An open letter to my Hermanito: On queer, brown, adoptee love and what comes between

Querido Hermano,

It just didn’t feel right to leave today, on this new exciting adventure without taking the time to say all the things I’ve shared with you in moments, here, openly, for the world to witness our love.   Because, this love, is queer, it is brown, it is an adoptee true love, and it, like us, was never supposed to exist… but like most things that move beyond surviving this brown, queer, adoptee love is resilience embodied.  It is beyond magical and stands on its own two feet, fierce, a force to be reckoned with.

Over the last 6 years we have  become phamilia.   We’ve created a new language of queer love with each other, one that has taught me more about how to love, trust, respect, honor and walk with compassion than any other journey (with the exception of motherhood) that I’ve ever been on.

Over the past 6 years, we have laughed, cried (well, mostly I’ve cried), fought and transformed with one another.  We’ve figured out how to set our boundaries, and how to challenge each other. We’ve learned about affirmation, and celebration and intention and accountability, in real, lived, practical ways.

You have helped me raise my children, a job I don’t think you ever signed up for but took on with true grace and with all the integrity I know you to hold in this world.

You’ve reminded me to laugh, when things feel hard, to keep questioning, to keep listening, to keep learning, and, most importantly, to keep the FAITH.

You have reminded me to not take things to seriously, even when they’ve felt so overpowering.  You’ve shown up to fix things when they’re broken, to soothe me when I’m hurting, to celebrate our phamilia, you’ve shown up for so many parts of our everyday life,  to support  us all in so many ways, and, most importantly,  even when things have been tough, you’ve always just kept showing up.

This IS a brown, queer, adoptee love, what we’ve grown.  It’s something that I’ve only ever witnessed to exist between femmes and their fags… something that is so deep, so true that I believe can only be magically created in a place where two spirits so familiar with gender variance, gender performance and the complexities of the queer brown body meet.  We knew each other the minute we laid eyes on each other- the way that appearances can be deceiving, the way that language can sometimes never explain exactly who we be, and the way that learning to trust can sometimes only be built between spirits.  We created a deep potion between us, brewed together through parts of defiance, of resilience, of hope.  Your fierce fag spirit, my femme diva self, each of us different parts of a story of resistance, each embedded with the historical memory of what it means to exist, as Audre Lorde said, “when we were never meant to survive”.

Today, I am packing my final boxes and saying goodbye to this land, our home together for the last 6 years.   We’ve never lived more than 20 minutes away from each other since we met, and the times we’ve been farther than down the street have been few.

To put into words what it feels like to leave you is hard.  It is hard because it feels like I never hear or see queers lament the loss (even by choice) or their queer partners.   And by partners, I don’t mean the heteronormative partnerships that gain support or visibility through mainstream approval, I mean, the queer partnerships that form out of complex, often un-affirmed unions between two queer spirits when we make phamilia with each other.  So, I am writing this to historicize our relationship because there are so few examples of this sort of relationship available, and I want to make visible what exists and has existed in reality between us.  You have been my brother, my fag, my best friend, my co-parent, and so many titles for so many different years.  In some ways, I think we have grappled for language to affirm what exists between us for audiences whose consciousness have not yet witnessed this queer, brown, adoptee love before and need words to understand a feeling, a meeting of our spirits.   This brown, queer, adoptee love has taken us down many journeys and today, I am saying a prayer and holding a hope that this next journey will only bring us to new depths.  I am opening up to the possibilities that this separation will only create more opportunities to grow with you.

Between packing today I read an email from the phenomenal Alixa/Naima duo of Climbing Poetry, the header said, “raindrop let go and become the ocean”, and inside it read, “ possibility is as wide as the space we create to hold it”.  Never in a million years, would I have guessed what joy, love, and tremendous life lessons this queer, brown, adoptee love could bring to me.   The possibilities are endless if we allow them to enter… I am reminding myself of this today.  That this solid, this magic between us can be held over the miles, that our raindrop selves can be part of a beautiful ocean, still connected even when we are flowing in different directions.

Hermanito, I love you.  I thank you for all you have been to me.  I thank you for the proof that queer, brown, adoptee love can and does exist.  I thank you for being willing to hold this space between us and staying in it.  You mean the world to me.  I am excited to see what our next chapters will hold.  What journeys this life will lead us on, and what great ways the Spirits will lead us to grow with each other.

In writing this, I give thanks to the Great Spirits who knew exactly, perfectly, and exquisitely who to unite each of us with.  I thank them for bringing you into our lives, and pray to them that they protect you, as I know they will.

Yours always, in Spirit and Truth.

-tk

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