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September 20, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

That’s so gay

A couple of weeks ago I was at a relative’s wedding. I’m going to be honest, it was boring and kinda weird and awkward. I haven’t seen a lot of my family for the past three to four years, and a week with my parents is sometimes the most horrifying idea for me. This all sounds rather nasty, but, when it comes down to it, I just don’t relate to my relations. As the saying goes, you can’t pick your family but you can pick your nose.

When I think about it, sometimes I feel like I have made a new family—I guess everyone who leaves home kinda does—a support group, like a family is supposed to be, but isn’t always.

My chosen family is pretty queer, and this is common I guess. With the large amount of queer people migrating to urban areas, they need to find a support group and who better than “people like me”. Auckland totally has this idea going. The prominent gay bar/club there is called Family—they know what’s what, it sounds so welcoming and friendly. I guess I’m almost using the words ‘community’ and ‘family’ interchangeably, but they’re a bit different—iwi/hapu would be a good comparison. There are the general queers about town, I probably recognise them, but they don’t work in my inner circles.

Downside? Using the word family in what is generally a community based on sex and sexuality leads to that other beautiful family-oriented word, incest. ‘Cos when it comes down to it, you probably have either slept with everyone or slept with someone who’s slept with everyone. Thankfully I’m full of skank pride and I don’t mind—but it does sound a little weird.

Then sometimes families get a little clique-y, not in a bad way, just slight divisions, maybe because you severed ties by not handling that drunken sex thing so well, or that creepy crush someone had on you.

Thankfully, my queer family isn’t structured like a ‘traditional’ family, so it sounds a lot less gross when we’re not using words like cousin or mother. Sometimes I’ll use sister, but that’s more of a crazies and drag queens thing.

I’m just gonna stop rambling now. All you need to know is forget the saying. Pick your family, don’t pick your nose.


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