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There’s a world of difference between being related to someone, and being family.
And it may be a little cliche, but the old adage, “friends are the family you choose” can hold a great deal of truth.
JC Hale says
“Big” sister, I dunno… but I definitely found a true sister who’s been more of a sister to me than my bio-sister was, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything or anyone. Biology only matters until it hurts or lets you down. You can’t choose the relatives you’re born with, but you can damn well choose whom you confide in and whom you rely on- and when you find even just one person like that, treasure them. We’d be lost without the people we never knew we needed to meet until we did.
Dana W says
We are seldom born to the people who are our relatives.
Opus the Poet says
😢💓 I feel this…
Looking at the half of my biological family I have left, this is 100% true. And no, none of the ones I lost, died.
Cults can be so convincing.
Friends loving you for who you are is not a cult.
Dana W says
Oh you are one of those people who think trans people are a cult?
I understand the good intention you tried to convey and I know from experience that it can be better to disassociate yourself from family for a period, or in some cases for good, to allow yourself to live your life in a healthier way, or even survive. However Ravens’ last statement registered mildly on my “Creep alarm” as well. This looks very similar what cults and con persons, or lonely people looking to monopolise a friend do, isolate vulnerable people and insert themselves as their marks’ only source of support while blocking the way back or out. Something along the line: “I know your family can’t or won’t support you, but you don’t need to feel alone, I’m here for you. Your battle is mine and I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you for as long as you need me there.” would feel safer.
Sounds a bit militaristic but that’s my experience, my two “brothers in arms” fill a place in my life and offer support in a way that no member of my family or friend can, but they do so without trying to replace family or other friends. Other personal observation: It’s good to have “Contacts on the outside” to keep in touch with the world outside of our illness, even if they’re not fully attuned to our sensibilities, as long as you know their hearts are in the right place.
Opus the Poet says
There’s a big difference between “I don’t want you to hang with these toxic people anymore”, and “I don’t want you to hang with anyone but us”, especially when you were the one who declared the toxic people to be toxic.
I actually wrote this for the talk I wish I heard when my parents kicked me out of the house for the third time because of their anger issues. I wish someone had pulled me aside and said, “maybe they don’t want you.” Maybe I should have been listening closer when my father said “I wish I never had kids.” Maybe I wouldn’t have wasted so many years and so many spoons on people who thought my total existence was a bother.
I think you are making attributions that aren’t there. Raven is not saying “don’t be with your family anymore” she is saying “you don’t have to put yourself out for people who aren’t making the effort”. People who are trans are up to nine times likely to try to kill themselves than the average, and it’s been shown that trans people who do get familial support are less likely to have depression. When you’re trans, support is crucial. If you don’t get it, especially from people you expect to support and care for you, it is devastating. And it is even more devastating to try to win support from people who just won’t give it to you. As Phoenix said two strips earlier, it’s heartbreaking. Raven understands Phoenix’ need for support and steps in. It’s really to save her life. What is a bit troubling here is that Raven is an ally who is truly worried about her friend’s mental health, and people see it as something else. Maybe this is why we can’t have good things, because people can’t believe that toxic families exist and that rescuing people from them is like asking them to join a cult.
Dana W says
They think being ‘trans” at all is a cult and somebody, probably online must have magically talked you into it. (This was the case with both my partner and myself). Therefore anybody who tries to support you in the face of a hostile family trying to stop you must be part of the cult that “talked you into it” I’ve tried asking these people “What would it take to “talk YOU into it?” The response is always “Nothing!” Then how could I be “talked into it?” this tends to end om swearing, a change of subject, or the ever popular “You just don’t understand!”
Dana W says
When you transition you often lose your family. You have to make family where you find it. When the people who are supposed to care about you will do anything they can to destroy you in the name of “saving” you from being happy in a way they don’t want to accept, they are not your family no matter if you share DNA. And the shoulder to shoulder “battle buddies” thing is all well and good Its classic “male Bonding” and I’m not dirting it. But men and women often bond in different ways from each other. When your family would rather see you die than be happy, seeking a new family and happiness in people who actually CARE about you is no crime.