The Holiday Season can be a Stressful Time for Members of the LGBTQIA+ Community

Jayde Teutsch, Staff Writer

The holiday season is a time many find exciting; decorations are put up and a positive energy is spread around. It can be a little stressful, however, for people who don’t have a family to celebrate the holidays with.  

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community oftentimes find the holiday season stressful. An article written by NBC reporter Alexander Kacala said many queer people struggle with the feeling of rejection or fear for freely expressing their true selves. Some people’s families are passively homophobic and make insolent comments under their breaths and this lack of respect can create a hostile environment at family gatherings.   

For those going home, it is crucial to have a plan for when triggers are presented. Letting a friend know you’re visiting home and may need to call them as a way to destress can be helpful. Taking a step back is not rude and calling people out for homophobic comments is well within your rights. Make sure you take care of yourself first and don’t do anything that would make you too uncomfortable; you don’t owe people who don’t respect you more than they deserve.  

Not everyone has the opportunity or mental capacity to visit home for the holidays though. Some avoid reuniting with family all together which can make festivities dull. Being alone during holidays is not easy for everyone, but there are some ways to make it less difficult.  

The Apicha Community Health Center wrote an article listing mental health tips for queer people who decide not to visit home for the holidays in effort to avoid awkward and demeaning conversations. These tips included doing something outside of bed and maintaining a daily routine.  

Sometimes getting out of bed can be the hardest part of cheering yourself up. Calling a friend to make plans or going for a walk to your favorite spot can get the ball rolling though and completing minute tasks can make the day seem less daunting. Even if getting out of bed is the only thing you accomplish, it is something to be proud of.  

It can be hard staying home for the holidays, but letting rotten family members keep you from living life can make the season seem even more bleak. Proving your authentic self can continue living a colorful life without others’ approval is retribution enough.  

Besides participating in activities outside your bed, carrying on with a daily routine can be a healthy distraction from spending the holidays away from family. Letting the day pass by can make you focus on who you aren’t spending time with. Making sure your days are still full of joy and supportive people can make separating from toxic individuals less guilt inducing. There is no shame in living life away from people who don’t support your authentic self.  

Whether your queer friends are visiting home for the holidays this year or not, make sure you check up on them. My first holiday season after coming out was excessively stressful; I was fortunate enough to have a supportive family, but I still find myself asking what ifs sometimes despite having encouraging family members. It is even harder for people who have a blatantly homophobic family. 

Offer your support to friends and let them know you’re available if they need a friend. remind them that they are strong for enduring the things they do, and they deserve finding a good support system. Take care of yourself and your psyche because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what others think of you. The holiday season is a beautiful time to love who you love and show the world who you truly are.