Monday, May 13, 2013

[Australia] - Help Support A Resource Kit for Rainbow Families - We Talk to Jacqui Tomlins

In Australia (and indeed around the world) our Rainbow Families are thriving - often despite indifference, lack of recognition and sometimes extreme hostility.  As a gay dad I try to be very active in the community for the sake of our children.  I think of myself as a local activist.  It is easy when you have help, support and resources at hand, but unfortunately for many of us those things are not always readily available.

There is a new and exciting project happening right here in Australia.  It is the development of a Resource Kit for Rainbow Families.  I can not emphasise how important I think this project is.  When I found out about it, our family immediately pledged some money to help it become a reality (link).  I recently caught up with Jacqui Tomlins, a lesbian mum, who is the woman behind this project.

For those who don't know of Jacqui - she is one amazing woman.  A lesbian mum with 3 kids.  A blogger. An activist. And a wonderful advocate for GLBTI parenting rights.  She has a blog (link) which is a damn fine read any day.

What was the impetus behind the "Resource Kit for Rainbow Families"?

Jacqui: The impetus behind the resource kit came from a lot of discussions with rainbow families – both in person and through my blog. As rainbow families we deal with all sorts of issues every day and we’ve become very good at coming up with creative solutions to many of the problems we face. We spend a lot of time talking, educating, agitating and, almost without realising it, we’ve become extremely skilled at advocating for our families. I thought it would be fantastic if we could somehow capture all that expertise, knowledge and experience and share it around.

I see the resource kit as something very informative and practical, but something that I hope will also empower parents to advocate on behalf their families.

How did you come up with the issues to cover in the Kit?

Jacqui: Three kids over ten years; I had a big list to start with! But I invited half a dozen same-sex families around for the evening and we ate, drank and brainstormed. It was a great night and by the end of it I think we’d come up with pretty much every topic that could be covered – and we loosely prioritised that list. I’ve committed to covering ten topics to start with, but if we exceed the target, I’ll write more. I think there are 22 subject headings in my list and I would dearly love to get enough funding to do the whole lot. Actually, that would be a huge  job – I should probably be careful what I wish for!

When completed, how do you hope the Kit will be used? By whom?

Jacqui: I’m hoping the kit will find a broad audience. Obviously my primary target is rainbow families at different stages along the parenting journey. I hope that, for example, a parent might read the information sheet on choosing a rainbow-family friendly school when their first child is about to start.

I’m hoping the kit will also be used by a range of health, education, social and family services that work with rainbow families. 

Funding is always a problem.  Why did you settle on crowd funding?

Jacqui: I did a lot of research into funding: particularly government grants and charitable foundations, but either we weren’t eligible or the foundations had cut back because of the Global Financial Crisis.  

I had a couple of crowd-funding projects appear on my Facebook page that I was more than happy to support and that got me thinking. Again, I did a lot of research into crowd-funding and the different platforms and I thought Pozible could really work. 

Since I started my blog about 18 months ago I’ve established the sort of networks you need to make it successful. I’ve also been involved with the Rainbow Families Council for a number of years and they were the obvious people to support the project. I love the idea of our community – and the people who support our community – raising the funds to make a project like this happen. 

It was wonderful speaking to Jacqui.  She inspires me to be more active for GLBTI parenting rights.  I wish I had the skills and drive to put in the enormous amount of work to make projects like this a reality.  But, I guess like most of you, I recognise that it is not a skill I have.  But I am comfortable with that because I know I can still help this become a reality by supporting it financially.

Every single dollar helps.

The target is low considering all the things that are needed to make this a reality.  I strongly encourage you all to visit the Pozible site and find out more about OUTSpoken Families.  I then really encourage you to pledge some money to help this become a reality.  Every little bit helps and our families will be the beneficiaries of all this work.  You will, I guarantee, be left with a feeling that YOU are helping to improve the lives of our GLTBI families.  What better present could you give your kids!


Phil Browne said...

People can join me in contributing a few $$ to this cause by clicking here

Indian Surrogacy said...

Good work for a nice cause!!!!