Being LGBT During the Holidays

Christmas isn't easy for everyone. Some of us don't get to have what we want most, and being any sort of intersectional identity presents its own complicated set of problems that mean you have to navigate even the happiest of holidays with caution.

Being LGBT at a family gathering can possibly mean sacrificing our happiness for the rest of the family, shrinking ourselves and biting our tongues so as not to 'disrupt' everyone else's good mood. Asking for people to be respectful of us makes them defensive, and they lash out at us. They aren't mad at us, but they think they are. They are upset with themselves for messing up; they know the right words AND they know they are smart, so when they mess up, it's difficult for them to communicate that stressful feeling. It usually results in them saying we are rude for pointing out their mistake. Regardless, none of this makes it easier. We are human too! Even if it was an accident, a hurtful thing is still hurtful. It isn't their fault that they haven't lived your experiences, but their apologies can't always take away the memories of past pain. 

For me, making my home cozy, surrounding myself with warm lights and blankets, and decorating a tree so I have something beautiful in my home are helpful. It doesn't erase the weight put on my heart, but it does make it easier to breathe and take on whatever happens next. It's hard going through the holidays and seeing everyone have a better time than you. You might even feel like you aren't a part of the family because your identity feels like nothing but a burden sometimes. If that's the case, do something that DOES involve you!  You can hang lights, bake, clean, light candles, or buy a cute throw blanket or some flowers. Let the people around you know that you're here and you care and that they can share the holidays with you. Barriers keep us safe, but sometimes they get too big and loved ones can't get through them. Try and open yourself up to the positive experiences that the holidays can bring.

Reaching out to other LGBT people and their partners during the holidays and asking them if they need anything is important. Everyone deserves to feel like they are a part of something happy. Start the conversation, and learn how to make the next holiday better for everyone. 

Happy Holidays!

Love, Janie

For more assistance, call The Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386) or the Trans Lifeline (877-565-8860).

By JanieWhateva

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