Chosen Family

More than blood

Historical significance

  • During the AIDS crisis, many of those dealing with end-of-life care were supported by friends instead of family of origin, elevating traditional friendship into something more intimate, meaningful, and intense.
  • Chosen families are born out of necessity; often queer people are rejected or disowned by biological family and have to find meaningful relationships with others.
  • Chosen family can provide monetary support, caretaking responsibilities, housing, and/or emotional support.
  • According to the Washington Post in 2016, 40% of homeless youth identify as queer, and for this demographic, family is vital.
  • One-third of LGBTQ people identify as people of color, and statistically, immigrants and people of color are more likely to live with extended family or family that is not blood related than white people. Additionally, POC members of the LGBTQ community suffer poverty at a disproportionate rate, and living together is a way to reduce rent bills, etc.

Chosen family and prevalent communities

  • BDSM communities.
  • Sex-positive communities.
  • Immigrant communities.
  • Communities of color.
  • Poor communities.
  • Foster children.
  • Other marginalized communities.

Chosen challenges

Choosing right

  • Take your time. Forming these bonds with people is not going to happen overnight, but likely with people you’ve spent years cultivating relationships with.
  • Employ similar tactics to chosen family that you would in a romantic relationship. Discuss boundaries, be aware of NRE, and be on the lookout for red flags.
  • Make sure you cultivate boundaries around how you choose to deal with people’s personal issues and drama so you don’t get sucked into situations you don’t want to be in.
  • Try not to sacrifice your wants, needs, and feelings for the good of the group. If something is uncomfortable, speak up and don’t let it fester.
  • It’s okay to end the relationship dynamic if it’s not working for you, just as it’s okay to end a relationship with a blood relative if it is toxic and/or doing more harm than good.



We offer new ideas and advice for multiple forms of #love: everything from #conciousmonogamy to #ethical #Polyamory and radical #relationshipanarchy.

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We offer new ideas and advice for multiple forms of #love: everything from #conciousmonogamy to #ethical #Polyamory and radical #relationshipanarchy.