Reverse Black Friday 2020: Chosen Family
In lieu of a traditional Black Friday sale, we flipped the script and decided to give back through conscious consumerism. 100% of profits made over the Black Friday weekend were donated to Covenant House, a nonprofit that provides housing and support services to homeless, runaway, and trafficked youth.
Families come in many forms. Some are blessed at birth with a supportive family bound by blood, while others, for whatever reason, have built their family by hand and heart when their needs were left unmet by biological or legal family.
These found or chosen families are nonbiological kinship bonds deliberately chosen for the purpose of mutual love and support. They’re not defined only by last names or by blood; they’re defined by the commitment and love you share for one another.
The term “chosen family” originated in the LGBTQ community to describe early queer gatherings (like the Harlem Drag Balls in the 1920s). Despite having more rights and visibility than ever, relationships with one’s parents often look very different for queer folks; 39% of queer adults have faced rejection from their birth families, and have been all but forced to seek acceptance and foster belonging elsewhere. From queer adults who haven’t spoken to their family in years to the couples who can’t or don’t want to have children, “traditional family” structures aren’t what family actually means or looks like.
“Chosen family” means different meanings to different people. One need not lack a biological or legal family to be part of one, and they don’t have to be queer. Families can look like or be most anything, for any reason — abandonment, rejection, differing belief systems or political views, unresolved trauma, even forced physical distance.
For all the different purposes they serve, chosen families may be most important for homeless LGBTQ+ folks, whose found families are born of necessity. Queer people are frequently abandoned, victims of violence at the hands of their parents, estranged or distanced from their biological family from a young age. 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ and found families can help find someone a safe place to stay.
This year especially, while forced to be apart, we recognize the utmost importance of community, connection, and commitment to our chosen family—and having a safe place to call home.
In lieu of a traditional Black Friday sale, we want to reverse it, and give back through conscious consumerism. This Friday through Sunday, 100% of profits will be donated to Covenant House, a nonprofit that provides housing and support services to homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people around the world.
The future may be looking bleak at the moment, but we must continue to support, raise, and educate our youth because, well, that means supporting our future.
Whether this is your first year apart, or one of many where you chose not not to spend time with traditional family, surrounding yourself with found family, friends, and rituals that support your mental health are crucial. No matter who your family is, or why they are who they are, we hope you take care, be safe, and stay kind.
Building New Traditions, At Home & Far Away
Due to our current political climate and a year that has us treasuring the good, uncovering the bad, and undoubtedly facing the ugly, we need to make choices for ourselves that support our ability to be happy, stay healthy, and maintain positivity in a world that (still) challenges our human rights.
Find new ways to embrace being at home with a roommate, pet, or partner and show your love to those who are far away. Schedule a Zoom date to send virtual hugs or pass along a surprise $10 Venmo to buy a drink for a friend from far away.
Coping With Stress
How To Cope With Stress & Live In the Moment by Griffin Wynne (they/them)
For Mental & Physical Stress Relief
For a Soothing Soak
For a (New) Daily Ritual
The Importance of Found Families for LGBTQ Youth by Pallas Gutierrez for GLAAD
7 Cups will connect you with caring listeners if you’re struggling and feel alone