Thicker Than Water
Everyone needs a house to live in, but a supportive family is what builds a home. Family can translate into a thousand different meanings, ideas, terms, and descriptions. I have been searching for a definition that translates for youth from the queer walk of life. Throughout this project I’ve explored the connections I’ve built with people through this journey called my life. That journey has shaped me into who I am, but most importantly I’ve found and built a family that supports me because, before them, a safe home was never available to me.
It sounds harsh, but I’ve come to believe that family is more than blood and who puts a roof over your head. Your biological family can treat you as if family isn’t what you are. My family isn’t perfect, in fact, they are far from that. The things I’ve overheard about me, what has been said straight to my face, the backhanded compliments in my native tongue--all of this haunts me. The “yuh nah no sense mi nuh kno weh yuh mada get yuh fram''--speaking about me not living up to the quality of perfection they want me to be--hurts to hear.
The connections I have built and the family that I’ve created has taught me that I am more than enough. My best friend Markice and I grew closer during quarantine and created an essential bond. My brother Ty and I met in the 10th grade. People said we looked alike and now we live in the same apartment and I can’t imagine life without him there. Although my partner Ace is a recent addition to my family, they show up for me. Even though we are long distance, their family has included me as a part of their family. Carolan and Ashley are my friends that remind me to reflect and that the road of life is more than just work. We have built a strong relationship. My queer youth family has motivated me to work hard and to not let obstacles stand in my path. Yes, we are not blood and we are separate as individuals, but we are a part of the same community that bonds us together in understanding the journey. Finding those who refuse to judge you and support you is my reflection of what family is.