1 : a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head : household
2 a : a group of persons of common ancestry : clan
2 b : a people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock : race
3 : a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation : fellowship
4 : a group of things related by common characteristics: as
a : a closely related series of elements or chemical compounds
b : a group of soils with similar chemical and physical properties (as texture, pH, and mineral content) that comprise a category ranking above the series and below the subgroup in soil classification
c : a group of related languages descended from a single ancestral language
5 a : the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family <a single-parent family>
5 b : spouse and children <want to spend more time with my family>
Family is something we define, whether by blood or legal guardianship or intentional connections, our sense of family can be very troubling or comforting and it is rarely like 1950′s television. Relationships are beautiful for their complication, because our emotions, sense of security and sense of self are so wrapped up in our connections to others such as parents, partners and friends. It is not uncommon for those in the LGBTQ community to call each other “family” just as frat boys call each other “brothers.” When we share a common connection that is strong enough, whether it be blood or social structure, it adds a layer of connection that can last a lifetime and often becomes the singularly most defining part of our identity, and therefore our relation to the broader world.
Sustainability is often too theoretical and big to serve as this connector, but that doesn’t mean aspects of it are powerful enough to change the world. For the LGBTQ community particularly, we are connected in this queer family to every country and demographic in the world by our shared “non-traditional” sexual orientation. Which makes gay children suffering from polluted water, or combing through recycled computers looking for toxic parts… part of the family.