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The Joy in Finding Your Chosen Family

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When Lenny Lasater moved to Georgia in her early 20s, it didn’t take long to find her family. She quickly met the Bickersons, a group of queer women scattered across the South who met through mutual friends and banded together.

Each Bickerson had given herself a name that started with the letter B — Ms. Lasater eventually became known as “Big Star,” because she was active in the local theater scene and played in a band.

Over the last 35 years, the Bickersons have become a family with its own set of rituals and traditions — fishing trips; holiday parties at a farm in North Carolina; an offshoot affectionately known as “Butch Club,” during which some of the Bickersons could sit around a firepit, sipping Crown Royal and pinky-swearing each other to secrecy. “We didn’t have to censor,” Ms.

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