sure that you avoid using stereotypes around gender and family units and… just have fun! Kids are funny, hilarious in fact, so be open and honest with them, it’s really not that scary!
I’ve opted to have a Halloween party at home for some of our daughter's friends and I can't wait for the parents to walk in and see our family pictures hung on the wall… I’m pretty sure the double takes wouldn’t be from my amazing decorative skills!
Here's an idea... Why not share this blog in YOUR parent's WhatsApp group? It could just be the perfect way to come out! 🏳️🌈
Follow Caprice and her family on their adventures, via Instagram here.