Last month in Northern Ireland, twin three-year-olds at the playground with their dad were attacked by a group of children who taunted and shoved the toddlers because their dad is transgender. This sickening attack serves as a terrifying reminder that the queerphobia that hurts the LGBTQ+ community as a whole can have direct and violent implications for its children.

What makes the attack all the more disheartening is that it was carried out by other children, mirroring anecdotes shared with us for last year’s report on queerspawn experiences in US schools. No child is born with hate. They learn from the adults around them. While we all hope that the next generation will be more accepting, that will never happen if we refuse to act. Any person with LGBTQ+ parents who has ever been bullied for belonging to a queer family can identify with the ordeal these children and their dad are experiencing. 

“As a person with a trans parent, attacks like this bring out one of my biggest fears; is my family safe? Will we ever be able to go out together without feeling the constant need for hyper vigilance?” said Annastasia Martineu, a coordinator for COLAGE’s People with Trans Parents (PTP) Care Team. “My mom once told me that she feels inherently connected to other trans people because they are all our family. Our community. Our people. Our history. My heart goes out to this family, and to the young children who are still learning what it means to exist in this world. They do not deserve to grow up in fear the way too many queerspawn already have before them. My hope for the future is that together we are united: in solidarity and in action.” 

When queerphobic legislators claim they are thinking of “the children,” they are not only lying, they are actively endangering children in our community. When we are banned from talking about our families in school, it doesn’t stop hate from reaching us. Hateful rhetoric finds us in many forms; from public policy that impact our families to schoolyard taunts that darken our childhoods. 

Today, on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, COLAGE implores leaders across the globe to urgently address the concerns of LGBTQ+ families and take action to protect us. COLAGE stands with PTP and queerspawn all over the world who deserve to feel safe – on the playground, at school, and everywhere. #QueerspawnUnite