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October: Chosen Family

Queer Comic Conversations is a webcomic series by Comic artists Illi Anna Heger (Munich) and Sam Orchard (Wellington) where they discuss similarities and differences about queer and trans lives.

visual comic: Queer Comic Conversation: October - Chosen Family, scroll down for text-based comic (after annotations)© Illi Anna Heger + Sam Orchard


Here, we linked a few support groups and crisis lines for Germany and New Zealand for mental health support.

The information centre Trans-ident gives advice and supports people and their relatives around questions of trans identity and trans sexuality.

Weisser Ring is a telephone support service for victims of crime.

DBND is a support network by queer boys for queer boys.

The association Rosa Hilfe e.V. undertakes social and peadagogical educational work to support people who have been disadvantaged or experienced disadvantages because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

OUTLine is a national service that helps LGBTIQ+ New Zealanders access support, information and a sense of community.

Sexual harm helpline. Free, confidential, 24/7.

InsideOUT is a national organisation which works with youth, whānau, schools and communities to make Aotearoa a safer place for all rainbow young people to live and be in.

Community development agency Hearts and Minds provides services with an integrated focus on wellbeing.

Resouce Hub for Takatāpui and their whanau.

Read here an article aboutqueer people in East Germany (in German).


Illi: Hey Sam, where are we going today?

Sam: Let's go to Starship Hospital, I want to tell you a story.

Sam and Illi stand in front of the hospital building.

Sam: A few years ago a friend had a baby and the baby became really unwell. Our queer family delivered meals, kept them company, and gave them lots of love.
(Insert image: a pot with steaming food)
The hospital staff were confused by our genders, our partnerships and how we were all connected.
(Insert image: a group of people surrounded by hearts and question marks)
But they could see that we came to give support.
(Insert image: a big red heart)

Illi: So, you are chosen family to that friend, right?

Sam and Illi are chatting in the hallway of a hospital ward.

Sam: Yes! It was such a hard time, but families are there for each other.
My friend's mum is a reverend and she was impressed by how organised and caring we were. She talked about us in her sermon at church.

Illi and Sam are standing in the hallway in front of brightly coloured images.

Illi: I was twelve when East and West Germany reunited... When I talk to older queer people from East Germany, they tell me stories about how churches back then provided alternative spaces for gay and lesbian people to meet up.

Sam: Wow! Churches! Sometimes we have to get crafty to find safe spaces and create family.

Illi: People are surprised by how long I've lived with my house mate. We have never been involved, but consider each other family.
(Insert image: Illi and their flat mate sit at a table and talk.)

Sam: The thing about queer family is that we already broke expectations. This gives us license to do family differently.

Illi: Chosen family is very necessary if your family of origin stops being safe when you come out to them as gay or trans.

Sam: That reminds me: "National Coming Out Day" occurs in October. I have come out to my family too many times now. First as a lesbian, then trans, who knows what's next.

Illi: Who knows what is next month, see you then!

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