Today, May 3, 2020, marks the 9th annual International Family Equality Day (IFED), a day to highlight and celebrate family diversity around the globe. While we normally commemorate this special day with meet-up picnics in the park, playdates, and community get-togethers, concerns around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) means that today looks a little different than previous years.
Prior to school closings and shelter-in-place orders, Family Equality and our partners around the world chose to focus this year’s IFED celebrations on raising awareness of family diversity in school settings. Now, with the classroom coming into the home through distance learning, this theme feels especially important.
For most, distance learning means navigating work-life and school, figuring out new technology, finding engaging ways to keep children focused on schoolwork, and seeking out a quiet place to think.
But for LGBTQ+ families, distance learning means suddenly having your family structure on display during virtual class-time. This could force some families to “come out” to their classmates before they’re ready, and incite uncomfortable misunderstandings (at best) or outright intolerance (at worst).
Fortunately, Family Equality has released three resources to help support your family in this new school environment (and beyond).
Toolkit: Creating Safe & Inclusive Schools
This step-by-step toolkit can help you and your family play a key role in improving the safety and inclusivity of your child’s classroom!
Safe School Template Letter for LGBTQ+ Families
If you’re looking for an easy way to reach out to your child’s teacher to encourage them to create a safe and inclusive learning space for youth from LGBTQ+ families, we’ve got a template letter that’s ready for you to use!
Quick Tips: 8 Ways to Advocate for Your LGBTQ+ Families in the Classroom
Learn specific ways that you can with your children’s schools to help ensure a safe, supportive learning environment for your children.
From everyone at Family Equality, we wish you safe, sane, and healthy International Family Equality Day—and we look forward to IFED 2021, which we hope will be filled with picnics and playdates again!
But Wait! There’s More…
While this year’s theme focuses on diversity and inclusivity in the classroom, IFED is also generally a time to highlight the experiences of LGBTQ+ families across cultures and countries. Because of this, we asked two friends of Family Equality to share their stories.