We had a request a while ago to post the messages that people sent us for our Found Family episode. We do apologize for the delay, but here they finally are.
Wyatt Asher Rhodes
I wasn’t someone to get involved with things but for some reason, while watching the season two finale of Wynonna Earp, I decided to live tweet. I didn’t use twitter hardly at all before that but something just told me to do it. Within just a few weeks I found myself surrounded by love and support, something I didn’t get from my blood relatives. I found a family who accepted me for my goofy and random self. And a few weeks ago, I went through a really rough patch that normally would have sent me so far back into myself that I would have just disappeared but I turned to some of my Earper family and they pulled me through. Having a chosen family is something that is very important and I found mine because of Wynonna Earp.
I wrote this on an Instagram post after the panel when I heard Kat Barrell’s response. I have struggled a lot with issues with my family and have always tried to redefined family with ‘blood’ bonds. I hope that this post I wrote a while back helps your discussion and others “A fan asked during the 4th Sept. panel: ‘If you had to pick one theme or idea from the show that gave you hope for the world moving forward, what would that be?’ @katbarrell immediately responded with ‘that you can choose your own family’. This has been resonating in my head ever since I heard this. That answer is very much apparent throughout the show with characters we have gotten to know and beloved. Nicole doesn’t speak to her parents and we have yet to know why; but seeing the progression of her integrating herself into the Earp family, which she even states, ‘You Earps are a party that’s tough to crash. It’s hard not to feel like an outsider, even for me’, shows how immensely mature Nicole is for recognising the types of people she wishes to align with and confide in in the small town of Purgatory. Cut to the end of the season, it is important and pivotal to acknowledge how everyone, especially Wynonna, came together to save Nicole. Everyone understood Waverly’s traumatic process of possibly losing the love of her life. Also it is apparent Nicole chose Waverly (as well as the others) as her family even while filing for divorce from her former lover, whom she still has a solid connection with despite their romantic relationship dissolving. As someone who has constantly redefined family, thank you for showcasing the ideals that I have faced continuously and allowing me to be a part of and embrace this fandom as family. ‘One thing I’m always trying to write in is you can choose who you want to be versus what people will tell you you are.'”
cliffnotes? @SandyVjay1 threw me in a chat called Purgatory Drinking Team..and the chaos began, branched out into many other chats. I talk to these ladies daily and even if I’m having a horrible day they brighten it. They make me laugh, lift my spirits and give me nicknames. can honestly say I love them without a doubt and would do anything for them. Months ago I had no idea my chosen family would impact me this way but I feel deeper for them than I do my own biological family. ❤️
I have conversations with people I will never meet and it’s ok because I’m not a con-goer. They make me laugh, check on me, send prayers, and hugs. My family thinks I’m nuts but I’ve always been a tv fan without a fandom, until now. Lol. #earpmylife
Okay, to start of this comes at a time where my own family is going through heartache. But families in all their forms are important to me both in reality and in fiction. I guess society likes to say the nuclear family is the ideal, the most important. But reality doesn’t always follow. There are lots of reasons for this but what’s most important is creating the family that is best for you. Be that you biological, nuclear family. Or people you cobble together from different places and you bond so tightly they are indistinguishable from a blood bond. But why found families are kryptonite. It’s a bit of above but also a lot of times in fiction, stories start with the destruction of the nuclear family. Harry Potter starts after the death of his parents. We see the destruction of Wynonna’s family. Buffy begins after her family breaks up. In Battlestar Galactica everyone is impacted by the destruction of the worlds. In all of these cases we watch the characters not only build their lives but build families that are as important as the ones lost. We get to see these bonds form, see them tested and stand against the odds. But we aren’t just watching them. We’re right their building them with the charterers. In a small way they become a piece of us. Also these characters show us that if what you have for family isn’t working or is actively dangerous or damaging they aren’t your only option. That you can find people that you will love, It can be your best friends and the school librarian. Your sister, your partner and some guy that knew your great great grandpa. It can be your shipmates. It can be anything. You can find a home in other people. I love found families because they show us some of the best things about non romantic love.
ok… here is my thought vomit about my found family feelings….What can I say about the importance of found family in life and in our entertainment. I am the only child of a single mom, and while I was close to my grandparents I didn’t have much of a relationship with my traditional family/blood relatives at all, and to most on my father’s side I dont even exist. And on the rare occasion I was with my family at getherings, I didn’t feel like I belonged. I was different than most of them, was raised differently. It would often feel like being in a room with strangers. So even though its ingrained in us that we love our family and our family loves us that isn’t always the case. I think for most of us the first foray into the concept of “found family” is the friends we make in childhood, the friends that become close to us because they like who we are. The family you get the chose. and they chose you right back. Acceptance. Movies like Star Wars or Stand by Me were so important in my personal upbringing and something they had in common were these people who found each other often came from backgrounds that weren’t traditional family backgrounds (like myself), they came from broken homes, traumatic events. It gave me hope, and a feeling that not only am I not alone but I can find people who will look out for me. Who will be there for me when I might need them and vice versa. That just because you weren’t born into a warm and loving family didn’t mean you couldn’t go out and build one/find one. I’ve also noticed that in the realm of genre television it relies heavily on the concept of found family. Shows like Buffy, The 100, Wynonna Earp, etc. in which you often have people thrown together in extraordinary circumstances and they must learn to trust and love the people that were thrown into these same circumstances too. That behind each “found family” is a coming of age. That one day we all have to “leave the nest” of the families we were born with venture out on our own, but often find that we still cant do things alone. but we can’t always go back home again. at least not in the ways of our childhood. So in that we start to gather up these other people who stumble into our path and start to build something on our own. So really finding family is also about growing up and growing into ourselves.
I saw the question you posed recently about found family and how the Wynonna Earp fandom has become a part of my family and knew I had to add some thoughts. I often think about how this show has been around for less than two years, and yet, in that time span I’ve met so many people I talk to on a daily basis and could no longer imagine my life without them in it. The first time I met Earpers in person was at Fan Expo the fall after the first season aired. I admittedly was pretty nervous, even though some of the people I planned on meeting I had spoken with and gotten quite close to online. Still, you never really know how people will be in real life, do you? Turns out that first interaction with Earpers has been no different than every single subsequent interaction I’ve had with Earpers since then. There was no awkwardness and no weird moments. It was if we all already knew each other and now we just happened to be in the same room. Everyone was so friendly and just so happy to be together to cheer on and talk about this show that brought us all together. The next time I met a large contingent of Earpers was then at ClexaCon. ClexaCon was a little different in that I finally was meeting some people there for the first time who I already had considered some super close friends, even though we never met in real life. It basically went just like Fan Expo, where we just picked right on up and like we had been friends our whole lives. ClexaCon served to really solidify a lot of the friendships I’ve made in this fandom and it brought me to a new level with a lot of those people for which I’ll forever be grateful. My parents and some other friends still hear about these experiences and don’t quite “get it.” They will talk about my “internet friends” or my mother will say “Oh, are you going to be seeing your Wynonna friends?” It’s like, “nope, they are just my friends Mom!” It’s like people on the outside of the fandom can’t quite fathom why we all feel so strongly about each other, but it’s kind of like I’ve said all along, “if you get Wynonna Earp then you get me.” That’s proved to be true time and time again and why I seem to feel so at home with this fandom and the Earpers. On the surface the Earpers who have become some of my closest friends are so different than myself. We grew up in all different places and have a wide variety of backgrounds. And yet, Wynonna Earp, this crazy little show, has brought us together and for that I’ll forever be grateful. I now have people who just accept me for who I am and love me for that. One thing that being a part of this fandom has done has also made me see the kind of privilege I grew up with and live with in a lot of my life. In some ways I’m ashamed how blissfully unaware I was of a lot of problems facing others. Getting close and becoming friends with a lot of Earpers has really opened my eyes and made me see this and made everything feel a lot more personal. I think in many ways Earpers have made me a better person and one that I like a lot better than the person I was almost 2 years ago. I’m forever grateful to them for that. But before I take up all the time on your podcast with my thoughts, I just hope all the Earpers know how great they are and how lucky I feel to have them in my life on a daily basis. Their positivity, kindness and willingness to stand up for each other inspires me and is something I’ll never stop being grateful for. I often joke that being a part of this fandom feels a bit like a cult and we all should be calling our dads. That very well may be the case, but it’s one I don’t want to be leaving any time soon. Thank you Emily Andras and the Wynonna Earp cast for fostering and helping to build this environment. I definitely count Earpers among my chosen family and I wouldn’t give them up for anything! Sorry for all the rambling! Thanks for allowing us to all get our thoughts in and can’t wait to hear from everyone else.
I met my Earper family for the first time at the tiny pre-Dragon Con meetup. I walked in alone not knowing anybody and it was scary but I was literally welcomed with open arms. I met so many people during the weekend my head was spinning a bit, but everyone was so sweet and kind. I made some really lovely friendships and by the end of the weekend I found myself feeling super sappy and tearing up waiting for my flight back home. That’s when I knew there was no going back. These people in such a short amount of time have become incredibly important to me and they’re going to be a really special part of my life. Earpers are the reason I’m excited to wake up in the morning. The care they have shown me is not something that I get a whole lot of in my “real life.” While I do have some real family, it’s my chosen family, my Earper family that really gets me. I share more with them because they accept me for who I am and they don’t question anything. Chosen family is something that is very important to me and I’m glad that Earpers are a big part of mine.
Many thanks once again to all of you who wrote in. Reading these again is making me tear up.
I wanted to mention that this was a request from one of the deaf/hard-of-hearing Earpers, and we have also gotten a request to have our podcast available via transcript. We aren’t at a point right now where we can afford to pay for transcription of our episodes, or where one of us has the time to transcribe it. If you’re interested in transcribing one of our episodes, please e-mail or DM us. It doesn’t have to be perfect — just a good starting point, and one of us can edit it before publishing. We really would like to be as accessible as possible to everyone, and this would certainly help.