In the LGBTQ communities, there is a lot of talk about chosen families. The original purpose of these families was, ostensibly, to serve as a replacement for families who had rejected their children due to their sexual or gender identities.
I did not start using this term until very recently, when I sat back and took stock of my life and realized how few of my blood relations I really wanted to call family anymore. And how very many of my close friends I considered to be members of a strange and beautiful tapestry of gorgeous and dependable souls.
This is not to say that I don’t appreciate and love my close blood relations. My parents, brother, and I all get along really well. And their support and love means a lot to me. But the lack of an extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents has been something that I have felt keenly in my adult life.
Last night, after my Thanksgiving meal with my parents and brother and his girlfriend, I headed over to the home of two dear friends just in time for post-eating hangouts.
In the warmth of their apartment, I felt a glow that was familiar to me and that I had not felt in many years. It was the same glowing warmth that I used to feel when I was surrounded by my aunts, grandparents, and cousins when I was a kid enjoying the holidays.
Surrounded by kindred souls brought together by choice rather than chance, I felt like I was a part of something greater. And it feels so much more special, given the fact that it is built of a mutual love for each other that is chosen rather than dispensed by birth.
More than anything else, if I had to list a thing that I am thankful for this year, my chosen family would be that thing.