Oped, Pride, Family, Lgbtq, Queer

Oped, Pride

Pride Can’t Be Family-Friendly Because It Always Has Been

Which kinds of families is it friendly to?

6/14/2021 9:05:00 PM

OpEd: 'The acts of fighting for and celebrating LGBTQ life are inherently family-friendly for the vast social networks that stitch together all those LGBTQ lives we’re fighting for and celebrating.' - SatansJacuzzi

Which kinds of families is it friendly to?

.The reason that gay worlds like the one around Stonewall existed was because members of different communities, sometimes rejected by their own biological families, created new definitions of what a family could be. These chosen families can be as vibrant and distinct as the people who comprise them, just like

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, the real-world inspiration for the families onPose. They can be a lesbian motorcycle club or a gay men’s choir or a trans open-mic or a queer kitchen brigade. Sometimes they are happy families, and sometimes they are not. But part of the LGBTQ experience, historically and to this day, has been inventing new social relations that provide the collective mutual aid that every individual needs for survival — a concept it only feels natural to call family.

Importantly, these new concepts of familial relations were an alternative to contemporaneous definitions of what family meant in the middle of the 20th century, when the patriarchal-male- breadwinner-plus-female-housekeeper dynamic was starting to come under scrutiny. In a United States that had headtopics.com

left it to Beaverto create idyllic standards even straight families might struggle to live up to, queer chosen families could be liberating, giving young people the space to be themselves and still feel loved and be materially supported.Even if you could somehow accurately measure whether LGBTQ acceptance is increasing as assimilation marches on, it remains true that there are some things that can only be provided by queer chosen families. My parents and sister have been accepting and even supportive of me. But I might still be lost without the trans women who’ve been family to me, the mothers and big sisters who continue to watch out for me. I have been lucky to feel so much kinship with so many siblings and so many parents, with elders who have youthful spirits, and youth as wise as elders.

This leaves us with a paradox: Pride can’t be made family-friendly because it has always been friendly tothisfamily. The acts of fighting for and celebrating LGBTQ life are inherently family-friendly for the vast social networks that stitch together all those LGBTQ lives we’re fighting for and celebrating. Pride is all around us every day; it is within us if we permit ourselves to feel what many of us have been told is a deadly sin.

But that’s all a bit idealistic. The reality is that many modern-day Pride celebrations can attract a dangerous social combination: people eager to party and people eager to fit in. That’s largely a result of the way Pride has shifted in the public consciousness. To many minds, it is a huge, well-sponsored festival. To others, it is a civic institution every queer person is entitled to.

Like any contemporary paradox, there is no easy way to talk about what Pride should be moving forward. But the reality is also that a lot of the people who have this annual conversation online have no material ability to determine what major municipal Pride parades look like. Those decisions are all made by governments, nonprofits, and corporate donors. headtopics.com

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But that’s not to say we’re powerless. We have the power to control what our Pride looks like by organizing events ourselves. We can honor our chosen families and ourselves. As with any healthy family, we will be better served by having difficult conversations than by issuing moral prohibitions.

Read more: Teen Vogue »

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