But all the dysfunctional ones are different

It’s bullshit that dysfunctional families are dysfunctional in their own way. They are dysfunctional in tedious, standard ways. And reading through the graphic novel, Blue Is the Warmest Color, I was reminded of the reliable ways oppressively conservative families persecute their queer children.

You can map it. You could write dialogue for it. This is when the parent says your soul is in peril. And this is that time when you are filled with self-loathing and decide to destroy yourself. Here’s the crushing shame. Certain as clockwork. Don’t forget all those years you lied and hid because they’d have thrown your ass onto the street. Family forever!

I’m doing this for your soul.

I don’t hate you, I hate your sins.

This just isn’t right. It just isn’t.

You’re no child of mine.

And, reliably, we feel alone. Separated from the people we grew up with. The people who have known us longer than anyone else. People we thought loved what is finest in us, and what is difficult. The way that we loved them.

Blue Is the Warmest Color is familiar the way that Tipping the Velvet is familiar. I said these things. I did these things. I remember.

It wasn’t enough that I had to imagine a life for myself that I had never seen an example of, or that I had to learn to love love because it’s love (which is the most painful kind of obvious); I had to do those things alone. Dead reckoning.

I meet you, out in the world, and we are familiars. I recognize you. And I love you. We did what they said was impossible: we made our happiness. We raised it up like a child, and love the fine and the difficult. What is best in me is the thing I shielded longest from the world.

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