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Parents hope for more support and understanding for LGBTQ kids in the new year

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Posted at 11:39 AM, Dec 23, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, Mn. — As parents of two, Hannah and Dave Edwards have a lot on their plates and they love it that way.

"Hildie's got acting opportunities that she's always auditioning for, so we're hopeful about that and Dahlia has really awesome soccer and track," said Dave.

The past few months have been filled with a lot of highlights for this family of four. Hildie, who identifies as trans and uses she/her pronouns, was the marshal of the local pride parade.

"Uplifting, super uplifting," said Hannah about the experience.

But 2022 has also been filled with a lot of darkness, including the recent mass shooting at Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

"It was a tough one, I'm not gonna lie. It was a hard one for Hildie, I think especially because she is old enough now to realize what's going on," said Hannah.

Explaining a mass shooting tragedy to any kid is a hard ask, but explaining one when your kid identifies with those targeted is a challenge "rainbow families," or families that have one or more members of the LGBTQ community in them, have had to face lately.

"We try and keep things as being other people versus our family and we can't control other people and there's this evil that exists in the world, but it has nothing to do with who she is," said Dave.

When we first met this family, they talked about their hardships and their victories in raising Hildie. While she experienced bullying and adversity in school, with the help of her family and outside support, she's been able to find her voice and become and an enthusiastic advocate.

Issues involving LGBTQ people remain in the political zeitgeist, but Dave and Hannah, who work in advocacy as well, say they've also seen an increase in folks wanting to learn how to support kids like Hildie.

"Lots of educators are really digging down deep and responding to things like what happened in Colorado and saying like, 'How can we lay the foundation to prevent that kind of thought process and, and behavior from occurring in the future,'" said Dave.

Focusing on the negatives can get heavy, especially for kids who are in the process of figuring out who they are, but they say things like this increased interest is a reason to celebrate.

"Despite a lot of the hostility that's going on, there are a lot of good people that are reaching out for support, that are really trying to do what's best for LGBTQ+ kids," he said.

While the Edwards hope more folks will want to learn how to best support members of the LGBTQ community in this next year, they also are going to hold on to each happy moment with their kids and enjoy being the colorful family that they are.