OUTspoken Families: A resource kit for rainbow families was officially launched yesterday by Martin Foley, Minister for Equality at the annual Rainbow Families Council picnic.
It was a fantastic day with more than 150 kids and grown-ups turning up despite the heat. We gathered under a huge ancient tree that provided lots of shade, and an afternoon breeze kept the worst of the heat at bay.
The kids had a blast at the playground and our three managed to spend a small fortune at the food trucks lining the gardens. Their highlight of the day was the toilet: “It does everything for you, Mama! You even press a button and the paper comes out.”
There were new families and old families, families from all over Melbourne and a few from further afield. We gave out more than a hundred hardcopies of the kit and a stack of postcards. Martin Foley gave a speech that was positive and affirming and quite refreshing. Not often you hear a politician talk about us in that way.
For me the day was the culmination of an eighteen month project that started small and ended somewhat bigger. Over that year and a half close to fifty people shared their stories with me: remarkable, honest, courageous stories.
Those stories are so important, for other parents, for service providers and for the world in general. The more we are able to get our perspective into the public domain, the more able we are to counter the judgments, myths and plain nonsense that is often told about our families.
The kit is now live and you can download the whole document (massive) or individual topics (more manageable) from the link below:
If you could share the link with your networks that would be great. Thanks. Also, I would love the kit to appear in the in box of as many service providers as possible: nurses, midwives, IVF counsellors, maternal and child health nurses, kinder and day care staff, primary and high school teachers, doctors, paediatricians, sports coaches, youth workers, housing, welfare, community and social workers, mental health staff, counsellors and psychologists, and anyone else you can think of who might work with rainbow families.
I was planning to have a quiet day today, but my head is buzzing and I’m not good at relaxing at the best of times. Besides, I’ve got some great ideas for “OUTspoken Families Phase 2”! I’ll keep you posted.