Crucial connections

Chosen families--that is, people whose bond is like that of family even though they are not related by birth or marriage--have a long tradition in the LGBTQ+ community. Psychologist Marisa Franco explains why many in the community seek out different connections, "Lots of queer people feel like, in their families of origin, they can experience authenticity or connection – not both. But in these chosen families, they can really experience authenticity and connection" (Tensley, 2022).

This expansive understanding of family that defies narrow kinship norms also has deep roots in other marginalized communities, for instance among Black Americans, where a strong ethic of community and mutuality has been a powerful source of joy and resilience to oppression.

Learn why chosen families are increasingly recognized as an important source of connection for all people--regardless of identity--especially during the holidays.

Featured Content

Why chosen family is even more important during the holidays.


Tensley, Brandon. (2022, December 22). For many LGBTQ Americans, Chosen Family is even more important during the holidays. CNN.

Gender Identity Gender identity icon Our core sense of who we are as a man, a woman, a mixture of both, or neither.

Gender Expression Gender expression icon How we show up in the world through choices like clothing, hair style, mannerisms or tone of voice.

Attraction attraction icon How we feel toward others sexually, romantically and/or emotionally.

Biological Sex Biological sex icon Physical attributes such as reproductive organs and genitalia, chromosomes, genes and hormone levels.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to gather insights and real learnings

* indicates required
Privacy Policy *