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More like guidelines and a lot less like definitions.


This term is often used to describe members of a chosen family, rather than a non-chosen biological family. A house can be used to describe a collection of people, sometimes in a hierarchical relationship structure, who share the same space, whether that be IRL or virtually. House structures may sometimes involve the use of relationship terminology from vanilla family nomenclature, such as mother, father, brother, sister, etc.

In the 1990 film Paris is Burning, which details the New York drag scene, the concept of houses and family-based naming convention is common. The film depicts houses as surrogate or replacement families for the film's characters, who have often been abandoned or disowned by their biological families. A house creates a safe space (physically and psychologically) for its members to explore gender identity, sexual preference, and personal stylistic choices, among many other things.

In online spaces, such as FetLife, houses are used in a similar way to that explained above. They are online communities that share agreed-upon values, principles, and common interests. House members often have defined roles in care giving, support, or mentoring.

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