I have, in my nearly half a century alive, amassed a shortlist of heroes and heroines. Obvious ones like one’s parents notwithstanding, duly acknowledged—mine consists simply of my second ex-boyfriend, my shrink (or as I joke, my PILF), my bestie in Australia, my gay social worker, and my youngest cousin. What makes them heroic? The measures they take to take care of me. They have personally touched a deep part of me that I never thought could be gotten to. It’s not the political figures or YouTube stars or random people rescuing ducks from a drain who touch me. The Internet has made all visuals fleeting and the feelings for them even more brutally so. Sometimes, there is a kind of fantasy I fall into that makes a handsome and charismatic stranger bigger than life, or bigger than my computer screen. But, the people who are in your life whom you’ve welcomed into your inner circle, and who don’t give up on you just because you process life differently—these are keepers. Hold them close. Don’t let go. That smile in your eyes that lights up at the mere thought of them speaks for itself…

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