It's getting to the point where I hear the word "family" (especially in the context of political discourse) and my stomach drops into my shoes. So when our government created a holiday called "Family Day" in certain provinces (Ontario among them) it kind of made me feel icky. Because... what do they mean by "family"? Whose family? What kind of family? Only the right kind of family?
Last year I wrote about the chosen family. This year I asked myself what I should write about, but myself didn't have any good ideas, so I asked Google instead.
I soon stumbled across a website called http://www.familydaytoronto.org/ and the minute I saw rainbows on that homepage I got excited.
They have a photo gallery, so I clicked on it and, of course, spent an hour looking at pictures people around the city have submitted along with accompanying stories:
What I found so engaging about this little gallery was that it covered such an expansive breadth of family types, and represented the true diversity of Toronto. There are lots of LGBTQ families. There are lots of newcomers to Canada, big families and small families, blood relatives and chosen families.
And that little gallery answered my secret family day wish. I was so afraid this invented holiday would be overtaken by queer-bashing conservative nut jobs, and I guess there's still time for that to happen (le sigh) but for now I'm inspired. I'm inspired to warm up to "family" because, as much as the word has been co-opted for use against queer people, the fact remains that family is... important. Essential. We all need that closeness and security and love.
We ALL do.
Happy Family Day.