Defining Family




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Jan 29, 2018
by Klaus Mueller
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Defining Family

The first chapter of our new publication Building a Global Community addresses LGBT families - those we're born into, those we create and those we raise

“We all come from families that were unprepared for us.”

—    Klaus Mueller, Founder and Chair, Salzburg Global LGBT Forum

Being part of family is a fundamental human condition as well as a human right. All of us long to feel at home with the families of our birth, in the families of our choosing and in the families we raise. This sense of belonging, connection and wellbeing is what we call feeling “at home.”

But does this notion of “family” remain utopian for LGBT people? Many LGBT individuals are rejected by their families, cultures or home countries. So-called traditional family values are often claimed to justify the exclusion of daughters and sons from their families, their communities and the legal protection granted to citizens.

Why does this exclusion find such widespread open or silent acceptance? Why do families, schools, religious communities or government authorities tolerate or even support the discrimination and violence against their LGBT children?

Exclusion is not a value, but an attack on the very fabric of our lives and core idea of family. Where exclusion cannot be prevented, it seriously impacts not only those driven from home but also the families and communities they are forced to leave behind. Much more needs to be done to ensure that “home” can indeed be a place of safety.

Through our three-year project “Family is…” with the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, we collected and disseminated video testimonies of authentic stories about our Fellows and their families. Fellows shared their personal experiences of acceptance, silence or exclusion in their families and of ways to heal and protect families in all their shapes and forms. In 2017, we released our film documentary Family is…? A Global Conversation as a free resource and humane document to strengthen loving and inclusive families.


Family is...?

In Conversation: Klaus Mueller & Ralf Kleindiek

Our Families

Hiroko Masuhara - “A very strong message to Japanese society”

Family is... A Global Conversation