Despite years of political controversy, Google defines family simply as “a group consisting of two parents and their children living together as a unit.” The LGBTQIA+ community has, in effect, reinvented the definition of family.
Family is more than just blood.
There are members of our community that have been abandoned by their blood relatives for living their lives as their true, authentic selves. Consequently, there’s a sense of family within our community—for some of us, that’s all we have.
During this shoot, I found myself connecting with people whom I essentially considered strangers. There was a level of comfort with one another, something that I wasn't expecting from people I’d never met before. It was a long trek through the woods to get to the shoot location, which gave us ample time to converse about our experiences as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, make some stellar RuPaul's Drag Race references, and discuss why I wanted to create this project.
I think it's a testament to the resilience of the community that we can connect with one another through our experiences in such a short amount of time. I believe that without the support system that is this chosen family, many of us who identify as LGBTQIA+ would feel alone and somewhat hopeless.
There is something to be said about the warmth of this colourful community; I really do believe that there is a sense of family and love.
Ting Ting Chen