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For most of us, the word ‘home’ evokes warm feelings of love, encouragement, acceptance, and safety. For others, home means fear, shame, oppression, or aggression. For some there is no home.
I strongly believe in the concept of ‘chosen family’—that is, cultivating people around you to make a family. If that includes your parents / siblings / grandparents / aunts / uncles / cousins etc., then great! If not, that’s great too. I also believe strongly in building the home you want for yourself, whether that resembles the home you grew up with, or is the exact opposite.
For those in the queer community, chosen family is often all there is. Even today, even in New Zealand, families disown or exclude their children for being queer. It is something I will never understand and something that fills me with a melancholic mix of rage and sorrow—how someone could bring a child into this world and then discard them so callously over something so trivial. Luckily, the queer community (like most marginalised groups) has a long history of finding love from within and building support for each other to provide that which should be found at home. When you’re with your queers, you are home—there’s a reason we call each other ‘family’.
My partner and I—both cis women—sometimes get asked if we plan on having children, especially now we’re both getting a bit older. My mum has sweetly-but-kind-of-normatively enquired whether we have a “lovely gay friend” who might like to give us some sperm. We’ve talked at length about our plans for our future family, and we both envisage that including kids. I’m clucky as all hell and we both want to experience being pregnant. We’ve talked about values, education, home life, even what sports they’ll play (we’re a soccer family). We’ll love them no matter what—even if they’re straight. I can’t wait to build our home. I think we’ll make great mums.