What is the concept of chosen family?
Oh Beloved! What a wonderful question!
Chosen family is like adopted family, it is a form of kinship based in love rather than blood. Folks generally expect us to have one chosen family member, and do you know who that is? Our romantic partner. No one bats an eyelash when we prioritize our romantic relationships over other things in our lives, when we move to be close to a romantic partner or choose to parent a child together.
In fact, a marriage contract is a chosen family contract. It is a lifelong commitment to love, care for, and prioritize a person who is not a blood relation, a commitment to create family together.
The idea of chosen family in queer community extends those commitments of love and care beyond just one romantic partner. For those of us, who are misunderstood or estranged from our blood families, our chosen families can literally save our lives.
We can create deep community through building familial bonds of trust, care, and long-term commitment with those we love, without centering sexual or romantic relationships. Just like Jesus did with his followers. They were his family of choice, not based in romantic or blood relations. Check out Matthew 12:46-50 or Mark 3:31-35 for more on that-
I raise my own child in an extended chosen family. We celebrate birthdays and holidays and prioritize time together. Best of all, we choose to love and look after each other, not because we have to, but because we want to, because it gives us joy and hope and life. And all of us deserve to experience a family like that, just like Jesus.