Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Rainbowchildren

How do rainbow children experience school?

Are children and young people with LGBT parents more likely to experience discrimination in primary school and high school then children and young people with heterosexual parents? Are they excluded, made invisible or harassed more often because of their families? Are children and young people with LGBT parents seen as different by their classmates or teachers? Do children and young people with LGBT parents get to understand through teaching that their families are seen as different?

In this European qualitative study, researchers address children and young people in rainbowfamilies. We are interested in children’s’ and young people’s own experiences and how they experience school. We would like to pay attention to a heteronormative outlook on the family that is often found in the classroom. We also want to make visible if rainbowchildren are exposed to homophobia and discrimination. In this study, children and young people shall get to talk about how they handle their possible vulnerability and what kind of support is available for them.

All together, we are going to interview 80 children and young people between 8 and 18 in Germany, Slovenia and Sweden. We will get in contact with children and young people who live in different kinds of families – with two dads, two mums, with many parents or with one parent, with foster- or adoptive children, who have siblings or are an only child, in different social and economical contexts, with or without migration experience, in town or in the country, from primary school to high school.

We are also going to interview rainbowparents about how they see their children’s situation in school. We would like to understand parents’ expectations or anxieties, and their experiences as parents in school.

The aim is to get better knowledge about rainbowchildren’s life in school and to make visible their experiences. By using open questions, we hope to reach a broad spectrum of experiences both children and young people, and parents.

Based on the research results and together with other experts in the field, we will also develop material for teachers and socialpedagogues as a tool to counteract discrimination and the being made invisible of rainbowchildren in the classroom. The material will be founded on how the children and young people themselves deal with being treated differently and which recourses they have at their disposal in their everyday lives.


Our aim with this material is to give pedagogues a better understanding for different family constellations and for children’s and young people’s own experiences in order to enrich their teaching and socialpedagogic work

We are looking for children and young people from rainbowfamilies who would like to be interviewed about their experiences in school. We are also looking for parents you are interested in participating in the study.

We are looking forward to your e-mail, letter or phone call!