Tales of the City tells the story of Anna Madrigal, a trans-women from the 60s who became a fairy godmother to the present-day LGBTQ community in San Francisco. Anna transformed into a pillar of support, guidance, and love for those around her. Those individuals grew into her family, diverse in age, race, gender, and sexuality.
Anna is a trailblazer who lives by the phrase, “there’s only the truth.” She lost many friends after her transition but gained more than she lost. She knew that by living an honest life, she’d always attract the right audience. This is one of many lessons we can take from Anna Madrigal, but the most important thing we can learn from Anna is that we can choose our family.
Not everyone has a perfect family. Not even the perfect families have a perfect family. Behaviors are commonly passed down through households, creating a cycle of unhealthy behavior with broken relationships to match. We must acknowledge that we can’t fix other people, no matter how hard we try. We can’t change someone else’s mind, but we can project and protect our beliefs. We can always better ourselves, continuing to grow and evolve, and that comes with having the right people around you. It’s important that these individuals support, accept and love every single part of you.
Family, in the traditional sense, is made up of the people you’re related to. The truth is, being related doesn’t authorize what is considered to be a family. Biology can determine who you grow up beside, but it doesn’t set anything in stone. Bloodline can be a factor, but it’s not a determinant to what makes a family.
Family is unconditional love, genuine acceptance, and strengthening support. Family is who you want to share your wins with, and who cries beside you through the losses. Family is love without motive.
Not everyone is expected to become a parent, but everyone can have a family. Biology or fertility does not constrain you to having people that love and care about you. A family without bloodline is that much more special because the only thing tying you together is choice. A choice that leads to love not because you have to but because you want to.
It’s inevitable to face and feel rejection, but remember that non-acceptance doesn’t belong in your life. Your family, your support system, it can be whoever you want it to be.
There’s only the truth, follow that truth.