A 9th Generation Queer Texan’s take on family, hardship, and growth.
I love my family so much, y’all.
A common question I get as someone who trades in authentic conversations is whether my family accepts me.
And whoa — how saying ‘yes’ feels like an understatement. We didn’t get here overnight, and there was a time I thought this to be an impossible essay due to so many factors.
But that feels like lifetimes ago as they have proven time & again that their love isn’t conditional on acting right or performing to a standard.
Many assume that my coming out was the beginning of testing the limits of that love, but honey when I tell you I’ve been testing them for a lifetime.
I tested them when I decided in the third grade that I wanted to be Valedictorian because I wanted to go to the “All A Honor-roll breakfast”. So much time was spent in my room studying over the years, and yet they held space and held on.
I tested them when I pursued gymnastics competitively for so many long with my regular training gym being a couple of towns away. They drove me there weekly & all across Texas — then flew to California and back — to be at every. single. meet.
I tested them when I chose to go to school at UT Austin — something multiple people in our little town felt the need to let me know was a bad idea. That I should choose a good Christian school instead.
I tested them when I rode a bike to Alaska, and then interned in DC. We read through an essay my youngest brother had written while in 7th grade recently that included:
“I guess that you could say that we do a lot of things because of Lance like we went to Alaska and now Washington D.C., and my mom wanted to go see him, or that was her cover just to go to Washington D.C., and spend time with him.”
I’m equal parts horrified & obsessed, but can definitely say my heart is melting. I tested them when I can back from that internship having worked for a — gay gasp — DeMoCrAtIc pOliTiCiAn?!
And yes, I tested them when I came out to them each — individually alone somewhere in our house, or outside in nature. Some during the day, and others in darkness with only lamp light because the house was at rest.
I continue to test them in both known and unknown ways as I work to heal, as I wrestle with my faith, and as I work to create space for living authentically.
But you know what? They never let go — and bebe, when I tell you that grip is Texas tough! I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to express how grateful I am for that, or for them.
It’s made me believe in miracles. In magic. In everything I was originally told was not possible.
It’s saved my life. Countless times.
"Alexa: Play 'Wow' by Kate Bush
I know there is so much out there that influences what the broader national public thinks of when Texas or Texans come to mind, but I have to do my part in speaking to the dream-like experience it has been to have these Texas angels in my life.
Sure it’s been rough & rocky at times, but the adventurers in my life have taught me that the wanderlust is worth some discomfort.
My family has supported me, taught me, and loved me through these hardships and more, and that's one Texan-made thing I know I can be proud of.
If you have similar (or different) stories to share, I’d love to hear them, and if you’d like someone to help hold space and dream through how to make strong holds like this with the Texas angels in your life, please reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org.