Kids and gender toolbox to support parents


Mon 24 Jan 2022

White Ribbon launched the Kids and Gender toolbox in November 2021.

The Kids and Gender toolbox is designed for parents to support children who challenge gender norms.

White Ribbon worked with Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura – Outing Violence and Rainbow Hub Waikato to develop the new toolbox. White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann said “The new toolbox is really for parents who haven’t yet connected with the Rainbow world, so they can understand what is happening better, and be loving and supportive of their Rainbow children.” 

The toolbox uses plain language to explain common terms, provides advice on how to respond to your child's questions, suggests ways to provide support and love for your child, lists ways to find support for yourself, and includes where to go for more information and resources. It also has information about parenting transgender kids before, during and after puberty. 

The toolbox includes information and lists resources for Takatāpui children and their whānua, Pasifika families with Rainbow family members and Rainbow people of faith.

Sandra Dickson, Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura – Outing Violence project manager, said:

“One of the things every parent I talk to says is ‘what do all these words mean?’ We also wanted to point parents to all the awesome information out there – from parent supports to takatāpui resources, to groups for young people who are questioning their sexuality or gender.”

Sandra also said:

“We wanted to help answer their questions and make sure they realise they are not alone. Lots of other parents have worked out how to support their Rainbow kids. And honestly, that’s the most important thing to do as a parent – find support for yourself so you can be there for your children.”

Nathan Bramwell, manager at Rainbow Hub Waikato said:

“It’s great to work with other organisations on this kaupapa, helping families and whānau to be safe and welcoming for Rainbow young people. It’s the work we do every day in our Waikato communities.”

Background information

The Kids and Gender toolbox was designed as a violence prevention resource in response to research showing that many Rainbow young people are not safe at home. Waikato Queer Youth and Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura – Outing Violence spoke with and surveyed Rainbow and gender diverse young people about their experiences and needs. The research report Healthy relationships and consent: through the lens of Rainbow identifying youth (2021) highlighted:

"Overwhelmingly, our focus group participants want education and help to address families that were not welcoming or safe for them, and help to identify how people should be treated with respect inside families. They recognize family norms may set up expectations for their own future relationships, and they want pathways to staying safe."

Research from the Ministry of Youth Development reported that Rainbow young people have not been safe at home during the COVID pandemic with 9% experiencing abuse in their bubble and 13% not feeling safe in their bubble during Level 3 and 4 lockdowns. For more information, see the full report, Experiences of COVID-19 for takatāpui, queer, gender diverse, and intersex young people aged 16-24 (February 2021).

See our news stories below for more research and resources.

The White Ribbon kaupapa of working to end men’s violence towards women includes talking about how to challenge unhealthy gender stereotypes. Other Toolboxes and resources from White Ribbon NZ address healthy and respectful relationships, healthy masculinity and 'calling men in' to change their behaviour. Other new resources launched as part of the White Ribbon NZ 2021 campaign include a video and infographic highlighting the high rates of violence experienced by people with disabilities.

Related news

In November 2021 Minister Davidson announced funding of new national-level family violence and sexual violence prevention initiatives. This includes funding for LGBTQIA+ centred violence prevention initiatives, including the development of practice guidelines, healthy relationships and consent resources, and an awareness raising campaign. InsideOut has more information about these initiatives.

The Australia-based Centre for Family Research & Evaluation published a report and developed resources and videos looking at the risk and prevention of family violence for new LGBTIQ+ parents in making the transition to parenthood. This includes resources for the perinatal sector, LGBTIQ+ parents, and for family and community. The resources were developed from research and stakeholder feedback to address the knowledge gaps of understanding family violence risk and protective factors during the transition to parenthood for LGBTIQ+ parents and strategies to prevent family violence for LGBTIQ+ communities. 

Related media

LGBTQIA+ advocates back Green Party's call for a ministry for rainbow communities, Stuff, 18.02.2022

Commission Prepares For Conversion Practices Response Service, Press Release: Human Rights Commission, Scoop, 15.02.2022

Conversion therapy will soon be illegal in New Zealand, at last, Re:News, 15.02.2022

Landmark health survey of rainbow Pasifika launches, Stuff, 15.02.2022

Rainbow communities at 'higher risk of homelessness', says new research, 21.12.2021

Parliament unanimously passes bill allowing change to birth certificates, RNZ, 09.12.2021

1 in 20 adults identify as LGBT+ in major social survey, Stats NZ news, 12.11.2021

Explainer: The decades-long battle for gender self-identification, Stuff, 07.11.2021

New Research Shows Link Between Conversion Practices And Negative Mental Health For Trans And Non-binary People, Press Release: University of Waikato, Scoop, 20.10.2021

Govt delivers more wellbeing support to Rainbow young people, Beehive media release, 29.09.2021

Image: Mercedes Mehling on Unsplash

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