Brightest blessings all
Today’s blog is a meandering through the concepts of blood and family and I feel one that is especially relevant during this holiday season, where both can play a huge part in how we feel about the coming new year.
I will start by saying I am one of those ladies who were a late bloomer…you know the ones without a clue and didn’t realize I was gay until many a year had passed me by. This gives me a view of what blood and family and FAMILY really mean. Let me explain. I love my family, I was sure they loved me…since all went well until that fateful day I told my mother I was gay. Now, granted that my late blooming was probably due to how I was raised and what I was taught, I should have known better. Actually, I did know better. With my heart in my throat, I finally told my mother I was a lesbian. I did this after hiding this bit of news for 3 years….yes, three years, and she looked at me dismissively and told me it was a phase. Oh, my Goddess!! A phase. Now, the weird thing is, she was cool with me being a Pagan. In fact she liked to claim her own Witchhood…but still, I was going through a phase.
Well, this phase has stuck with me for many a year. My family, unfortunately, has not.
So, back to the subject at hand. You cannot control who you are born to, or what they believe…but this surely can affect what happens to you if and when you decide to follow your own path. Especially if that path is headed in the wrong direction, according to your family. At this point, family can become a bit despotic. Toe the line and pretend to be someone more comfortable to them, or pack up and find your own way in life. I chose the second option.
When I did that, I realized I was as ignorant about being gay as a babe lost in the woods. I knew nothing about gay culture, about meeting other lesbians, or how to date. I was thrown into a totally different culture, like a goldfish dumped out of a bowl and thrown into a big lake…and I had no idea what to do with all that space or all the other goldfish swimming around. I mean, it’s not like you can tell which goldfish were straight or which ones were gay.
This was about the time I learned about FAMILY, you know, that code word people used to find out if you are gay? I was like, aha!! Now I will know who will be interested in me without making a fool of myself. It took me a bit of time to realize that this word, family, meant a whole lot more.
We, all of us, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer…we are family in so many ways that simple blood cannot understand. WE chose to be family, to offer our support and understanding to those like us. Not out of duty, or cultural rules that say blood is thicker than water…we do it because we make a mental decision to choose. We, of all the people in the world, have learned how to extend our hands and hearts beyond the conventional, and chose who we consider to be our family. This is a wonderful thing, this complete re-writing of the definition of what a family is. The far right is so wrong, we are not a threat to the concept of family, we have made it more loving. We have freed the concept from a strict interpretation that believes that the nuclear family is the most desirable form of family. If this scares some, so be it, but it is because the power to control and decide for you what is right in your heart is removed when the definition is broadened.
I say to you all, it is not easy to walk away from some things, and family is a difficult thing to walk away from. I know this from personal experience. As to those with loving and accepting families…I am happy beyond compare for you. I hope this is the rule and not the exception as time and equality marches on. What I do know, and what I am trying to impart on this long and rambling blog tonight is, family is what we make of it. When you feel alone or lonely, due to circumstances beyond your control, I want you to read this and remember…
WE are here…your FAMILY. You have only to see us, and we will see you. No, we are not blood, but we are no accident…we chose to be here, to share with you our lives and our losses…and yes, in some cases, our loneliness and pain. We can never replace blood family, but we can be a part of a larger community.
So, to all my LGBT family out there. I have chosen to be a part of this great big family…not by circumstance or chance of birth, but by my own free will and decision. I hope that what we have never diminishes as we are accepted into the larger communities…but that what we have learned will spread and flourish.
Have a blessed holiday, whatever your faith or following.