Friends & Whānau
The journey of exploring identity can be an emotional and delicate experience for your loved one and for yourself. This can be a very vulnerable time for them but your support is precious. There’s no secret formula to supporting them except to be present, to listen, to respect their boundaries and to treat them like you would any other friend.
The support team at RainbowYOUTH are here to help queer, gender diverse and intersex young people as well as their friends and whānau. You can get in touch here.
Here’s are our best tips:
- Be kind and respectful. Give yourself time to adjust to the information that your loved one has shared with you. And show that you still love or care about them in your own way.
- Listen. Treasure the fact that they have shared this information with you and take the time to learn about who they are, how they are and what they need from you.
- Communicate. Be honest with your loved one if you are at a loss, or confused – they will be most appreciative of your openness and your willingness to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – this could be directly to your loved one, the internet, or someone else you know.
- Respect their privacy: There is no need to tell to everyone, please accept your their pace in coming out and respect their decision. Also, consider that coming out is never a one-time experience, rather an “every new relationship” experience.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you make mistakes, or don’t know everything you feel you should – don’t stress too much. Apologise to your loved one, own your mistake and move on. It’s okay to feel challenged!
- Look after yourself too. At times you might feel lost or confused, even guilty and alone. Seek out others who have gone through something similar. Talk to someone you trust - maybe other queer or gender diverse people, their loved ones, or a family support group.
Holding Our Own
A support group for parents of LGBTQ children based in Auckland
FreedHearts Aotearoa New Zealand - Parents of LGBT children
The group is for those parents who have lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or questioning children of any age and would like to find information and support in order to affirm and support their children. Our requirements for membership are that you love and support your children, and that you're prepared to maintain privacy and confidentiality with the group.
The I’m Local Project
The I’m Local Project aims to help queer & gender diverse youth all over Aotearoa to feel valued, recognised and supported in their local communities by providing free, identity affirming resources.
Growing Up Takatāpui: Whānau Journeys
Interviews with seven takatāpui rangatahi and their whānau inform this resource about the journey to and the importance of whānau support in a takatāpui young person's life.
Help! Is My Child Transgender?
Information developed by Gender Minorities Aotearoa from the frequently asked questions and stories they receive from parents about gender identity.
Let's Talk: A Resource Guide for Parents
A resource developed by OUTLine with information and advice for parents of queer and gender diverse people
This is a blog about mental health, social justice, and sharing resources related to the health and wellbeing of people with diverse sexes, genders, and sexualities
Parenting and Family (U.S.)
Every family is unique, with different family dynamics, as well as cultural, social, and religious influences. Learn more about how these influences can affect the children in your life.
Shared Stories from parents and caregivers of trans* and gender diverse children
Trans 101 for Friends and Family (AUS)
Has someone around you recently come out? There can be a lot to catch up on, so here's what you need to know.
Being a Supportive Parent (AUS)
There are heaps of different ways people describe their sexual or gender identities, which we understand for some parents or guardians can be a little overwhelming.
How to Talk to School Staff and Parents About Gender Identity (U.S.)
A guide by USC Rossier for parents and school staff about understanding gender identity is in school environments. The guide also includes a glossary of gender identity terms for school counselors and teachers.
What We Wish Our Parents Knew (U.S.)
InterACT created this resource as a way to prepare other families with intersex kids for the journey ahead of them.