A NEW playgroup aimed at making playgroups less “scary” for LGBT+ families has been launched for children aged nought to eight.

When Chloe Storr and her wife became mothers, she found traditional playgroups “awkward” as she navigated conversations about the donor process and assumptions that her son was being raised in a heterosexual family.

Now, three months into motherhood, she co-founded the safe space with friend Rebecca Heald as they celebrate their own “pride and joy” among families they can relate to.

Chloe, who has a background in early years education, told the Telegraph & Argus: “Whilst I was on maternity leave, I looked for similar groups because I wanted a chance to meet other families who had been through a similar situation. 

“When I had a look there was nothing really out there.

“Once I had Avery, I started going out to groups. It’s the expectation that Avery’s got a dad and these conversations can be scary because you don’t know how people are going to respond. 

“You don’t know how these conversations are going to go.

“In society it’s quite heteronormative. People just assume you are a mum and dad. It’s just people’s general assumption which is no fault of their own. Sometimes it’s nice to be around people who are sharing your experience. 

“I think it’s important for Avery to see his family’s represented out in the world, that he’s not the only child with two mummies and there are families who have two daddies.”

Through the power of Facebook, seven families of different make-ups came together while their young children played or read books - many of which involve characters in same-sex families like the Stoors and Healds.

But it’s an inclusive group and LGBT+ allies or single parents in the community are welcome to come along.

Rebecca, who has two twin boys and a daughter with her partner, said the playgroup is all about making parenthood less “lonely” for families in the LGBT+ community.

She explained: “You feel very uncomfortable when you have to start talking about who you are.

“(In the traditional groups) You get asked lots of questions where you may be put on the spot about ‘Is Dad back at work?’ or ‘Does he look like Dad?’.

“You feel like you have want to say ‘My wife’s actually at work’ or ‘We used a donor’.

“You feel like you’ve got to out yourself to the new person you’re speaking to.

“Motherhood is a scary place when you’ve a body full of new emotions. 

“As an LGBT person it can be lonely because if you’ve got nobody else to talk about some of the difficulties you do have.

“We’re here to provide this space for people and it just needs to be recognised as a positive thing.”

She added: “We’re not stopping anybody else coming to the group. 
“It’s open minded and friendly.”

Anybody interested in coming along to the next Pride And Joy playgroup session should email prideandjoyplaygroup@gmail.com for details.

It will take place on between 10.30am and noon on December 7, 2019.