Chosen Family.

2c7af2cae330be5636e50ae695ed29bdI am a big fan of chosen families for the queer community – the people in your life that aren’t necessarily biologically or legally related to you that you consider family. They’re the people you can rely on, the ones you can often turn to in hard times, the ones that may fill the gaps your biological family might leave. And being in a biological family where I’m the only queer person feels alienating.

And in a community where threat of being kicked out (and/or actually kicked out of the house), abuse, homelessness, abandonment, public projects about queerness being vandalized – the ability to have that chosen family when others left (for me) is crucial, necessary, and wonderful. Over at Queer Queries, someone wrote about chosen families, particularly articulating that:

We carefully weave these families together in order to create a safe space for growth and love without limits. My chosen family has had a major impact on my life and development as a young adult by accepting, teaching, loving, and challenging me. When our biological families can’t love us in ways that we need, our chosen families pick up the slack. Chosen family means so many things. Sharing resources, whether that’s money or time or knowledge or a computer or a bike or music or coffee or a couch to sleep on. Trusting others to say no when they need to and yes when they want to. Traveling together, sometimes in silence. Helping each other move. Mutual respect, trust, and love.

For me, my chosen family has been the people who supported me, talked to me during hard times, called me out, wanted me to be better. It’s been hard over the past couple months though – my entire chosen family is scattered all over the country and some all over the world. Technology has made it possible for me to continue talking with the most important people in my life and I feel a hell of a lot less lonely when I’m able to tweet my reactions to a thing with a friend hundreds of miles away or look at the photos of what people are doing.

And with that, I think it’s important to take care of all the people in our community, especially the most marginalized. We should be taking care of and fighting for those in the working class, the people of color being impacted by police brutality, the elderly population of the queer community. And there are so many people who are doing these things and working on intersectional issues that impact many in the queer community.

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