Sunday, July 26, is the seventh annual Auntie's Day, the day I founded in 2009 to celebrate and honor aunts by relation, aunts by choice to friends' children, godmothers, and all women who play an active role in the life of a child not-their-own.
When my mother was well along in years, she entreated her family please not to send her any more items of the sort that required dusting. "I've got enough things already," I remember her saying. "Enough that need to be cleaned."
The world has a habit of judging people on their looks. I wish it were different, but it's not. You'll quickly learn that everyone has an opinion on what's pretty and it's virtually unavoidable to not feel the weight of those expectations.
Last year, my fiancé's sister, Julie, gave birth to a beautiful red-headed girl named Mira Celeste, and it was then I found myself taking on the role of uncle. And with that new role came a slew of fears I wasn't ready for.
These women and men who work as sex workers, through circumstances of place of birth and family resources, perpetuated by social systems and structures, do not have these privileges. It is not merely personal agency or strength of character that will free them from sex work and its dangers.
What's interesting about this: I'm being completely objective. It's all just true. They actually are the two most beautiful and smart and talented young women in the whole world. I'm not kidding myself, like most people do about their children, grandchildren, nieces, whatever.
The moment I became an aunt for the first time was the most meaningful and fulfilling time of my life. But as much as I felt this milestone had changed everything for me, no one else beyond my closest friends and family seemed to notice. No one spoke to me as an aunt.