Christmas is a time that is spent with family, probably old friends that you don’t see very often and other relatives that you maybe see once a year. It’s a traditional time where the focus can be on religion and this means a constant reminder of the ‘normal family unit’. Man, woman, kids and a tree. The reminder of the ‘normal’ family unit is represented by the nativity in the hall. If you’re not Christian, Catholic or C of E I’m sure there is another religious element to the holidays that asks you to conform, to be ‘normal’. It can’t be escaped. This time of year can remind us that being LGBT is still a very unique way of life and one that most people have no idea about. So how do we fling it all together for Christmas week?
Common asked or unsaid questions when I was not out were “Are you getting dressed up?” I AM DRESSED UP (for me!). “Any boyfriend on the horizon?” (Mine have given up on this one since my Outing but still probably on their mind!). “Do you want to have Children?” Yes but not right this second, despite the somewhat dodgy ‘Mary got pregnant’ issues, that has not and will not happen to me. “Are you going to put some make-up on” Ehh no, and especially no now that you’ve asked me to (stubborn). I probably would have. “I have a lovely guy friend that you would love” Great, that’s nice for you (Why would I ‘LOVE’ him?). “You can have all this is you want it!” Oh ok thanks for allowing me to ‘dream’ of having a partner, family and Happy Christmas, if that’s what I want. Some of us are more unfortunate to also hear homophobic language at home which adds to the stresses of being LGBTQ at Christmas time. Not only do we get stereotypes pushed upon us, sometimes we feel that we cannot be ourselves.
Since Coming Out to my friends and family NONE of these things have been a part of my world. I appreciate the above are not all LGBTQ related either. Thankfully I’ve been able to have my girlfriend with me at Christmas if I chose to and she had been welcomed into my family home. She had been treated as one of the family, gifts and all! I have spent many a holiday time with my family, extended family and friends with a girlfriend and have not been treated any differently. What we have to remember is that for many of our family members the common husband, wife and kids picture is only what they know. We get swept up in our LGBTQ worlds too and things are more visible to use because we are more involved with that world every day. Most of my family are also from a completely different generation.
There are still things that I don’t particularly want to do this time of year but I do them to compromise. Me being gay is not an issue in my family household. There are things that our families will never understand about our lives but hopefully we’ll all get to a point where our sexuality does not matter. Being ourselves at any time of year is vital so special occasions during the year are ‘normal’ for all of us. It’s what is expected, the unexpected is what frightens people. That’s part of the reason why I found being honest with my family and friends was so important to me, being me all the time was what I wanted. You can’t change how other people have experienced their lives but you can teach them that your way is okay and you’re happy in it. I’ve found that if they see this all the time then there is no issue, noting is a surprise.
Secretly what I would LOVE to do would be to have a really big gay Christmas! Invite all of my gay and gay friendly mates to a massive 48hour party where everyone can be themselves. We would all be wearing the gayest of gay (can I write that?) selections of Christmas jumpers (standard), the lighting and decor would be fabulous! The food would be catered in and I would have a selection of gay/lesbian (hot) waiters to serve us all our food and many bottles of champaign. AHHHHH we can only dream of THIS Christmas!!! *wink*
Wherever you are and whatever your situation is I hope you have a safe and happy time. If you’re not out and feeling the strain remember that your time will come when you are ready to open up if you choose to. If you’re out and things are still a bit stressful, remember things take time. You and your loved ones will go through the journey together. I will get better!
#HappyOut & Happy Christmas
XX The Outing XX
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