Talking About Your Family
It is important for children of LGBTIQ adults to feel safe and comfortable talking about family at school and in the community. Your parents have probably led the way by talking to day care centres and schools from when you were very little. If they haven’t, you should ask them why.
Some parents feel that being open about their sexuality or gender identity is too difficult or that they may cause you distress and problems at school if they are ‘out’ in the community. There are some aspects of our lives that we may like to keep more personal or private, for example, not everyone needs to know that your dad used to be a woman, but at the same time, these things are not something to be ashamed of or worried about. The first people you should talk to if you are worried about how to talk about your family are your parents. If you don’t feel like you can discuss it with them, talk to another trusted adult, such as a member of your extended family or a teacher or the guidance counsellor at your school.
Even if your parents are very open about their sexuality and/or gender identity, you may have an issue is with how you feel about your family and discussing them. The first thing to remember is that every child goes through stages where they think their parents are embarrassing, boring, uncool and generally an impingement on their life – this is not something limited to children of LGBTIQ parents!
You may like to seek support from others in families like yours using our forum or the links below. You might also like to look at the books that will support you in talking about and describing your family available from either The Feminist Bookshop or Hares & Hyenas Bookshop.
COLAGE is a USA based movement of children, youth, and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ) parent/s. They build community and work toward social justice through youth empowerment, leadership development, education, and advocacy.
Families Like Mine is a website created by Abigail Garner, daughter of gay dads and author of the book, Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is. The website has lots of information and advice/FAQ sections which are worth reading.
The Victorian Rainbow Families Council has an excellent group of resources called ‘Who’s in your Family?’ with information sheets and posters.