Lacey Renée, 31
How do you identify? How has this affected your relationship with your family?
I’m a big fat lesbian and my family just pretends I’m not.
Tell us about your experience visiting family for the holidays.
It’s frustrating. Every visit in general is the same. When am I going to get a husband or have kids. “Are you still a part of that rainbow coalition” is my uncle’s favorite joke…I can’t spend more than a few hours. It’s exhausting!
Are you out to your family?
I’m out, but I can’t say (the majority of) my family accepts or respects my sexuality.
Anything specific to your family’s ethnic background/culture that makes coming home and being yourself specifically tricky to navigate?
I grew up with a fairly religious background. My grandfather was a deacon and we never missed church! My family is also Jamaican, and homosexuality isn’t “tolerated” at all.
How do you establish personal boundaries with family?
I haven’t. They could care less about boundaries. However, I’ve convinced myself that’s more of a cultural thing.
What do you do when family conversations turn to something you don’t agree with or invalidates who you are?
It always turns into a screaming match and me leaving. My siblings or cousins may defend me, but by then I’m just ready to leave…and I do.
Do you have advice on bringing a significant other home to meet the family?
My advice on this is probably awful. I just show up with them. They’ll either ask questions or mind their business. It’s fun!
Have you ever chosen to not go home, and spend time with friends instead?
I’ve gone this route a few times only to be guilted by my family.
Other tips on how to have a happy and healthy holiday?
If your family doesn’t accept you or respect you, it’s okay to separate yourself. Cutting off toxicity isn’t limited to the chosen people in your life!