May 15th is International Day of Families. So it got me thinking. What is a family? Webster defines family in several different ways, but the one that I relate to the most is “a group of related things.” The very first definition states that a family is a parent and child. I could not disagree with that more. But that is a post for another day, so let’s just focus on thinking of a family as a group of related things.
We are lucky in my house. Our immediate family is loving, accepting, and safe. Perfect? No. But we do try to make sure that each member feels like they can be their authentic self. That is not the case in all families. And I am not 100% sure, but my bet is that one of the number one ways to make a person feel “seen” is to accept them as they are. And this starts in the home.
I was recently at a conference, and I spoke at length with a woman who is involved in the foster care system. She shared with me that in her world, 1:3 of foster kids identify as lgbtqia2s+. She and I discussed the repeated trauma inflicted by children placed in homes that are not affirming and the child having to be placed again and again and again.
The stark reality is that not all people belong to a loving, safe, and accepting family. And that is why we need to widen our lens when we answer the question, what is a family? To kick off this important topic, I thought it might be nice to highlight some books that focus on MY definition of family. Let’s highlight stories that shed light on the different kinds of families and their value to society.
Books that Answer the Question, What is a Family
- What Makes a Family by Hannah Bruner
- Family Means by Matthew Ralph
- A Family is a Family is a Family by Sara O’Leary
- My Awesome Brother: A Book About Transgender Acceptance by Lise Frances
- How We Do Family: From Adoption to Trans Pregnancy, What We Learned About Love and LGBTQ Parenthood by Trystan Reese
Hopefully, these books will inspire you as you ponder the question, what is a family? Do you have any titles to add to the list? Please share with us in the comments.