We are back! After slowing down for the summer, we reconvened as a team for the new academic year. We are excited to have benjamin lee hicks join the team! Something particularly notable that we discussed today was the question of what exactly is an “LGBTQ Family?” We are using this term as part of the title for our research project, but what does it mean? This question got us in to a very productive discussion about whether what it means to be an LGBTQ family; do the parents just need to identify as LGBTQ? Can queer kids with straight parents be classified as an LGBTQ family? Does the term “family” only cover biological relations? Can a family also mean a chosen family, or friends?
We are always looking for a diverse sample of families for our project, including gender, race, and class differences. Although we are striving for diversity, we realized today that we would like to expand our sample of study participants to include a diversity of family types.
The saying “The blood of the battlefield is thinker than the water of the womb” seems to have particular relevance to this conversations on the meaning of families, and more specifically LGBTQ families. The significance of this saying is that it is the people with whom you endure the most, and have grown with that are the people who are closest to you. Although you can have amazing relationships with people who are biologically related to you, it does not mean that you must feel closest to them just because of your blood relation.
I am excited to continue this conversation with the team over the course of the year; particularly how it applies to the research project, and how we can use our understanding of the word family to be more inclusive and diversify our sample of interviewees.