My dear, lovely, wonderful you:

The holidays are fast approaching, and we know that the “holiday feel” is basically a big, fat lie invented to make us feel guilt if we experience anything but happiness. 

I’m being harsh – I actually like the holidays. Well, kind of. I don’t mind them. Well. I kind of not love them. Well. Am I getting side tracked? 

But as someone who is proudly queer and (not as proudly) fat, the holiday season has always been quite hard on me. First of all, my family is quite small, so no big “My Fat Greek Wedding” family gatherings for me. Second, the only thing we ever did on Christmas was meeting at my grandma’s house for dinner – try doing that when you know your whole family is going to be snarky about how big you are. Third, dad thinks there’s nothing bad in making jokes about “the other gays” since he’s so supportive of me… And mom isn’t homophobic but she says loads of problematic things that make me want to melt into the ground never to be seen again. On the other hand of the spectrum, my girlfriend’s family is huge and loud and loving and touchy and that doesn’t really agree with my anxiety either. As I said, holidays = complicated time for me. 

Your situation might be quite different from mine. Maybe your family is huge, and maybe you love that. Maybe it gives you anxiety. Maybe they’re amazing and supportive and maybe they’re oppressive and mean. But whatever your situation is, there are a few things I want you to remember as the holidays approach, and I hope these things will give you some help and some comfort. 

First of all, as queer people we get to choose our own family. And you might dismiss this as a cliché, and I do too sometimes because the reality of my life is that I’ve not really got any friends at all, let alone friends that can be my “family”. However, if YOU are in need of a family, consider yourself adopted. I’m your momma now. Or sister. Maybe sister, don’t make me feel old…

Secondly, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t deserve time to self-care. Some of us have way too much time during the holidays – but if you’re on a busy schedule, then impose it on yourself to take time for nice long baths, reading books and watching TV. Whatever makes you happy, or relaxed. You don’t owe your emotional availability to anyone!

On the other hand, if like me you have got waaaaay too much time on your hands, try and do things that make you happy and don’t stay in bed all day. Again, I know it’s hard – I have depression and the bed is my nest. BUT! I promise I’ll make an effort this holiday season to not let myself get sad because of not having anything to do. There are a few places where you can find things to do, and many universities (if you’re in education) offer their students meetings and support during the holidays. “Whats On/name of your city” is usually a good source for activities. Look around your local LGBTQ group.

If you’re in the closet and your family’s questions get you down, those are few good answers I’ve come up during the years. 

“So, do you have a boyfriend/ girlfriend”? 

  • "DO YOU???"
  • "I have 99 problems but my relationship ain’t none of your business"
  • "Nah, I’m focusing on my studies" (always appreciated by the older people in your family)
  • Going on rants on the pressures of society for us to be beautiful and find a partner are usually good because they kill the mood and get people away from you.

If your family is misgendering you:

  • I’m sorry. I love you loads and appreciate you!
  • Sing really loud in their ears. It’s better if you’re terrible at it.
  • Remind yourself that nobody knows you better than you do. YOU’RE WITH YOURSELF 24/7!
  • Another reminder that I love you!!!
  • Play emo music. My Chemical Romance is a good one, because generally nobody likes it. (I stand by them, *sigh.*)

I am afraid I’ve run out of advice. But all I want to say to you, my dearest lovely person, is that whatever happens these holidays remind yourself that someone truly loves you and truly cares.

Oh, I almost forgot! Watching the Grinch usually helps me. And Florence Foster Jenkins- it’s not Christmas-y but IT HAS MERYL STREEP. 

Love you loads,