Ms Betterhome


Families, communities, networks
December 14, 2009, 12:58 am
Filed under: enviro, love & relationships | Tags:

I am happily childless. I love my nephew & niece with a passion, but have no desire to reproduce myself. Fortunately my life partner feels the same way đŸ™‚

While I’m quite close to my sister & parents, the rest of my family lives in another country. For that reason, I’ve grown up quite comfortable with the notion of ‘families of choice’ – for example, I have an Auntie who is related to me only by affection & shared experiences. That is, she was a close friend of my mother’s when I was a kid, & I spent a lot of time with her when I was in my teens & early 20s.

Because I’m very involved in the queer community, I’m also familiar with the kind of non-biological kinship networks that form in gay/lesbian/trans/bi/queer subcultures. Despite having a male partner, I rarely get that ‘included’ feeling from mainstream ‘mum, dad & the kids’ style advertising, or those ‘keep in touch with your friends’ mobile phone ads that  feature groups of 20-somethings. When I see this campaign, however, I know that ‘we’ includes me. I imagine that’s partly because these ads invoke a sense of community or ‘we-ness’  in the interests of promoting health & safety, not just with the aim of selling a commercial product.

I guess my musings here are sort of obvious, but in a nutshell: some people don’t have children, but still feel connected to family & community. Some same-sex couple are very committed to child-rearing, some different sex couples are not. Family and community can be formed through sexual & emotional affilations, not just through marriage and childrearing. Obvious enough, but these other ‘families’ are not always in evidence when I read posts on frugality, simplicity and/ or post-peak/transition living.

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