Finding Your Family

by 26Health Staff

How do you define family? Is it mom, dad, boy, girl, dog, cat, and a white picket fence? This version of the family unit was considered the ideal for the longest of times, and if we’re honest, it’s still recognized as ideal today. What about the single mom raising two kids in subsidized housing? Are they a family? How about a foster home, where there are two moms and 5 foster kids? Are they a family? What about the transgender child who was kicked out of their home at age 17 and now lives with their boyfriend and his family? Do they count as a family?

Defining Family

Families are important. Simply put, they can and should be a support system where we can go to laugh about shared experiences, cry in times of grief, confide in spouts of anger, and confess in times of guilt. Family is who we love and who holds a special place in our lives. They love us back, they recognize us for who we truly are, and we do the same for them. Can it be your blood relatives? Yes. Can it be a circle of close friends with whom you have spent hours sharing secrets? Yes, definitely.

Finding Family

For those of us in the LGBTQ+ community, defining family and finding our own can be a journey. Sometimes our blood relatives have a tough time accepting our truths, and that’s alright, although that can often be a hard truth in and of itself. When people don’t accept, love, and embrace who we are, we are often charged with the task of seeking out people who will. This can be a daunting and exhilarating journey all at the same time.

If you’ve found your family, amazing! Love them, accept them, and remind them often how much they matter to you. And accept their love in return. If you’re still on the journey, keep hope. Consider the qualities you possess that you absolutely love and admire and seek out people that share those same values. Seek out people who possess traits that you admire. These are the people who will help you grow. Love yourself and you will find that somewhere along the way, others will love you too. Soon, you’ll think, “This is my family!”