Family Photos

Nostalgia. Desperately trying to formulate what caused such a gargantuan smile with these individuals. Some of which I rarely or never speak to. Wondering what point in time did we become divisible? I was told family is the foundation: the one entity that will always provide a safe haven. Yet this faded film is very much a representation of my emotions towards apparitions that share the same bloodline. Empty, I now conclude, were the promises of unconditional love. It’s no secret that life happens: from infancy to adulthood we evolve into our own. When the darkness fell and hell became closer, very few family knew, let alone bothered to rescue. I’ll admit I was faced with some tough choices: to be amongst the coven or be outcasted for being too different. I decided to try my chances and dance in the shadows than to be forced to live for others. I thought I was losing the most precious thing known to humanity, but I gained so much more. Strength. Courage. Emancipation. Happiness. It definitely was not easy, possibly added more to my anxiety and fear. Even still, angels decided to find me along the path of independence. They whispered encouraging words that I rarely heard before. They said they were proud of me for accomplishing so much in times of adversity. I was no longer just a “gender blending, dancing faggot fairy that would die of AIDS.” I was proud to be who I was. I AM proud of who I am. Despite word daggers being thrown at me constantly, my life continued to move. The slow, yet steady, disconnection from my bloodline fueled my ambition. With or without them, I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought. So I say to you ALL: my homosexual brothers and sisters who desperately would love a relationship with their family but are unaccepted due to your sexual attraction: you too shall walk a path and have angels guide you. They’ll befriend you. You’ll become their family. Your wings will grow stronger with each tribulation you experience. No matter how many times you revisit those photos, bittersweet moments of happiness mixed with turmoil, triumphant you shall be and fearless you shall remain. Keep the family portraits so it will remind you how pure your heart truly is: how you truly tried to be the rock yet was made the black sheep. Even if others can not get over your sexual attraction, that’s NOT your problem. Never apologize for being who you are. Never regret distancing yourself and removing toxic energy from your world in order to further your self-exploration of persona, energy, and aspirations. Doing so does not make you heartless and there certainly is no love lost. This is YOUR life. We, for the most part, only get ONE shot. Will you live for the family photo or live to create photos of your own? Remember: people will treat you how YOU allow them to. Accept yourself. Respect yourself. Emancipate yourself.

  • Alex N. Wanderland