Christmas is just two days away and as you sit there and c r a m another mince pie into that gullet of yours, you are suddenly awash with the thought of THOSE relatives that are coming over on the 27th that are nearly as bigoted as Nigel Farage and Piers Morgan’s toilet seat, combined. Now every year, especially in England and i’m sure this happens all across the world, however there’s an elephant (sadly not a leopardprint one) in the room about the people that we don’t like but are forced to endure. We somehow feel like although they could be vile, racist, bigoted people who if we weren’t related to, we wouldn’t want to associate ourselves with, but because they’re your mums cousins nieces uncles fathers sugar daddy, we somehow have to sit with them and reminse about that one time back in ’98 when the football was on. And for a lot of people, especially LGBTQIA+ people this christmas, it can be an anxiety ridden and truly disastrous time having to put up with countless waves of discrimination, bigotry and ignorance, all disguised with a yellow sprig of tinsel because ‘it’s just christmas’ and ‘we have to all hang out and just get on’. Well Susan, we don’t, and that’s REALLY ok to say.
- Don’t compromise unnecessarily
Christmas can be a time of compromise for the family and the groups that you surround yourself in, and this can be absolutely fine when it comes to what we watch on tv, and what we want to eat, however when someones identity or life has to be compromised so that there ‘isn’t tension’ or to try and prevent an argument, this is not what we need and really isn’t very christmassy. It’s not your problem if someone else doesn’t like the way that you’re being your most authentic self, and due to the notion of christmas, a lot of times its easier to just go the event/dinner and just get through it because there will be more hassle if you don’t go. That is you compromising but in a way where it’s ok, you didn’t want to go but you’re there, and your alive. It’s ok. However this is where the compromising stops. Don’t compromise on your look/how you act around your partner if they’re there/your pronouns or identity/being humiliated or made to feel uncomfortable in situations that are hostile. You don’t need to change, they do. Unless there are situations where you are unsafe, try your best to uphold your identity and your community.
2. Brew your tea and make it PIPING hot
Whipping out a statistic or few is FAR more regal and appropriate then a firearm. Come to the table with facts that are going to be whipped out at your disposal. Now there is a line here. People who are either racist/homophobic/ableist/transphobic/everyothersingleotherphobic are stubborn. Don’t use the facts to try and change their mind, and don’t become persistent on changing their mind because they’re stubbon and they’ll probably not want to listen to you. It’s not your job to change the whole world, despite what you think you should be doing. You don’t need to be justifying your life the whole time your alive because it’s unfair and unjust. So what I think can be fun sometimes is to just if questioned about your lover or your life, just drop a few truth bombs along the way. Grab that tea pot honey, and spill that freshly brewed, delicious tea all over the delicately displayed table cloth. Honey pick up that mic, and just drop the fuck out of it. Maybe, if you’re feeling extra festive, literally just say your tea, and then leave it at that. Just carry on eating that christmas pudding after you’ve just SNATCHED your fellow diners. Iconic.
3. This isn’t 2012 ladies, the world isn’t about to end, even if it feels like it is
It can be hard to be rational in situations where you feel isolated and out of place, and this can lead to a whole HOST of irrational and completely untrue thoughts that will come into your head. This, just like all the situations that I’m discussing in this post, are not your fault, however it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to deal with them, and a good way to deal with them is to try and NOT over reACT. Yes, this could literally ruin your whole day and it’s something that isn’t your issue in the slightest, because your authentic self is being compromised, however you need to realise that this situation that you’re in isn’t going to continue forever. Take deep breaths, and remember who you are, remember what you’ve already been through, and what you’re going to go through in the future, and how in all of these things – you’re there. YOU are doing this. YOU are getting through this. Even if it means you have to count it down minute by minute, YOU can do this because guess what – YOU ARE doing it. Family itself isn’t a social construct, because it is a real thing that exists in the world, but the SOCIAL NORMS that surround the family are often seen to be unbreakable, so when someone defies the norm, people can be unhappy about it. Keep true to yourself, keep true to your actions, do what you want to do and make sure you’re not hurting/oppressing anybody, and never forget what you’re worth because the world isn’t about to end. Remember that there is a tomorrow, and a day after that, and another day, where you can begin to build the life that you want to live, no matter how small your steps are.
LADIES you can do this. For the LGBTQIA+ community, the relationship that you have with your family can always be tested and trialled as your identity grows, so do their questions, and so does your ability to answer them without feeling like you’re under interrogation. Don’t forget that your family are still capable of being amazing, loving, warm people despite their questions, as they can just be wanting to learn more about you, and want to be able to learn to accept you for you! However don’t confuse this with constant, inane questioning that isn’t coming from a place of love. If you’re being told you’re doing something wrong/asked to change/told that you’re not doing the right thing in your life by living your life as your authentic self, then follow the steps from this top tips guide to try and navigate yourself through christmas without a hitch. Most importantly, try and have fun, and get ALL the most amazing presents and love and hugs from the people that DESERVE it from you. You got this ladies, I believe in you.
Lots of love and MERRY CHRISTMAS!