When you are Italian it goes without saying that family means a lot. Yes I know with a name like Von Brokenhymen you would have ever guessed I was Italian…..lol.

For me family is everything. It means always having each other’s back, always being there for one another. It means through the good and the bad you know who you can count on. It’s not something I take very lightly. It’s also something I miss immensely being here in Columbus Ohio.

When it comes to family Vivian and I have each other and the boys. When you are gay the saying goes something like you can choose your family and for a lot of people that has been true and for others their family has chosen them. For Vivian and myself that has not really happened as of yet. Now there are several people that I would classify as being our in-laws, and I would hope those people know we are very grateful to have them in our lives. However when it comes to having a group of people we celebrate life milestones with and/or holidays, that is not something either of us has the opportunity to develop. Why that is I’m not 100 % sure.

Part of it may be that neither of has ever been single and gay. Meaning for both of use we came out of the closet and BAM long term relationship. I feel there is something to be said for the “single years”. It allows one to discover who they are and develop those family ties to others. When you are in a relationship you are known as one half of the couple, not as an individual. Now I would not trade my last 11 years with Vivian for anything. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I’m extremely proud to be her other half of the Von Bs.

Another part could be the fact both of us wield shields to protect us from being hurt. In my case I wield a sword more than a shield to protect us, especially Vivian. Both of us have been hurt by events of our past that on some level we both have a problem opening to others. For Vivian it was when she realized she was gay and for me it was when I found out my ex had been cheating on me for those 10 years. Yes I know we can’t let the past dictate the future but let’s be honest the past shapes who we are in the future and in our cases it has shaped us to not open ourselves up to those family ties.

Finding our family ties may or may not change in the future, near or far, but the one thing I know that won’t change is what family means to me and what I am willing to do for my family. Vivian I love you and glad to call you famiglia.