Written by Simply Duma


I feel as though every living person has heard the phrase “blood is thicker than water”, but what I find fascinating about it is that often times, it’s used as way to discourage an individual from making decisions and taking actions that don’t fit in with their family’s ‘aesthetic’. Let’s not even speak about how often it’s used as a means to manipulate our fellow queer brethren, who unfortunately hail from homes that would rather see their so called precious child destroy themselves by not living their truth.


Fortunately, this wasn’t the case for me. My family dynamic did not change when I decided to pursue adult entertainment. I was always viewed as the intelligent one, both by my immediate family and extended. I recall the time when I made the decision to quit corporate. I was far from home, in a different continent and different world. I was free from all the ideas and mentalities that held me hostage, perpetuating this idea of success being linked to being a distinction achiever. Once I came to this conclusion, I had made the choice to not only become one of Africa’s premier adult entertainers, but to also sit my close family down and inform them about this choice – not because they are entitled to know everything about me, but because I wanted them to hear it from me first. Adult entertainment is so widely seen as being immoral and filthy, so rather hear it from the horse’s mouth than from other naysayers.


To be honest, nobody confronted me and told me they didn’t accept me. Although it was obvious that not every person accepted it. I didn’t give them the opportunity or platform to let me know they didn’t accept me (which could probably be because they knew I wouldn’t change). Most importantly, my friends were the most supportive of my new path. I recommend having a circle of friends who are part of different career fields and that love you. That genuine love that is built on the foundation of appreciating their existence, and not judging them for their (harmless) decisions. I will say, however, I would’ve accepted the decision of non-acceptance from whoever, and just use that as closure to move on from that chapter.


The bond that I share with those that have affected me have become everything except grow weaker. We’ve been able to strengthen them and this showed me that their love was unconditional from the word ‘go’. Another result of this reinforcement was the fact that they became more honest and transparent with me because they had made the realisation that it had become a relationship of openness, a safe space in its own right. Even when being approached by haters asking them why they are friends with me or why they associate with me, they would defend their love with nothing but grace and bravery.


This inspired my understanding of what a ‘found family’ is. We are born into families with blood ties, and then we have a chosen family. Ones you gravitate to and make the active choice to have in your life. These people transcend the titles of ‘friend’ and ‘bestie’ and become family in every meaning of the word. They truly do give you that support you may be missing from your blood relatives, and that is the best feeling in the world.


I remember my first found family experience. It was a childhood friend who I am no longer in a relationship with. He was white and I was a person of colour. We came from two completely different backgrounds but that didn’t stand in the way of us calling each other ‘brother’. It even went to the extent of his father calling me ‘son’. Fast forward 15 years later, and we aren’t in contact. It may seem like something that isn’t worth remembering, but I like recalling lost relationships because I’ve accepted the temporary nature of certain connections. 


The concept of Found Family extended to the creation of my house, Haus of 67. I had been part of two houses before the inception of my own, and the experience of being part of a house was something I enjoyed. I did feel, however, as though they mainly concentrated on performing at balls, and I wanted to have a genuine household that focused more on family, and not fashion. Along with the encouragement of multiple people, who pointed out traits I possess that would be fitting of a house mother, I had then decided to create a safe space for love and support, in ways that blood family sometimes can’t provide.


Haus of 67 started with my house brother (who’s the uncle of Haus67) and my house sister (who’s the auntie of Haus67). These two were my main foundation for the house and once we had a clear vision of what Haus of 67 is about and what I envisioned for it to be, was when I started having house children. The family is now 6 (Starr67; Summer67; Vegas67; Duma67; Nino67 and myself). We are bad bitches with hearts. Self-aware baddies who spread kindness and killer style.


The festive season is quickly arising and with it are the ideas of family quality time and togetherness. With that being said, it may not be the case for many other queer bodies who have been rejected and abandoned by their blood families. With this in mind, I urge them to focus on those who love and support them. I also implore you to remember that family members must also have and abide to personal boundaries. If this is a problem, then it’s okay. Your misery cannot be the foundation of your acceptance.


It’s been a wonderful year, and I wish you nothing but self-awareness and self-love in the New Year. Meditate on your lessons, and use this year to show the universe you’re ready to graduate. 


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



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