Rainbow Families launches new support resource for transgender and gender diverse parents
Rainbow Families launches new support resource for transgender and gender diverse parents

Rainbow Families has launched a guide for transgender and gender diverse parents and perspective parents.

The Rainbow Families Trans and Gender Diverse Parents Guide details the personal stories of trans and gender diverse (TGD) parents, their partners and children. Each story is unique – reflecting a very individual journey – but collectively, these stories provide insights into shared, common experiences.

These stories provide practical advice and answers. They also offer the opportunity for identification and a strength that comes from knowing that someone else has walked this sometimes difficult path before. No one need ever feel alone in their journey, or that of a loved one, to be their most genuine selves.

The guide was researched and written by Jac Tomlins – writer, trainer and LGBTIQ+ advocate.

“Working on this project was a real privilege. There are some extraordinary stories in this resource – stories that will provide health professionals with important insights, and other trans and gender parents with advice, confidence and hope.”

Vanessa Gonzalez, Co-Chair of Rainbow Families said: “For families where one or more parents are transgender or gender diverse, the everyday challenges of raising children can be intensified by experiences of misunderstanding, exclusion or even hostility and hatred.”

“There are very few resources available that provide guidance for trans and gender diverse parents and we wanted to change that.”

Working with transgender and gender diverse parents, Rainbow Families has created a ground-breaking and life-affirming resource designed to assist with the process of transitioning in community, relieving much of the pressure they experience to educate and inform others.

The guide explores a number of questions:

·      How do you explain gender affirmation or transition to your child? How do you reassure them they are not losing a ‘mother’ or a ‘father’ but gaining a happier, more authentic parent? How can you best support them through the transition process?
·      What’s the best approach to take with school? How do other parents react and how do you manage their reaction? How can supportive teachers or principals help?
·      What impact does transition have on a partner or co-parent? How might it affect the family dynamics? What support is available for partners and children?
·      What’s it like to negotiate fertility clinics and IVF as a TGD person? How does pregnancy affect a trans man? How do you balance dysphoria and breastfeeding?

A careful reading of these stories provides answers to many of these questions.

We hope that the resource will be of value to health and human service providers who work with TGD parents. We know there are currently very few supportive and informed health practitioners who can work effectively with TGD people and their families. Any practitioner reading these stories will gain a detailed insight into the lived experiences of their clients or patients and some guidance about how they might best support them.