Inclusive Rainbow Parenting

Inclusive Rainbow Parenting

Growing up, I had always wanted three children, specifically, two boys (Jack and Peter) and a girl (Stephanie.) Being able to make them come to life in My First Ponytail is a dream come true. When I became a parent, I never could have imagined what this parenting journey would look like. Your goal as a parent is to make sure your children are safe, happy, and healthy. With the additional amount of advocating we are doing, it can definitely be stressful, but in the end, our children have always come first. Knowing my husband, Michael, and I are on the same page has been beyond amazing. We are well aware of how high the divorce rate is in general, especially when it comes to parenting a transgender or non-binary child. Being a parent is a daily adventure, you never truly know what the day will bring. parentingAs long as our family has open communication, we know we are stronger together.

I love being an author because I have had so many ideas in my head and I was finally able to get them down on paper. Knowing children will be reading my book and seeing themselves in the pages makes my heart melt. If a parent or grandparent has a transgender child or grandchild and picks up my book, they can know they are not alone. The more education that is out there, the better it is for the LGBTQ+ community. This is just one resource that will be available for our community.parenting

Watching Stephanie’s journey come to life on the pages is exactly what life was like for our daughter growing up. When she was finally able to put her hair up into a ponytail, her eyes lit up. Every time she reads the book, she is so excited for other kiddos like her to feel they are seen. When Stephanie received her first wig from her funcles Kreg & Mike, she was able to see what it would look like when her hair grew out. Our daughter still has the wig given to her by the real-life Kreg & Mike and we are beyond thankful for how supportive they have always been. I am the luckiest to be able to have my best friend be one of our daughter’s biggest supporters.

Being able to come up with more books about confidence, acceptance, and diversity would be my ultimate goal. My children are my life, especially being a stay-at-home mom. Each and every day, I am doing some sort of advocacy for my kids, whether it is making sure my kids have their medicine, and their parentingCPAP machines and equipment are up to date (we won the lottery having two out of three kids having sleep apnea,) or making sure our daughter knows she has the proper gender-affirming care she needs.

For our family living in a “safe” state, we do feel as though we are lucky. Recently, SC became the 25th state to restrict or ban gender-affirming care for minors. Half of the country is not safe for transgender or non-binary youth. As parents, we are just trying to do our best to make sure our children are given the same opportunities as other children are given. Our family has to know what states are deemed safe to travel to, typical families do not have to spend a minute wondering or planning their trips out like we do.


Written by Colleen Fritz Budniewski

Colleen is a proud wife and mother of three who resides in the Buffalo area. She has spent the better part of her parenting journey educating those around her about the LGBTQIA+ youth community and equipping her children with as much self-confidence as possible. She feels all children are equals, no matter their ability, gender, age, or sexual orientation. In early 2022, she found a gap in support for parents of transgender youth in Western New York and co-founded a support group for transgender youth. Her motto is:

No one can devalue you if you know your own worth.

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