Bella was born as a youngest transgender daughter in a big conservative Chinese immigrant family living in the old town of Bangkok, Thailand. She was expected by parents to be a heir and reproduce descendants. With assignment from her grandparents to her parents, she was given a birth as the second male child to be reserved as the heir in case that the first male child of the family was not able to reproduce the descendants. As a transgender woman, she has gone through difficulties and obstacles in different phases with her father, aunts and relatives from the father’s side. She has been well educated and nurtured to conform with norms of society and expectation of her family. At the moment she has found out her own path in living with her family with love and reshaped the attitudes towards a perfect family.
Nowadays, meanings of family have evolved from time to time. A word “family” has been used in different perspectives in our world. For example, biologically, family describes a group of people related by blood or their ancestors. Socially, family describes people who engage in different forms of bondage, such as marriage, circle of close friends, or organisation in which a strong relationship or shared common values are intensive. Linguistically, family shows an evolution of words and languages that we communicate with each other. The common keyword that can be scrutinised from these meanings of family is the “relationship” connecting people, cultures, norms, entities, communities, and not only living creatures, but also non-living things.
A number of people usually criticised the definition of warm and loving family. Sometimes, people say such family means that mother, father and children are not separated, live together in the same house with legal document or religious commitment showing a “right” forming of family. In the meantime, some families argue that they can express love despite distance, ineligibility of marriage certificate, societal unacceptance, unqualification for norms and beliefs. Some couples unhappily live together and reproduce children just to fulfill parents’ satisfaction and expectation. In fact, there is an increasing number of divorce rate throughout the world, while many divorced people prove that they can agree to quit relationships with happy ending and satisfied decision to have better lives.
So, what is my perception of having a warm and loving family? I have been seeking a good answer for a long time. I found out that to have a dream family depends on your “choice”, and “values” to any kinds of relationship that you have with your beloved people. You can decide your own warm and loving family. No matter what sexual orientations or gender identities, ethnicities or skin colours, religions or traditions, social classes or economic status you have. Nor how much time you can spend, distance you need to travel, or frequency you can meet each other. Only you realise how you are important to your beloved people, and how your beloved people are important to you, there is no condition to share your good stories together. There is no perfection in this world, and we can create our own warm and loving family in which there is no right or wrong.
Bella Thanakarn Vongvisitsin
Youth Voices Count