Chosen Family: Part 2

December 31, 2018

[Chosen Family is a blog series made up of different chosen family stories from our community members in the SGV.]

 

Chosen family can be a lifeline for those who cut ties with their biological relatives. So when we talk about chosen family, I think a lot of us picture someone who has been completely rejected by and/or estranged from their biological family. While that’s certainly a common experience among queer and trans folks, my personal experience with chosen family doesn’t fall into that category.

 

I feel extremely lucky to have supportive parents. I grew up in a non-religious, liberal household, and even when I was a kid, queerness was normalized. My parents owned every Indigo Girls record, and when six-year-old me asked what a lesbian was, they had no problem explaining it. I had relatives and close family friends who were gay, and there was never secrecy or shame about it. Because I felt safe enough, I came out as bisexual when I was relatively young, to my mom when I was 13 and to my dad when I was 15. I was never rejected by them or made to feel unsafe or unloved because of my orientation. I still live with my parents for financial reasons, and while we have our differences like any family, we love and care for each other.

 

My first experience with chosen family is one that is -- somewhat unexpectedly -- shared with my parents. When I was in junior high, I started to hang out with a boy from my grade, Kevin, who lived two blocks away from us. He was adopted, and had three younger siblings, so he didn’t have as much attention from his adoptive mother as he needed. He started spending more and more time at my house, and quickly became part of the family. My mom took to calling him her