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LGBTQ+ TikTokers share the importance of chosen family around the holidays

LGBTQ+ TikTokers share the importance of chosen family around the holidays
Photo: Shutterstock

The holiday season can be a challenging time for LGBTQ+ people whose families either passively or actively reject who they are.

On TikTok, LGBTQ+ creators are reminding those who feel lonely or stressed right now that they are not alone – and also that they don’t have to simply endure the pain their family members cause them. Instead, TikTokers have been encouraging LGBTQ+ viewers to follow the age-old queer tradition of finding themselves a chosen family who will love, support, and embrace them for exactly who they are.

Here are four such encouraging messages.

Lauren Levi inspires followers to keep going

Trans creator Lauren Levi, who works to educate her followers on gender identity, posted a message of love to all queer people who feel isolated around the holidays – and especially to those who have not yet found their chosen family.

“For queer people like me the holidays can be a really hard season to make it through,” Levi said. “Sticking with your chosen family is a great way to chug along through this season, especially if other kinds of families can really grind your gears.”

“And if you don’t have a sense of chosen family yet, that’s okay too! You can stick around with me because I think that you’re a neato bandito! But in all seriousness, I think that you’re gonna make it through.”

@nowitslauren

it’s that righteous season #npc #nonplayablecharacter #queer #season #holliday #hollidays #happyhollidays #chosenfamily

♬ original sound – Lauren Levi

Annette Stone keeps the bar open

The TikTok page of the podcast Cruising, which spotlights lesbian bars across the country, recently featured a story from Annette Stone, who founded the Norfolk, Virginia lesbian bar, Hershee Bar.

In the video, Stone talks about how Hershee Bar is there for all queer “lonely hearts” around the holidays.

“Did you know some lesbian bars stay open for Thanksgiving and Christmas?” the video states at the beginning before Stone talks about cooking food for all who want to show up for the holidays.

“I remember very vividly being in the kitchen about five or six years ago. I was making a turkey and I heard this little voice that said, ‘I knew you would be here,’ and she was crying and she was scared and it was so well worth it to accommodate one person that needed us.”

The caption on the video reads: “chosen family is family.”

@cruisingpod

chosen family is family ❤️#lesbiansoftiktok #lesbiansoftiktokover30 #lesbiansoftiktokover40 #babygays #babygaytiktok #lesbianbars #wlw #sapphic #wlwtiktok #sapphictiktok #nonbinarytiktok #nonbinarylesbians #trans #translesbians #noterfsallowed #lesbiantiktokdrama #lesbianstories #lgbtqcommunity #AEHolidayCard #chosenfamily #hersheebar #norfolkvirginia #virginia

♬ Warm Christmas Lofi Beat – Gloveity

April Kae sings a tune of acceptance

Musician April Kae posted a song this week – alongside fellow creator @Raindove – reminding LGBTQ+ people that if they don’t have a chosen family in their lives, they can find one online.

Set to the tune of Mariah Carey’s famed “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” the pair sings, “I just want for you to know/That if your family never shows/They love you for you/We’re also your family too!”

“And we love you!” Kae declares.

In the video caption, Kae emphasizes her message.

“It may feel a bit disconnected to be “family” online—but everyone here who shares this space with us, just know, WE CHOOSE YOU!… And we love you. The people here are all extensions of your journey and proof that you are never truly alone. You always have us…We always have each other.”

@aprilkae.nyc

Are you our chosen family, too? 👀👉👈 It may feel a bit disconnected to be “family” online—but everyone here who shares this space with us, just know, WE CHOOSE YOU! 💕💞💓 And we love you. The people here are all extensions of your journey and proof that you are never truly alone. You always have us. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🤎 We always have each other. 🌈 Love, April + @Raindove #lgbtqia #lgbtq #bff #bffgoals #bestfriendgoals #friendship #friendshipgoals #genderfluid #genderqueer

♬ original sound – April Kae

Blair Imani emphasizes love and mental health

Bisexual Muslim creator Blair Imani shared a video in November reminding people that they do not have to endure emotional abuse from family members and are free to find their own families.

“If your given family doesn’t accept you, you don’t have to accept them,” Imani states.

She also makes sure to educate those who do not know what chosen family means.

“A chosen family is a group of people who have intentionally chosen to nurture, love, embrace, and support each other regardless of blood relation or marriage.”

“These people can be friends, partners, or anybody whose supportive in their life.”

No one, she says, should feel like they have to toughen up and get through difficult times with toxic family members.

“If you can remove yourself from a toxic situation, you should.”

She even educated viewers about the Chosen Family Law Center, which works to help chosen families receive legal recognition.

“Family is family, whether you pick them or not,” she said.

@blairimani

SmarterInSeconds: Your #ChosenFamily is real and valid and organizations like the Chosen Family Law Center help to secure legal and social recognition for all types of families. Tag your chosen family in the comments and let them know you love them! #friendsgiving

♬ original sound – Blair Imani

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