For the month of August, the theme for the stories to be shared is ‘family’.
I remember being invited to a Christmas gathering by an aunt about 14 years ago. As we spoke on the phone I had visions of how the event was going to play out and knew that in order to make it through dinner, I would have to leave my authentic self behind. I had only recently started coming out to people and was not in the mood to keep on the mask I was still in the process of removing. As luck would have it, along with some other friends, I had already planned my own special Christmas family gathering. The idea was to bring together friends who for one reason or another were not spending that day with their family of origin. So, during that conversation with my aunt, I told her that I was spending Christmas with ‘my other family’. ‘But, we ARE your family’ she responded!
This conversation was many years ago and a number of the friends that I spent that lovely Christmas day with are no longer part of my life. But my family of origin are still part of my life, in one way or another. For regardless of the ups, downs and in betweens, I guess family is always family. Or is that not the case?
As same gender loving people, I feel that family is an issue that we constantly explore on an ongoing basis. In some cases, our family of origin reject us and we go on a journey of finding ourselves and building a new idea of family. In some cases, our families accept us and that takes us to a deeper level of what family means. And in some cases, everyone plays the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ game and we simply dance along with that tune.
This month, we would love to hear your stories of family. All stories on this subject are welcome, whether it be stories of acceptance, reconciliation, rejection or anything else in between. Desmond Tutu once said ‘You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them’. While Hugh Kingsmill says, ‘Friends are God’s apology for relations’. Is family simply about our ‘family of origin’ or are our ‘family of choice’ just as worthy of being considered ‘blood’.
So, what’s your story? To share it, send your email to email@example.com.