Bedtime story book featuring same-sex couples gives “hope for change”
My Rainbow Family looks a lot like other children’s books, it’s wildly colourful and the people on its pages are smiling and spending time with friends and family – but for Croatia, this is a first.
The book is the first aimed at children which depicts same-sex parents.
My Rainbow Family
In the book, which can be read from front-to-back, or back-to-front, two central families feature – one, a little girl with two dads, and the other a little boy with two mums.
“His reaction was complete delight,” Zrinka Znidarcic, who has a two-year-old son named Patrik and has been in a civil partnership for four years, told the BBC. “He just took it and immediately said: this is familiar.”
“Patrik picks his own books for a bedtime story. Since he got this one, it’s always in his favourite two or three. We didn’t explain anything about it to him, he just took it. He says, ‘I want to read the book about me, about my family’.”
But not everyone in the country is happy about its publication. A Zagreb-based organisation known as Vigilare, on its Facebook page says its mission is to “encourage individuals and communities to have the democratic right to live and express their conservative beliefs without discrimination, ridicule or humiliation”.
According to the BBC report, it called My Rainbow Family “homosexual propaganda” and urged the education minister to ban it from schools. Vigilare did not respond to repeated requests by the BBC for an interview.
The publisher of My Rainbow Family, Daniel Martinovic, one of the co-founders of Croatia’s Rainbow Families support group for same-sex parents, remains positive:
“When we first made the book, we only printed 500 copies, because we thought it would mostly be for us, our friends and supporters. But since the story went public we have had lots of parents saying: ‘we are not LGBT, but we would really like a copy of the picture-book so we can show our children and discuss themes of equality, tolerance and diversity’.”
“Maybe this gives us hope for a change – that we’ll move towards a more tolerant society.”