Queer Holiday Survival Guide
Ah, the holidays, that time of year when we drag our asses home for a few days of polite grimacing around people we don’t like that much. Ok, that’s harsh. My parents are lovely human beings and very accepting of my queerness, but I decided last year that I am done with holiday air travel and East Coast cold. This year, I’ll be spending Christmas with my significant other in a VW bus that’s been converted into a dwelling on the Northern California coast. But if you couldn’t get out of facing your family this year, here are 10 tips for surviving the drama. Already triggering family situations can be even more complicated for queers (ya know, because of homophobia and stuff), though this advice applies to everyone. You can get through it. Here’s some advice on how, all with the help of someecards.com.
Alcohol is a classic for coping with family drama at the holidays, for folks of all genders and sexual identities. Let yourself relax with a nice glass or two of wine. Or whatever you drink, no judgment here. Unless you drink Bud Light Lime or something. Stop doing that.
1B. But also take it easy on the drinking.
You don’t want to get so uninhibited you end up screaming at people or puking on the tree. You don’t need an intervention about your drinking on top of the passive-aggressive comments about your “lifestyle.” Yes to relaxed, buzzed, tipsy. No to wasted, hammered, stupid.
2A. Stand up for yourself…
You don’t have to answer invasive questions about your sex life. You don’t have to listen to preaching about how you’re going to hell. You can walk away, you can say no, you do not have to be berated, insulted, abused, pushed, pressured
2B. But pick your battles.
You’re not going to change your set-in-her-ways grandma or your Fundamentalist mother or your idiot brother. It’s not worth getting yourself worked up. So don’t instigate debates, don’t “test” your family, don’t go looking for fights. Keep the conversation on neutral territory if possible. Personal example: I would never mention the sex toy/queer sex articles I write every week… or the joke about my grandma dying in my standup act… or the… actually, I should stop.
3A. Find an ally.
Maybe it’s your brother or your cousin or your uncle or a parent. Hopefully, there is at least one person who gets you and will rescue you from uncomfortable conversations, or at least vent/drink/smoke with you. Find a buddy and don’t leave their side, elementary-school style.
3B. If you don’t have an ally in person, get one on the phone.
If you don’t have anyone in your family on your side, that sucks and I’m sorry. Arrange with a friend or friends beforehand to text or call when things get rough. You can step away from everyone and get support. I honestly don’t know how any homos survived the holidays at home before cell phones.
4A. Go for a walk or a run or whatever active, healthy people do.
That releases endorphins or something, right? And some people like moving around or whatever. Do that. Run away from your family, though my limited understanding of running for pleasure makes me think you do have to run back.
4B. Chain-smoke, watch Netflix, whatever the rest of us do.
We’ll all try and fail at quitting smoking on New Year’s Day, but for now just do whatever you need to do to survive. Scrooged is on Netflix! That’s one of the best Christmas comedies, guys. Bill Murray! Watch that. Do whatever works for you, but I highly recommend smoking and movies.
No explanation needed, y’all know how to sob.
5A. Laugh, too!
Sometimes our family members are so ignorant/stupid/annoying/frustrating/etc./etc./etc., all you can do is laugh. Through your tears.