Today, as you likely know, is Thanksgiving in the States. It’s also my 33rd birthday, and the first birthday I have celebrated since becoming estranged from my family of origin. I cannot quite settle on an appropriate term for what these people are to me right now. ‘Biological family’ seems to imply a historical lack of closeness, which isn’t true in my case. ‘Family of origin’ is perhaps the most accurate, but strikes me as clunky and oddly evasive. I could refer to them simply by their names, of course, but there’s something about attempting to eliminate relational language completely that strikes me as wishful thinking:
Happy birthday. Thank you for writing this. This is my first estranged Thanksgiving as well and the mixed feelings are awful. I hope you and Grace and your found/chosen family can create new traditions or at least make it through in one piece. ❤
Oh, Danny. Sending love and warm thoughts to you. My best to you and Grace.
Much love to you and Grace, and birthday blessings (I won't say "happy" birthday because, well, obviously it's more complicated). "The estrangement exists with or without my consent" is a perfect, wise and tragic description of why I also went no-contact with my mother, 9 years ago this Thanksgiving. Your queer fam is here for you.
Thank you for this post and for sharing your gifted writing throughout the year. Hope that you have a peaceful day, and wishing you a joyful year ahead.
Happy birthday, and I send love across the distance. I'm mostly estranged from my family of origin and I can say that estrangement gets lighter. Maybe not easier, but it feels lighter in time. Wishing you light today. <3
So much love pouring out towards you, your hurt, and your beautiful family of choice. Your work has brought me so much joy and clarity over the years, and this more than anything made me want to reach out to share just...the intense love that empathy, shared pain, and the earnest need/desire/effort to heal can invoke in us. Compassion and recognition. Thanks for everything, Danny.
The 28th is my birthday too. There's a conflation of self and family built into a Thanksgiving-adjacent birthday (or at least there is for me. I was actually born on T-Day). I'm sorry that whatever you learned is true and shitty and painful, and that's all I have to say. This sucks donkey balls.
So much love and support to you and Grace, from a fellow estranged holiday-maker.
Thank you as ever for your brilliant writing, which teases out truths like so many vermillion strands through a beautician's comb (a process, as Gossamer's visage attests, both pleasurable and painful)
I’m sorry to hear about your recent estrangement. I haven’t spent Thanksgiving with my family of origin since around 2007. I am not even officially estranged from them- they just aren’t particularly interested in spending Thanksgiving with me. If I don’t make an effort to make holiday plans I just stay at home alone watching Law and Order: SVU with the tuxedo cat.
Actually I have a much better time watching SVU with the cat than I’ve had on certain past family holidays. (Like the one in 2006 when I waited in a restaurant 3 hours for my family of origin to show up but I have chosen not to dwell on past resentments.)
oh man i'm sorry you've had this experience and these hard few weeks. i hope you have a lovely and peaceful Thanksgiving <3
Thank you so much for writing this. Sending love and appreciation during what I'm sure has been a difficult time. Thank you for the light you bring to other people.
I am so sorry and so empathetic. Much love to you and frankly...good for you for sticking to your moral values. I hope things settle into new normal ok.
Happy birthday Danny. My best to you and Grace.
Happy birthday, and I’m so sorry you’re going through this.
Happy birthday! Love and support to you and Grace!