Holidays can be difficult for LGBTQIA +folx. They can also be difficult for those who grew up in abusive or toxic homes. It’s okay & healthy to love family from afar. It’s okay to prioritize their emotional & physical well-being. Think through what they want to do for the holidays & where problems might arise & how they might deal with them.
Being biologically related to someone doesn’t make them family, it ‘s a title people have to earn. It is earned by demonstrating love, respect, support, honesty, acceptance, loyalty & compassion. It can be incredibly healing to create a chosen family of people
Often holiday events that are geared for LGBTQIA+ folx. Giving back & volunteering at various shelters or non-profits is also a good way to get involved, with the added benefit of getting their mind otherwise occupied. If there are problems with drug/alcohol, there are recovery meetings almost every hour during the holidays & this can be a good way to connect with others.
If the holidays are simply too painful to engage in, then that is okay too. In that case, it’s important to plan ahead for how they will spend the day & minimize the impact of society’s focus on the holidays. Perhaps now is the time to book that cruise to Mexico.
When deciding to go home for the holidays to a family that is less than supportive there are some important things to consider. Where to stay? Just because they are returning home doesn’t mean they have to stay at home with unsupportive people. By staying with a friend or more supportive family member, this can provide a buffer or refuge if dealing with their biological family becomes too much.
Plan for self-care. Is there a friend or animal they want to bring? They should make plans with friends in the area so that they can take a break from family. Plan for taking a walk if emotions get intense. Know the local crisis lines if needed.
It’s okay to set boundaries with family about what kind of behavior. And have a plan for what they can do if their boundaries are violated. Prep their support network on what type of support they might need at this time & then make sure to reach out & ask for it!