Pride Month is more than an annual reminder of how far we’ve come in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. It’s also a reminder of the many beautiful nuances and sharp edges we have fortified ourselves with in the unspoken name of protection.
For so many of us, the families we were born into did not insulate us from the cruelties of a world that would rather spin without our magnetic pull. Some of us opened the closet door only to be greeted by an eviction notice from the people who should love us without measure.
I have seen and experienced firsthand what I can only call generational trauma within our community – a set of learned behaviors and trauma reactions that our collective subconscious adapted over lifetime after lifetime of being treated as less-than. Within that evolution though, I have also known a power far stronger than the vitriol we accept by existing in our truth.
We get to choose our family. We have the opportunity to build what we lacked, to uplift, to support, to love without conditions. That’s why my guiding principal is love; there is nothing stronger or more precious. There is nothing we need more.
The first time I heard Rina Sawayama’s song “Chosen Family”, I was transfixed by lyrics that felt like a dark and painful universal secret had been catapulted into the sun. She sings “Hand me a pen and I’ll rewrite the pain / when you’re ready, we’ll turn the page together” and the healing salve of those words perfectly summed up my life, my heart, and my biggest goal.
I don’t know where all the damage lives in you, but I know it’s there because I see mine reflected in you. I don’t need to know where your hurt is buried to speak the love and acceptance of a permanent seat at my family table.
I’m thankful we get to choose. I choose you. You are my chosen family.
And never forget that I love you.