About your ‘chosen’ gay family

By Nicole Murray Ramirez

FX Network’s television series “Pose” just finished its first season and will be back for a second one, as this highly acclaimed drama has made a splash with its high ratings.

“Pose” begins where the movie “Is Paris Burning?” left off, with the New York Night scene … posing the New York Drag Ball with mostly black and brown transgender and drag queen contestants. The director and cast of “Pose” are mostly trans and their acting is Emmy award-winning worthy. The New York night life of hustling and hooking are in full view and let me tell you — this portrayal of nightlife was going on in almost every major city.

But what nearly every LGBT person can identify with is what I’ve always said and felt all my life … we homosexuals have been blessed with two families in our lives: the one we were born into and the one we have chosen. For many gays like me who were totally rejected and shunned by almost all of their blood families, our gay chosen family has become one of the most important aspects in our lives.

For many of us, our gay chosen family has been our rock and our strength in difficult or sad times. These are more than just friends. They are indeed family. They care, watch over you and are there for you always! I have been blessed to have a gay family, and in time I became a mother/father or grandmother/grandfather figure for many LGBT people. Many of them were completely rejected by their blood families because they are homosexual. And yes, many of them call me “mother,” “granny,” with some even calling me “Mommie Dearest.”

I love my gay family and you know who you are! I am lucky and so grateful that they are a part of my life.

FX’s “Pose” is about way more than street life, the balls and hustling. It’s about our LGBT chosen families, and that’s what I love about this series. And yes, it does bring back memories of my life in Hollywood in the 1960s.

Rev. David Farrell and Dr. Keith Vrhel

San Diego’s LGBT community has lost two great men recently, both compassionate and kind individuals who were loved by many and made our world a better place.

Rev. David Farrell was one of our most respected community leaders in the 1970s, a pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church, and a major leader during the early dark years of the AIDS Crisis. He was also a great orator and was a champion for the civil rights of all people.

Dr. Keith Vrhel, a doctor who treated countless HIV-AIDS patients, was a compassionate and caring leader of our community. He was was a fighter and champion for all people living with HIV and AIDS.

I knew both men and highly respected them and will always remember them and their love they chose to freely give to our community.

Buy LGBTQ San Diego!

I urge your support of the San Diego Equality Business Association’s (SDEBA) campaign “Buy LGBTQ San Diego!” Yes, our community’s chamber of commerce (formerly the Greater San Diego Business Association) urges everyone to support our LGBTQ business owners and allies. But I urge you to go a step further and ask them what they do to give back to our community’s social service organizations. Let’s support those who support us.

—Nicole Murray Ramirez has been writing a column since 1973. He has been a Latino/gay activist for almost half a century and has advised and served the last seven mayors of San Diego. Named the “Honorary Mayor of Hillcrest” by a city proclamation, he has received many media awards including from the prestigious San Diego Press Club. Reach Nicole at

[Editor’s Note: The opinions written in this column are the author’s own and by no means reflect or represent the opinions of the staff and/or publisher of Gay San Diego and/or its parent company, San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN). The newspaper and its staff should be held harmless of liability or damages.]

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