ZAGREB, January 19, 2018 – The first Croatian picture book about same-sex families, “My Rainbow Family”, recently published by the Rainbow Families association, was launched at the French Institute in Zagreb on Thursday evening.
The book was published in 500 copies, which, it was said, had already been snapped up. The publication was made possible with the financial assistance of the French Embassy.
A statement from an adviser at the French Embassy, Guillaume Colin, was distributed to reporters covering the event, saying: We are confident that it is worth fighting for tolerance and respect for diversity, which are at the core of our shared European values. The fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is one of the key priorities of France’s policy of human rights protection, which was why the French Embassy was proud to support the publishing of the picture book “My Rainbow Family”.
The coordinator of the Rainbow Families association, Daniel Martinović, said that they were surprised by the great interest of the public in the book and that new editions were being planned.
The author of the picture book, Ivo Šegota, said that the publication, the first to speak only about rainbow families, was designed to help bring the story of rainbow families and differences in the Croatian society closer to all who wanted it as well as make it easier for parents to talk to their children about same-sex families.
Psychologist Marina Štambuk said studies did not support stereotypes about the harmfulness of a child growing up with LGBT parents. According to the relevant literature, there are no differences in the various aspects of children’s mental health between children raised by lesbian mothers, gay fathers, bisexual parents and heterosexual parents, she said.
A descriptive study conducted in Croatia in 2016 shows that the quality of family relations and processes is more important for the optimal development of a child than the family type, it was said at the launch of the picture book.
Stressors encountered by children from LGBT families are related to the parents’ divorce, the same as in the case of other children, and to the unfavourable reaction or expected unfavourable reaction of the environment to their family.
Martinović said that the number of rainbow families that had declared to be such was growing. Around 80 persons live in such families in Zagreb, while four years ago, when the Life Partnership Act was adopted, only 12 persons were known to live in such families, he said.
According to various studies, the number of LGBT persons in a population ranges from 2% to 10%. According to the most restrictive estimates, this would mean that around 12,000 LGBT persons live in Croatia. A Zagreb Pride survey has shown that around 700 LGBT persons live in Zagreb, Martinović said, noting that this proved that people are afraid to declare their sexual orientation.
According to the last census, only a dozen persons have said that they live in a same-sex partnership, he said.