How To Support Your Queer Kids | Part 3: The Fun Part
So far in this mini-series of articles, we’ve looked at how to best support your queer/trans kid with both the basics and the stuff that might be trickier. You might think it sounds pretty heavy and you wouldn’t be wrong — supporting your queer child is important but can take work. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun too! Here are some ideas on how to support your queer kid in fun ways you’ll both enjoy that will bring you closer together.
Read Queer Books Together
If your queer child is still young enough that you’re reading them a bedtime story, or old enough to be reading by themselves but rely on you to get books, you could find some age-appropriate books with queer characters to read! It’s really important for queer kids to be able to see themselves in books, to learn there are other people like them and despite their differences, they are still normal.
Check out these lists of books with great LGBTQ+ representation and themes, put together by the Stonewall charity! They’ve broken the list into different age groups, so you can find the perfect books for your queer kid no matter their age.
Watch Queer TV & Films Together
While on-screen queer representation that’s suitable for kids is pretty thin on the ground still (to put it lightly!) with a bit of research you can still find some shows and films that include queer characters that your queer kid can enjoy, and hopefully you with them!
New Gender Reveal Party
If your family likes to do gender reveal parties, this can be a fun way to celebrate your trans child coming out. And this time, the kid can be properly involved! You could work together to plan an imaginative way for your child to announce their gender in a way they’ll enjoy, and take some nice photos to remember the moment by. Showing your child you understand their coming out is something to celebrate and you’re happy to be involved in will really reassure them about your support, and give you something fun to do together. It can also be a good way to let people know about the news all at once, in a way that makes clear this is a good thing. It’s important to make sure your child is happy to do this though and not to force them into the spotlight if they don’t want to.
If you’ve got a lot of personalised things at home with the kid’s names on, and your trans child has changed their name, it’s a good idea to get some updated versions to reflect your child’s new name if they would like. They may be fine with having things with their old names on, but deadnames can also be very upsetting and distressing for trans people to have to see, so it’s worth asking how your child feels.
Examples might include:
- Bedroom door signs
- Photo frames
- Christmas stockings
If your child is uncomfortable with having their deadname on display, you could involve them in finding a replacement, or get them one as a surprise!
If you have any gendered family or religious traditions, involving your trans child in them with their new identity can be a really important step in showing your acceptance and allowing them to take part in important parts of your family heritage. If these traditions involve people outside the family, if they’re accepting it can be a great way to introduce your trans child’s identity to your community.
Buying your queer child some Pride flag merch such as a flag for their wall or Pride flag laces for their shoes can be a cute and fun gift to show your love and support for them! Although it might seem like a small gesture, things like this can mean a lot to your queer child!
You could look for if there are any queer Youth Groups in your area you could take your child to. Queer children / teenagers benefit a lot from being able to meet other queer kids their age going through similar things, so they know they aren’t alone. Finding a good community can help them a lot with being able to deal with challenges and understand themselves.
It can also help you! You might be able to meet other parents of queer kids there. Being able to talk about your experiences and how best to deal with the challenges your kid might face with other people who are going through similar things is important for you too. And hopefully you’ll both have a fun time!
Visit Pride Together
Visiting Pride either with a Youth Group as above, or as a family, can be a fun day out. Showing your queer child that there’s a whole community they can be a part of and they’re not alone can be really important for helping them feel confident and accepted. Being able to see happy, adult queer people can reassure them that there can be a good future for people like them. And if they’re old enough, it can also be an opportunity to learn together about the history of Pride, the ongoing struggle for Queer Rights, and the many brave historical figures who fought to get us to the point we are today.
Pride usually consists of a parade, but there are also often shows to watch, stalls to visit, art displays, talk groups, and many other activities. There might even be some activities specifically for kids, so do your research and find out!
And that brings our mini-series on supporting your queer kids to an end. Hopefully by now you can see that, although there might be challenges, there’s a lot you can do to support your queer child the best you can, and even have fun along the way too!