Monday, July 29, 2013


I have recently been writing some pretty personal blog posts and while in this frame of mind figure that now is a good time to write about family.

As a gay man who came out in the 80's, long before any dream of legal marriage, openness in serving in the military and even general, public acceptance, my thought around family became much broader than my blood relatives. I think this is pretty common with other gay folks who came out and had much more support from friends than family. Those same friends end up becoming family.

Homophobia and heterosexism are tough to deal with. Even tougher when negative feelings come from your own blood. Hence, a new family begins.

For the most part, Mike and I are fortunate with our families. There are a couple who we will just never be in relationship, but for the most part we are supported and loved by our blood families. The occasional homophobic comments or non-intended jabs become opportunities for conversation.

Recently one of our dearest friends had to say good bye to her dog, a senior who passed away. We, like many of you, know that pain. It's times like this where we are reminded of how important family is to us, and in this situation, reminded that our friend is indeed family to us.

No blood relative. Yet definitely family. The love we expressed to her and the support we tried to pass along all are examples of what family is and what family does in times of hardship.

Sometimes I hear about gatherings of my blood family and yearn to be part of that. We are always invited to such gatherings, yet as I look at photos and smile at family members that I love, I have to honestly admit that being there would not be good for me.

And that's not an easy thing to admit.

Mike and I do our best to bring  love, kindness, compassion and support to our relationships, whether that is a dear friend who we consider family or an actual blood family member. We are extremely fortunate (and grateful) to have so much love and kindness returned that we do not want to put ourselves in situations where we might have to deal with the opposite of that. Unfortunately in my family that is always a possibility.

Having been vegan for 17 ears I have also seen families have challenges when one of them becomes vegan. Judgement and jokes can make for difficult gatherings. To all of this I say that the same kindness and compassion can be expressed, and when negative actions continue, knowing when enough is enough. Unacceptable behavior is unacceptable, no matter who it is coming from.

Thank you for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment