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Creating Family

The LGBTQA community at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is a close knit group of about fifteen individuals. The types of people that I see in the campus Pride Center are diverse. We have transfer students coming from a military background, graduate students, and young undergraduate students, many of them fresh out high school. Despite this diversity, or perhaps because of it, the community in the pride center is one of the closest communities I have ever been a part of. When someone new walks in we welcome them to our "family." When someone leaves, we hug them and wish them a good day.

The Pride Center is a sex-positive space. We are comfortable discussing all types of issues, with the conversation typically centering around sex or food. As I write, it is another normal and unassuming day at the center. I can overhear the conversations flowing throughout the space. One of our allies, a female self-identified heterosexual woman, is asking about female on female sex. It is a casual conversation and everyone feels comfortable participating. There is a lesbian and a couple of gay men making sense of lesbian intimacy for our ally. The conversation has moved toward a discussion of G-spots. Some of the freshmen heterosexual girls that call this place home begin to giggle. One admits that she doesn’t know what a G-spot is. After a group laugh, someone clarifies and informs her. I look at these people - my family - all of them talking about penis-shaped dildos, lesbians and general anatomy, and realize how safe and comfortable this community is.

Then the discussion turns to love and how the act of making love is secondary. Someone says that you don’t fall in love with a penis or a vagina - you see their soul. You fall in love with the person's true essence. I sit here and ponder, as my family discusses these things in the background. I realize that this is love, this is community.

Many members of our community do not have a space to talk about sex or have a space to dialogue in general. I look around at the diversity and marvel at our strength. We have a family that we are born into and a family that we create.

I choose this family. These people, tall, short, loud, obnoxious, socially incorrect, annoying and loving. This is my CSUSM family, I am them and they are me. We are pride.