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Queer Families and finding support – Survey

Posted April 16th 2020 by Ciara

We’ve been running our Queer Families group for over a year now, and the time has flown by!

We initially set up the group because we heard from some LGBTQ parents that now that they had kids they found themselves in a strange position- typical ‘mums and toddlers’ groups weren’t as LGBTQ friendly as they could be, and often our parents would be the only LGBTQ family in the room. At the same time, they found themselves isolated from their LGBTQ community as a lot of events weren’t child friendly and they struggled to balance childcare and staying involved with groups they’d been part of before.

Now the group meets monthly (although we’re still figuring out how to best do this in the current circumstances!) and it is a fun, warm and friendly space. We have a group of core families who come along every month and new families dropping in all the time. It’s been great to see friendships develop and support networks grow- all over cups of tea and fun craft activities.

Over time we noticed some of the main issues LGBTQ families faced coming up in conversation again and again. Many families had experienced homophobia and transphobia from healthcare providers, intentional and unintentional. Some struggled with having to explain their family set up to nurseries and schools, others found that mum and baby groups made them feel excluded with the language they used. They mentioned how one of the things they loved about the Queer Families group was being in a room full of other LGBTQ families- them and their children often felt like ‘the odd ones out’.

Some really valuable information and experiences were being shared in the group- we wanted to capture this and share it with a wider audience. We wanted the tips and advice the families gave each other to be accessible to everyone who might need them, and we also wanted to give services a better idea of how to engage with LGBTQ families based on the stories we had heard.

So we have put together a survey to help us inform a series of resources that we will be publishing! Our survey asks LGBTQ families for their experiences of finding support, accessing services and advice for other families. We want to hear from a wide range of families (and people who want to start families!) to inform our resources as we know that LGBTQ families come in many shapes and sizes.

We hope that this survey and the resources will be the start of many conversations about LGBTQ families and how they can thrive.

You can fill out our survey here, follow the Queer Families Instagram page at @queerfamsglasgow or email ciara@otbds.org for more information.

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