As Pride Month gives way to July (and given these temperatures, maybe “Wrath” isn’t a bad descriptor), it’s important to remember one of the conceptual gifts that queer life has given all of us: redefining family.
Popularly tracked to Armistead Maupin’s memoir Logical Family, you might have heard it as the difference between “biological family and logical family”, or “the family you’re born with and the family you choose”.
This concept reminds me of Vonnegut’s idea of karass from Cat’s Cradle. There are the people you share genetic information with, and then, and more importantly, there are the people that you’re spiritually linked to. As an adoptive parent, I firmly reject the idea that biology is family. When it comes to people, how you treat others matters more than an accident of birth.
When I look around at my friends and acquaintances, I see them often held hostage by their biological family ties. Sometimes I even get the “blood is thicker than water” quote (though it actually means the opposite of what they think) thrown at me.
And this is what queer society is here to teach us straight folks.
You are here a short time. You are here to reach your full potential, whatever that might be.
You have no obligation to those who hold you back, regardless of an accident of birth.
Find your logical family. Love them. Embrace them.
Perhaps they are the same as your biological family. Then rejoice! Perhaps they are not. Then do not shed a tear.
For your family, your karass, is not some crude bit of genetics.
Your family will lift you up and elevate you.
Find your family.