The project addresses the problem of social exclusion of families formed by LGBTQ people (so-called rainbow families). In Poland, at least 50 000 children are raised in such families (according to estimates by the Campaign Against Homophobia). Unfortunately, they are not covered by legal protection securing intra-familial ties, such as the possibility of formalising LGBTQ relationships. Another need is for children to feel safe and protected from inferior treatment in kindergartens, schools, health institutions, etc. This situation results in frequent emigration of rainbow families or the need forcoming-out decision making. As a result, only individual rainbow families engage in activism and self-advocacy activities. Rainbow families still remain socially invisible. They are often excluded from common forms of activism aimed at heteronormative families, and LGBTQ people themselves have been the target of political and media hate campaigns for years. Rainbow families also tend to be outside the orbit of professionals working in educational institutions, clinics and social welfare institutions.
The project targeted both rainbow families themselves (integration and activation activities) and people who may come into contact with rainbow families in their professional work (educational activities). The project included an integration and training trip for activists working on behalf of LGBTQ families, integration meetings in six cities and a large family reunion in Poznań, as well as four thematic expert webinars on the situation of rainbow families and their needs. Material was also recorded – interviews with children and young people from rainbow families about their daily life, school life and peer- to-peer relationships.
As a result of the project, rainbow families got to know each other better, shared their experiences and were strengthened in the area of self-advocacy (135 people). The children were also strengthened as they spoke about their experiences in their own voice. 15 activists from the rainbow family community and 20 professionals working with children increased their competences in supporting children and young people raised in rainbow families. The sensitivity of professionals to the needs of rainbow families and children raised in such families has also increased.