Supporting Rainbow Children & Young People

Supporting Rainbow Children & Young People

A listing of organisations, resources and supports available for parents and whānau (family) of rainbow tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people).

Resources for supporting rainbow children and young people


What does ‘rainbow’ stand for? 

Rainbow is a term that describes people of diverse sexualities, genders and variations of sex characteristics. 

Another term is LGBTQIA+. It stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and more diverse sexualities, genders, and sex characteristics. It is used in a similar way to the term ‘rainbow’. 

How can I support my rainbow child or young person? 

It is important that all tamariki and rangatahi feel supported and embraced, regardless of their sexuality or gender. It is particularly important that rainbow tamariki and rangatahi feel supported as they often face unique challenges as they start to develop their identity.  

Whānau play an important role in providing love and support to their rainbow child. If you have a rainbow young person in your life, you may wish to learn more about their identities and get advice on how to support them. There are lots of resources and supports available in New Zealand, Aotearoa, for you and your whānau.

Reach out for your own support

It is important to reach out for your own support if you need to. Talk to your GP if you need extra support. It can also be helpful to connect with other parents through parent groups and online.

See RainbowYOUTH's details about parent and whānau support on their website.

Tips for supporting the rainbow child or young person in your whānau

Support them

No matter what you are thinking or feeling, support your child and let them know you love them. You may be one of their most important sources of support. Remind them you will help them with anything they need at home and at school. Help them find sources of support such as healthcare professionals, rainbow organisations and support groups. 

Let them be themselves

Don’t assume this is a stage or a fad. Believe them when they talk to you about their identity. Affirm your child and their sense of who they are. Let them express themselves how they want to. 

Reassure them

Reassure your child that there is nothing wrong with them. Reassure them that it is OK to talk about how they are feeling and that you will support them. 


Do your own research. This shows your child that you are interested in learning more about how to support them on their journey. Share helpful resources with them. 

See the KidsHealth page on gender diversity to learn more about supporting a gender diverse young person

Rainbow support organisations and websites

InsideOUT Kāora

Screenshot of InsideOUT website

InsideOUT Kōaro is a New Zealand charity. It provides education, resources, consultation and support for anything concerning rainbow and takatāpui communities. They offer guidance, professional development and workshops for schools, workplaces and community organisations across Aotearoa. Take a look at their resources designed for whānau and allies of the rainbow community.


Screenshot of Rainbow Youth website

RainbowYOUTH is a charity that provides support, information, resources and advocacy for queer, gender diverse, takatāpui and intersex young people across Aotearoa. Find out more about resources and support for whānau.

Gender Minorities Aotearoa

screenshot of gender minorities aotearoa website

Gender minorities Aotearoa is run by and for transgender people, including binary and non-binary, intersex, and irawhiti takatāpui. Their services include peer support, health navigation, legal clinics, courses and a trans health directory. See their website for resources to support whānau of transgender youth, children and gender-diverse young people in Aotearoa.

Be There

screenshot of be there website

Be There is a website and awareness campaign that aims to support the parents and whānau of trans, non-binary, takatāpui, queer, intersex, and rainbow young people to be more inclusive, affirming and safe. Check their website for resources for helping rainbow young people.

NZ Parents and Guardians of Transgender and Gender Diverse Children (NZPOTC)

Screenshot of NZPOTC website

NZPOTC is a parent-led group with information, guidance, advice and companionship for parents and whānau of transgender and gender diverse tamariki.

Intersex Aotearoa

Screenshot of intersex aotearoa website

Intersex Aotearoa is a non-profit organisation that provides affirmation, advocacy and referral for intersex people and their whānau. Check out the resources on their website.

Takatapui NZ

Takatāpui is a traditional Māori term meaning ‘intimate companion of the same sex.’ It has been reclaimed to embrace all Māori who identify with diverse genders, sexualities and sex characteristics. Take a look at the resource hub for takatāpui and their whānau.

VSC – A Practical Guide for Parents in Aotearoa NZ

Screenshot of the VSC website

The VSC (variation in sex characteristics) website is a collaboration between people with lived experience, health professionals and researchers who want to provide support to parents and whānau who have a child with VSC. See the website for resources and information.  

Rainbow Rights in Aotearoa 

Screenshot of rainbow rights aotearoa website

Rainbow Rights Aotearoa is a website that provides accessible information about the legal rights of rainbow young people in Aotearoa, New Zealand. See their website for resources and information.

Rainbow Path

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Rainbow Path provides information and links to practical support for Rainbow asylum seekers, refugees and their families. See their website for information on the support services they provide.

Te Ngākau Kahukura 

Screenshot of Te Ngākau Kahukura website

Te Ngākau Kahukura works to make communities, environments and systems more safe and inclusive for rainbow people across Aotearoa. Their website has resources and references relating to rainbow and takatāpui wellbeing.

Village Collective

screenshot of the village collective website

The Village Collective aims to equip Pasifika Youth with the knowledge and resources they need for better-informed wellbeing and sexual health decisions. Rainbow Fale is their hub for activities developed to support Pasifika Rainbow young people.

Rainbow resources

The following are resources that you can use or share with your rainbow child or young person.

Let’s Talk Guide by OutLine

Screenshot of Let's talk booklet

Let’s Talk is a guide for parents and whānau, by OutLine, for supporting young people who have come out or are questioning their gender or sexuality. 

The REAL sex talk by Villainesse

Screenshot of villainesse website

The REAL sex talk by villainesse is a web series of videos looking at different aspects of sex and sexuality. 

Take a look at the following videos:

Full Disclosure podcast 

Screenshot of full disclosure website

The Full disclosure podcast shares the stories of well-known kiwis who are part of the rainbow community. You can find it on apple, google and spotify.

Your child is a taonga by Intersex Aotearoa

screenshot of your child is a taonga booklet

Read the support guidebook for parents of intersex rangatahi, developed by Intersex Youth Aotearoa. This guide shares key concepts to help whānau support their intersex young person. 

Be There Webinar by Intersex Aotearoa and Te Ngākau Kahukura

Screenshot of the bethere webinar

This webinar is cohosted by Te Ngākau Kahukura and Intersex Aotearoa. It’s for parents and whānau of young people who are intersex, or who were born with a variation of sex characteristics. It aims to help parents and whānau to feel more confident to support the intersex young person in their whānau, and to know where to go if they need more information or advice.

Talanoa - Clearing Pathways by Village Collective 

Screenshot of talanoa clearing pathways resource

Talanoa is a collection of stories put together by the Village Collective. The stories are from rainbow Pasifika people and their families, sharing their experiences. 

Storm Clouds and Rainbows by the Rainbow Support Collective

screenshot of the storm clouds and rainbows resource

The storm clouds and rainbows resource shares the journey of parenting a transgender child. It offers insights from a parent's perspective on how best to support a transgender child.

How to support our rainbow kids by Sparklers and RainbowYOUTH

Screenshot of resource on how to support rainbow kids

Sparklers and RainbowYOUTH have written a guide with tips for parents and whānau on supporting their rainbow kids.

All about intersex video by Intersex Youth Aotearoa

screenshot of the all about intersex video

All about Intersex is an animated version of a flyer by Sam Orchard for Intersex Youth Aotearoa. It explains intersex identities with tips for allies and whānau.

Rainbow helplines

OutLine - 0800 688 5463

Screenshot of the OutLine website

OutLine is a nationwide, all-ages rainbow mental health organisation that provides a nationwide, free and confidential 0800 support line for people who want to speak to a trained volunteer from the rainbow community.

Call OutLine between 6pm and 9pm, 7 days a week on 0800 688 5463.

This page last reviewed 05 March 2024.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it