It’s day six of Blogvember. I’m following the prompts from Andrew Canion, which can be found here.
Among queer people, it’s not uncommon to find people who struggle with family. I count myself among that group, having grown up getting bullied in school, beginning in middle school, and then turning around and facing some similar, albeit less open, treatment at home.
What I didn’t recognize at the time, but reflect on and marvel at now, is that I found my way to friends who I likely never would have met otherwise. As something of an outcast, I became friends with other outcasts: Native kids, foreign exchange kids, and more. That was the start of a kinship with diverse people, and once I started college, those friendships grew to include people of all ages. My closest friends from college were older, often having gone to work before feeling ready to pursue higher education. Having more life experience, they often were less hung up about differences than were my age-matched peers, and their embracing me for who I was made it possible for me to do the same. I remain close to a number of these wonderful friends who treated me like family when my own family was struggling to come to terms with who I was, and am.
I learned the most wonderful term for this from one of my favorite writers, having been encouraged to read they book by my partner. Armistead Maupin, an early gay pioneer, writer, and activist, noted in his inimitable Tales of the City series that while many of us have a biological family, it was with our close friends who embrace us that we form our logical family. I adore this idea, and count myself lucky that after a few years, my biological family started to come around, too. Maupin has a memoir appropriately called Logical Family, and it’s a worthwhile read.
I’m grateful that I was able to find my own logical family, who remain an important part of my life to this day. Among that family, I also count the characters from the Tales series, largely because I read them so soon after coming out that they felt, and still feel, like some of my first gay friends.