With its beginnings from a chance conversation between rainbow Mums at ILGA World in Bangkok last year, the inaugural Asia-Pacific Rainbow Families Forum came to fruition on May 11th and 12th.
The Forum was an official collaboration between Planet Ally and IFED and saw several events over two days to coincide with IDAHOT and IFED's global 2017 collaboration focusing on the theme of families.
Personal experiences were shared from across the Asia-Pacific region to highlight the importance of family support, social acceptance and to advocate for the urgent need for recognition, protection and equal treatment of current and intended rainbow families and LGBTI parents.
As part of the event, two Hong Kong premieres of documentaries Gayby Baby and Inside the Chinese Closet were held. Both viewings were partnered with powerful panel based discussions. The Forum also participated in Hornet's #WeAreOne IDAHOT campaign in support of marriage equality.
Country delegates attending were from Hong Kong, Australia, China, Fiji, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines and Singapore with virtual participation from Taiwan, Vietnam and a video link up with surrogacy and fertility experts from the UK and US.
Every country reported still striving for social and legal acceptance and recognition. The laws in almost all jurisdictions appear to be blind to rainbow families. There is much fear, anxiety and reality that families may lose their children if they are found to be LGBTI. This leaves families with a permanent sense of insecurity, knowing that they do not have legal protections or rights.