For the second year in a row, RFSL celebrates International Family Equality Day. This year's celebrations take place Sunday, May 3. Because of the Coronavirus, there's a limited opportunity to celebrate in groups, but here are some tips on how to observe the day and at the same time show that there are a lot of rainbow families in Sweden. Next year there will be celebrations and get together for rainbow families in many locations.
Last year, RFSL observed the International Family Equality Day for the first time with a national celebration. Many of our local branches, other organisations, networks, and private initiatives joined in the celebration. International Family Equality Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May, which this year falls on May third. Because of Covid-19, celebrations must be adapted to the current guidelines regarding meetings. Just like last year, this year we had grand plans to organise celebrations in the form of meetings for rainbow families around the country. We will save those plans for next year, and instead, we will organise an International Family Equality Day competition to mark the day.
Participate in our International Family Equality Day competition
Celebrate this year’s International Family Equality Day in whatever way feels best and most festive to you and your family. Bake a rainbow cake, create, paint or build something in rainbow colors, meet outside – maybe to have a picnic or play – in smaller groups, or download our forest bingo card below and go out into the woods and check what you see. Participate in RFSL’s International Family Equality Day competition by:
taking a picture of your celebration or something you have made or baked with a rainbow theme,
writing something short on why you celebrate International Family Equality Day,
sharing the picture on Instagram and/or Facebook with the hashtag #regnbågsdag
RFSL reposts (”Repost” in Instagram Stories) pictures using #regnbågsdag, and Stories posts using #regnbågsdag and @rfsl. If your profile on Instagram/Facebook isn’t public and you want to be in the competition you’re welcome to send a screenshot of your published picture and #regnbågsdag to RFSL in a message on Instagram/Facebook.
Why is International Family Equality Day celebrated?
Norms about what a family should look like are strong, even today. There are few examples of families other than the heterosexual nuclear family in kids’ tv-shows, children’s books, and other children’s culture. Maybe your child is the only one in its class, school or pre-school with a single parent, more than two parents, two dads, one or more parents with trans experience or two mums.
To have role models, be able to share experiences and see yourself in others who have a family like your own can be very important for children and adults in rainbow families. As a rainbow family, you will have less families to compare yourself with or exchange experiences with than families that more resemble the norm. It can also be tiresome and draining to constantly, in one way or the other, have to relate to society’s preconceptions and expectations.
Having role models, being able to share experiences and see yourself in others who have a family that resembles your own can be very important to both children and adults in a rainbow family.
International Family Equality Day is an important day when we highlight the diversity of families and pay tribute to those who have fought for the rights and the legislation we have today. We also acknowledge that there’s still a lot left to do and fight for in this area.
Even though the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, became Swedish law on January 1 this year, a large number of children growing up in rainbow families still don’t have the right to their parents. This is an important principle of the convention. Married couples who have children are still treated differently depending on if they’re same-sex or different-sex, and depending on if someone in the couple has changed their legal gender or not. We need a more modern legislation that protects children regardless of what their family looks like. Current legislation isn’t consistent with the principle of putting the child’s best interest first.