The holidays can be tough for 2SLGBTQI youth as it is often a time where traditions are observed and spending time with family is expected. If your family is unsupportive or has a hard time communicating and understanding, here are some tips to decrease some of the anticipated stress.
1) Set boundaries with your family before you get there/before a holiday event.
For example, let them know what questions you’re willing to answer and what is off-limits to discussion.
2) Plan ahead with friends/chosen family to be available to call/text throughout the event.
Being able to vent or share frustrations, even if it’s brief, can help so that you don’t feel alone in your experience.
3) Utilize/claim your alone time.
Remember to take breaks when you need to, go for a walk or read a chapter of your favourite book.
4) Organize a holiday event with your chosen family.
Whether it’s instead of or in addition to, connecting with chosen family over the holidays is a great way to spend your time!
5) Prepare an exit strategy in case it gets too intense.
Just in case the worst case scenario happens, it may be helpful to think ahead about what your exit options are. For example, have someone available to pick you up or knowing when the last train leaves.
6) Know that you are not obligated to be out of the closet nor do you owe anyone any personal information.
Your safety is the first priority. You don’t have to explain anything you don’t want to.
7) Priorities your wellbeing first. It is valid to skip the trip home or an event to avoid harmful or toxic situations and people.
Your presence is a present, you deserve to be appreciated and respected in the space you choose to be in.