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Kids with Rainbow Parents



  We are here to help you navigate some of the challenges of being a young person in a Rainbow Family


-You'll find information on things like what is a rainbow family?

-How do I tell people about my rainbow family?

-What to do if people give me a hard time about it?

-What if I get bullied online about my family?

-Some inspo quotes from other kids in rainbow families

-A great resource designed by young people from rainbow families sharing their stories and tips

-All about the Youth Advisory Council & Little Rainbows and how to join up

-How and where to get some help if I am struggling

-Extra tips from Strong Safe Fabulous for young people needing support



All about Rainbow Families

Let's have a look at some of the things that make Rainbow Families a bit different to other families and why you might struggle with that sometimes. 

-Families come in all shapes and sizes.

-All families are a little bit quirky! 

-Our families are created in lots of different ways.

-The structure of our families can change over time.

-Sometimes our parents or carers stay together and sometimes they separate and live on their own or find new partners.

-One or more of your parents might identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender diverse, non-binary, or asexual.

-You might also have a sperm or egg donor or a surrogate, or you might have been fostered, adopted, or conceived by your parents.

You get the picture…


-There are more kinds of rainbow families than there are colours in the rainbow!

-You can define your family how you want to.

-There is just one important ingredient for a family: Love makes a family.

-What kind of family is yours?

-What really annoys you about your family?

-What makes your family special to you?


How to explain your family

So, your friends at school have questions about your family - how much do you want to explain and what do you want to explain?

There are no hard and fast rules about how to explain your family because it’s different for everyone.


But here are our top tips:

-Be honest about it. It takes all kinds of families to make the world go around.

-Only answer the questions you feel comfortable answering. You don’t have to tell people everything.

-Think of a way to tell people about your family so you are ready for it if they ask.

-Be prepared that the people you tell might not know how to react.

-People can be hurtful when they don't understand a situation that looks different to what they are used to.

-It’s ok if things are a little bit awkward at first.

-And don’t worry if they react badly. They’ll get used to it.

-If you’re struggling, maybe just change the subject.

-You could deflect the questions by smiling and saying something like, 'Enough about me, let's talk about you!' 

-Or get your parents to talk to your friends or their parents to help you explain it better.



If people are not accepting of your family, or if you are teased, make sure to tell an adult you trust so they can help you work out what to do

Check out some more tips below.


Are some people giving you a hard time face to face? are some things you can do.

-If you can, it’s best to ignore people who say stupid stuff about you and walk away.

-If people are saying things that make you feel bad, tell someone you trust about it.

-It might be an adult, a friend, a teacher or anyone who is good at listening and makes you feel safe.

-If you can’t think of someone to tell who will listen without judging you, try reaching out to a hotline.

-There are links to some good ones at the end of this page.

-Do something you enjoy to make yourself feel better.

-Like, go for a walk, meet up with friends, watch a movie or play with your furry buddies.

-Of course, if things are getting out of hand with someone and you are in danger, call Triple Zero (000).




Here are some other things you can do if you’re being bullied online:

-You can use your privacy and security settings to make sure you only see stuff from people that you want to see.

-Resist the urge to respond. Block people who are being nasty.

-Take screenshots of what happens online in case you need to show someone or report it.

-When reporting, you should first report to the service or platform where the hurtful content is appearing.

-This usually means using the ‘report content’ feature. If it is not removed, you can then report it to eSafety. Your report will be kept private.

-Check out the eSafety Guide developed by the e-Safety Commissioner, which explains how to report complaints to services and platforms.

-Resisting the urge to respond can be good for some people. However, you can also try and educate the bully on why they are being hurtful.

-You should only do this if you are up for it, as people might not listen, and could say more nasty things.

-Be polite, and engage in a way that focuses on making a positive difference.

-Make sure you reach out for help before things get too bad. It’s never too soon or too late to ask for help.

-Talk to an adult you trust about it and show them, they might be able to sort it out for you.

-Try and stay offline and do something else instead if the bullying is really upsetting you.

-They can't upset you if you aren't looking or responding. They'll probably get bored and move on.

-You can also find more information about how to deal with bullying online and other bad behaviour here.

-This is a good one too; Bullying No Way! 

Check out these tips from Q Life about managing bullying



Check out the video and see what the Youth Council and

Little Rainbows get up to when they get together! 



Connecting our young people - raising each other up, having each other's backs.

For Rainbow Families, it is crucial that our children have access to spaces where they can be their authentic selves, have a voice in the community and pursue their needs and dreams.

This is what we are here for

When Australia decided on marriage equality in 2017, young people from LGBTQ+ families bravely spoke up about the discrimination they face at school and in the community. Rainbow Families formed its Youth Advisory Council (YAC) in recognition of how important the voices of our young people are, and to create a safe and supportive peer network of other young people who “get it”.

What does it look like now?

The Youth Council has since branched out to accommodate younger and older audiences:

Little Rainbows is open to the younger 9-12 age group, and offers an opportunity for social connection and age-appropriate activities.

Youth Council (or the “YAC”) is attended by older cohorts of 13-17 year-olds, where they develop projects and initiatives for young people and young adults in the community, and work to raise the profile of Rainbow Families amongst younger audiences. Older members also carry out the very important role of mentoring our younger members.

Each group meets twice a month over food and fun activities. 

Both the YAC and Little Rainbows allow members to forge friendships, develop new skills and build a strong and articulate next generation. 

Typically each meet-up will begin with a more formal meeting to discuss projects and future events, followed by a group activity and light dinner (pizza).

You'll love it!

"I love coming along to youth council, we do heaps of great activities and cook and everyone is really kind.

We don't have to explain our families either, so it feels supportive and easy." - Jac

Want to join?

The Youth Council is open to any child or young person who is part of the Rainbow Families community.

You will need to fill in our Registration Form and make contact with our Youth Council Coordinator ahead of dropping in to your first session to get acquainted and provide us with important info to help organise catering and activities. 

We meet in the Inner West

Youth Council meetings occur alongside the school calendar at an Inner West location. As we are a drop-in space, you DO NOT need to attend all sessions, to take part in the Youth Council.

Getting involved

Young people can join the YAC by contacting us here.

Each month we send out a newsletter to all our community, keeping everyone informed on what we've been up to, what resources we have and what is coming up. 

Sign up


The Rainbow Families Youth Council created this resource in hopes that other children of Rainbow Families can feel connected, and to celebrate the diversity in our lives.

We are very excited about our Youth Council’s resource – Little Rainbows. Over the past couple of years, a dedicated group of young people from Rainbow Families has been working on this resource for young people, by young people.

The Rainbow Families Youth Council created this resource in hopes that other children of Rainbow Families can feel connected, and to celebrate the diversity in our lives. Included in this resource are stories of children and young people living in rainbow families, ways that we’ve dealt with different challenges, and suggestions about how we can all be our authentic selves with our loved ones by our side.  

We hope you enjoy what you find in this resource and we hope you use this resource to feel safe, included and seen, and for others to understand and empathise with these stories.

Download it here (pdf)


Some quotes about rainbow families from kids just like you!

"The best thing about growing up in my family is that if one parent says no, there are three other parents to ask!" – Zela

"Sometimes my friends ask how I have two mums and two dads. I just tell them that my mums wanted to have a baby but they needed a dad so they asked my dad and he and his partner said yes. It’s pretty simple to explain." – Zela

"Sometimes people ask me which mum is which or they ask if I’m talking about my mum who used to be a boy or the mum who is my natural mum." – Gemma

"As I got older, I started dropping my family structure into conversations more frequently. I would say to others, “I’m going to see my dads this weekend,” and then I would get a “what??!” back from them." – Mikayla

"While I was growing up, I didn’t realise my family was any different from other families. I think it’s fun to tell people about my family and to see their different reactions. – Joel

When I was younger, I only ever knew two other LGBTQ+ families. It was never really an issue for me at school. I definitely have the memory of people asking about it, but no one had a problem. People were curious. Lots of questions like: “What do you call them?”; “Which one is your birth mum?”; “Do you know your father?”; “How were you created?”; and questions about my half-siblings. – Molly

I am very fulfilled with my family and knowing who my family is. – Molly

It’s sometimes quite hard for me to explain my family. When people think of rainbow families, they mostly think of the classic two mums or two dads. But it’s a bit more complicated than that for me and people don’t always understand my family until I explain it really carefully. – Lars



"The most important thing about families is that everyone loves each other" – Lionel

"Dad and I went to Canberra with Rainbow Families to ask for marriage equality. We went to Parliament House. It was a bit boring. My papa and dad got married after marriage equality." – Stella

"I have two mums and two dads and an older sister and lots of grandparents and cousins. My family is fun and they make me laugh." – Lionel

"In my family, I’ve got two dads, a brother, my pets and me. I never really have to explain to anyone why I have two dads. It’s normal to have two dads." - Riley

"We do lots of things with Rainbow Families. I like the lollipops at Fair Day." – Stella

"I was born in India. My parents wanted to have children so they needed help with surrogacy. We once went to India for a holiday, it was big and beautiful. We ate lots of spicy curry. I have some saris from India." – Stella


Need some help or want to talk to someone about what's going on?

Here are some places we recommend to look for information or support.

If you need someone to talk to about the challenges you’re facing or how you’re feeling, you can reach out to any of these support services.

They will help you or they will make sure you can find the right service for what you're experiencing.


Beyond Blue - Get Support

Minus 18 - Youth Resources 

Kids Help Line - 1800 55 1800

QLIFE - 1800 184 527 after 3pm daily.




Resources for children & young people from Strong Safe Fabulous.

Everyone deserves to be safe – at home, at school and in the community. On this page you'll learn about ways to feel safe and supported as part of a Rainbow Family and how to be an ally (friend) for other young people and their families, in the LGBTQ+ community.

A guide to starting an LGBTQ+ Collective at your school

We Support You poster

Family Safety Tool Kit

Kids Tip Sheet

Sort Your Safety Fact Sheet

All about Respectful Relationships and much more :)


Don't forget, if you need to talk to someone today, you can call Kids Helpline right now and talk to someone who will know how to support and listen to you.

Kids Help Line - 1800 55 1800