A NEW resource kit offering tips and advice for rainbow families will be launched at a picnic event in Melbourne later this month.

The launch for OUTspoken Families will be hosted by the Rainbow Families Council at the Yarraville Gardens, and Victorian Equality Minister Martin Foley is expected to attend.

The resource kit has been developed by Jacqui Tomlins, who ran a successful crowd-funding campaign supported by the Rainbow Families Council and more than 100 people to finance the project.

It provides information, advice and guidance for same-sex and trans* parents.

“Many of the issues we face as parents are the same as other families,” Tomlins said.

“But there are some that are unique to us. I wanted to draw on the experience and knowledge of parents who manage these issues every day and pass on their wisdom.

“The kit will be helpful for new, prospective and current parents, but also invaluable for service providers who work with rainbow families.”

A series of web-pages also provides answers to questions such as how to find a rainbow family-friendly primary school, if your children are being teased or bullied more than other kids, how rainbow families fare in rural and regional communities, and more.

“As parents of rainbow families we are deeply concerned about how the world treats our kids and we invest a huge amount of time and care into how we can protect them from the worst of what’s out there,” Tomlins said.

“I believe we have all become experts in successfully managing being a little different from the norm and I think we do it with grace and courage.

“Lots of people in the broader community talk about our families, and not always in the nicest ways. This kit is about making our voice heard.”

Tomlins said she interviewed almost 50 people for the resource kit which also includes case-studies, and summaries of recent relevant research.

In December 2013, mental health organisation beyondblue teamed up with Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Australia to create Families Like Mine, an electronic resource for parents and families of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and gender-diverse people.

The guide features videos and practical advice from young people and their families, aiming to address the alarming over-representation of LGBTI people in mental health statistics.

Hard copies Tomlins’ OUTspoken Families will be available on the day launch event.

DETAILS:

WHAT: Rainbow Families Council annual picnic and launch of OUTspoken Families

WHEN: Sunday, February 22

TIME: Picnic: 11.30am-3pm. Launch: 12.30pm

WHERE: Yarraville Gardens, corner Hyde St and Somerville Rd

INFO: http://jacquitomlins.com/2015/02/07/outspoken-families-a-resource-kit-for-rainbow-families

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