Around the Holidays many families have their own little traditions that, while unknown to most outside the family, are near and dear to their hearts nonetheless. Special rituals about how the tree is set up, who carves the turkey, what kinds of food are served and so forth make every family a little bit unique and special.
It is for this very reason that one of the biggest Holiday problems for many people, one that makes many depressed and sad, is not being able to be with family to share these traditions simply because of their sexual orientation. The simple, unequivocal truth is that no matter who you are and no matter if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning you are still a person, you have worth, you deserve to be loved and (be honest) you miss those little traditions.
Your parents, your brothers or sisters and other family members still love you (they really do, honest) but, because of circumstances beyond your control, they are possibly angry or confused about your orientation and for that reason may not want to see you or may not want you to come to their home during the Holidays.
It is for this reason that, if you really want to see them, it may be necessary for you to change things up and invite them to a ‘neutral’ place where there is no need for them to feel ‘weirded out’ by what they don’t yet understand. What you need to do, in essence, is start some new Holiday traditions that allow your family to be together without the pressure of having to ’accept’ who you are, at least not just yet.
A great way to do this is for everyone to meet at a nice restaurant, a hotel or even a spa. Make it as neutral as possible (a gay bar may be pushing it a bit) and make it a place where there is something to do besides just talk so that, if anyone feels awkward, at least they can occupy themselves with something till the awkwardness goes away.
Meeting at a mall to go shopping or meeting in the city to look at all the window displays and see the lights is a great way to spend time together and can be made into an annual tradition very easily. It’s also a lot of fun too.
Don’t push it, and don’t expect everyone to be super excited right away, but usually with a little time and patience everyone will come around. Who knows, they may someday thank you for starting what becomes a favorite new tradition in your family.