Holidays: Five Holiday Survival Tips For LGBTQ People
For most people, the holidays are a time to reunite with family and look back at the year that was. But for LGBTQ folks, the holidays can be a really stressful time of the year, especially if their family wasn’t particularly welcoming or supportive when they came out.
If you’re a member of the community that finds the holidays particularly stressful — especially now that Christmas is literally a day or hours away, depending on where you are in the world as you’re reading this — don’t worry. Here’s our five tips for you to survive the holidays.
1. It’s okay to not go back to your family, especially if they’re homophobic
Yes, we always get told that the holidays are for family, but maybe those people haven’t had their family throw them out of the house, disown them, or even be violent towards them. Going back to that just because it’s tradition isn’t healthy, and might even be unsafe from some people. Spend your holidays with the people who love, no matter your sexual orientation or gender identity.
2. Always keep in contact with the people who love you if you have to go home
If going back to a homophobic family is something you can’t avoid, then always make sure that you have a friend you can reach out to if things get too intense. They may not be able to get you out of there, but at the very least you’re going to have someone commiserating with you and helping you get through the ordeal.
3. Be in a fighting mood
If it’s safe for you to speak out, then feel free to do it during Christmas dinner. Tell your family that their homophobic beliefs are wrong and even harmful. If they’re going to make your holidays miserable, they might as well have a taste of their own medicine. But of course, all of this depends on whether it is safe for you to do so, or if you can handle all the fighting. Otherwise, it may be best to just grin and bear it.
4. Party your way
If you’re fortunate enough to be spending Christmas with your chosen family, congratulations! And in much the same way that you’ve chosen this new family, you can also choose to celebrate Christmas the way you and your friends want to. Who says you can’t spend Christmas at a drag show, or singing showtunes at a karaoke?
5. Do nothing
If all Christmas is to you is a collection of stress and painful memories, then don’t bother celebrating it at all. Treat it as you would any other day. If you’ve been itching to binge-watch something on Netflix, now’s would be the best time to do it.
Adam4Adam readers, do you have any other tips and tricks you can share to survive the holidays? Feel free to share them in the comments section below!