A reader’s perspective on, well, family.
Family. It’s an interesting word isn’t it? I remember when I first heard it in reference to being part of the homosexual family. It confused the heck out of me! But as I read more stories and became more aware of so many stories of gay and lesbian individuals being disowned by their biological family only to be embraced by a new family of friends who understood their feelings, frustrations and hardships it made me proud. Yes! I want to belong to that family! I want to let everyone know that I’m proud and there are others who are proud of me too! Luckily for me, my biological family remained in the picture as well. I did suffer through the period of, “oh honey, are you sure?” from my mom. A question that pissed me off in my youthful vigor to be accepted. Many conversations later I understand her question was one of concern as she perceived my future would be filled with hardships, prejudice and mistreatment and she didn’t want her daughter to have to go through that. She wanted to protect me. I guess it makes sense. But aren’t the hardships of life what make us who we are? And then there was my sister who asked me if I would consider boys again when this didn’t work out. Really? That seems common though, the idea that it’s just a phase and I suppose it made sense since I came out while I was attending a women’s college. My Dad just never seemed to care and just sort of ignored the topic. Though I still remember asking him when I was a freshman in high school if I was gay. His response was short and to the point. No.
So is it possible to choose your family? That seems pretty obvious that yes, anyone who decides to get married chooses their family. Two individuals choose to make the other person the most important person in their life. They will choose that person over other individuals even if those other individuals walking around carry the same DNA as they do. It’s sort of a great way to know if you found your match, your soul mate, your forever person. I mean check out what happened in G Benson’s all the little Moments to see how family and relationships compete against each other! An amazing story that shows a wonderful blend of the individuals you choose to be in your family and your born family mesh.
What I prefer about the family you choose over the family you are born into is that the family you choose is less likely to hurt you. Kim is the kindest, most gentle being in the world and I couldn’t ever imagine her hurting me- I choose her! Whereas my mother has revoked my privilege I have been preparing my whole life for- being able to take care of her as she gets older- and given it to a “family friend” who nobody knew. That was pretty painful to realize when you are trying to get details from the hospital but you no longer have authorized access to the patient. I just wish I had the relationship with my mom that Jessie Ximena had with hers in Lynn Galli’s Imagining Reality. Of course I would also love to have her chosen family as well. Moving around every couple of years or so can make it really hard to make friends. Especially the kind that you consider family! If you’ve got that you are lucky!
Even just one or two such as the one’s Ryan has in Morgan and Reese from Gerri Hill’s Snow Falls. They are the perfect balance to the crazy family that Ryan was born into. Though I think having a Grandmother like Carmen would be crazy fun! But finding those friends who accept you as you are and not who you were expected to be according to your born family are special. I mean how many kids wanted to be astronauts when they were little and have parents who are disappointed in them because they didn’t become doctors or lawyers instead? Ok, that’s an over the top exaggeration, but friends you choose are there because they know the current you. They accept who you are right now and are growing with you. Sometimes born families have a harder time with the letting life happen.
Our lesfic authors live in this world of Family. They bring us new families with each romance that they write and I love that! They expand our world and they expand our hearts. Sometimes it is the chosen family that hits those heart strings and sometimes it is the born families that make us cry, laugh, or pull our hair out. I want to hear what your favorite family lesfic story is and what character made that family work. Our lesfic genre has some wonderful examples to choose from and I can’t wait to hear everyone’s favorites!