Another year, and another Christmas approaches. For many people Christmas is a time for family and celebration. However if you are from the LGBTI community you might not feel totally comfortable at home, so being reunited with family who might disagree with your identity, sexuality or have any number of outrageous misinformed opinions on <insert race / religion / politics here/> the whole situation might be less than ideal. So this Christmas come in armed with some strategies you might implement to make the silly season more enjoyable.
If you know you are going to be visiting a family environment that might be negatively skewed against you, it’s good to outline either in paper or in your head what you think is likely to happen over the period. Set boundaries of what you think is appropriate conduct, and if you think a relative has overstepped it quietly remove yourself from the scene. Also if you’re planning on having any holiday sex, be safe! Find out what safe sex strategies are available to you (should you be so lucky).
Have a partner in crime
Getting through the sometimes bullish Christmas conversations relatives may trap you in is hard, but everything is a little easier when you have a partner in crime to relay the terrible details of your Christmas to. Checking in over the phone, or escaping the house for a café rendezvous can be a great solution to removing yourself from negative environments.
Have an exclusion zone
When conversations get heated, or if a relative is making you feel uncomfortable, having a prepared place to go to be alone can make all the difference. Whether it’s as simple as getting away for a short walk, or booking separate accommodation to the place where your family might be gathering it’s a good thing to have considered. What is important is that you will be able to access the space on your terms, and that it doesn’t require you to endure the company of anyone you don’t want in your personal space.
Think ‘what would Adele do’ (deep breathing)
There may be occasions where you may not be able to easily leave a conversation, so this is when we need to observe the principle of WWAD (what would Adele do). The answer to that is:
- Adele would remain calm (and fabulous)
- Adele would remember that the problem does not lie with herself but with the non-accepting / homophobic family members
- Adele would then go write and perform a hit music ballad telling those who wronged her exactly what sort of emotional torment they really put her/you through
That last step is totally up to you. Also for bonus viewing watch SNL solve an awkward family get together with the power of Adele.
‘Keep it Gay’ (focus on the positives)
It’s all about staying positive! Get a bit silly, find some friends or people you would rather be with and have a little party. If your current family traditions aren’t the ones providing you joy and happiness, then perhaps it’s time to start some new ones! If other friends are tied up on the day with family, make time to catch up a little later, and together you and your friends can make the yuletide gay.