Help for families with 'rainbow' kids

Help for families with 'rainbow' kids

Make home 'a safe place', says manual

A woman holds up a guidebook designed to help parents of LGBT children overcome challenges and prejudices. Arnun Chonmahatrakool
A woman holds up a guidebook designed to help parents of LGBT children overcome challenges and prejudices. Arnun Chonmahatrakool

The first manual for LGBT children suffering from prejudice and gender stereotyping was introduced publicly on Tuesday.

Titled "This House Has Gender Diversity", the manual was jointly prepared by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation and the Foundation of Transgender Alliance for Human Rights (TGA).

Phoranee Phuprasert, director of the Office of Vulnerable Group Support, said the manual aimed to create better a understanding about LGBT issues, especially among parents struggling to accept their children's different lifestyles.

Many LGBT children had not been accepted by their family and that was one of the main reasons for creating a manual to spread, she said, to spread better information and understanding and help make families a safe space for LGBT children.

"We saw that many schools and other organisations had taken part in anti-bullying projects," said Ms Phoranee.

"So, we reached out to find another space that was still problematic and we found out that the family is still the problem, even much bigger [than what is in the school].

"Therefore, it is very important to open a conversation among family member with academic knowledge, not only one's own experience and prejudice, and this could help the parents understand their kids."

The manual is still being edited but it is expected that there will be an online version by next month on Thai Health Promotion Foundation and TGA websites.

Matcha Porn-in, 41, the Sangsan Anakot Yawachon organisation officer and board of international family equality day co-host, said her wife and her daughter had contributed to the manual.

She said the manual did not only help the parents understand their children much better, but also empowered them in the fact of social pressure of having LGBT children.

"We wrote this manual from both perspectives, the lesbian child of heterosexual parents and parents of a bisexual daughter," said Ms Matcha.

"We understand many parents have to put up with questions from a neighbour, or even among their own relatives. This manual could become a reference for them, so they know they have raised their kids well enough."

Ms Matcha accepted that researchers still needed to learn more about families' different experiences and help others understand the content in the manual since some of it might appear overly academic.

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