How do you identify? How has this affected your relationship with your family?
I identify as gay and non-binary. It has affected my relationship with my family. Our relationship is the same, but there’s a lot of harder moments because they mess up and they say things that make me feel uncomfortable, but it’s stuff I have to get over to continue to have a relationship with them.
Tell us about your experience visiting family for the holidays.
This is my first year living outside my parent’s home, and I will be spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with them. This year will be a lot different because it’s the first year that I have a partner that my parents know about but my brothers don’t know about, so I don’t know how to navigate it all.
What has been the hardest thing to navigate when coming home for the holidays?
The hardest thing is holding on to the gratitude of being with my family and the spirit of the holidays and having a good time when I get misgendered as she, daughter or sister. My tip is to try to take this as lightly as possible but also reach out to friends that are super supportive and can understand and affirm that frustration and how much it sucks.
How do you establish personal boundaries with family?
If there’s a topic I don’t want to talk to them about, I don’t bring it up. If they bring something up, I will engage with what I’m comfortable with and then try to set a boundary or change the topic. I avoid talking about things that are too hard to the best of my ability.
How do you deal when the topic if family conversation turns to something you don’t agree with or invalidates who you are?
I usually stay out of it, keep my mouth shut, and listen with the idea in my head that people have their beliefs and that’s okay because right now I can’t change them. Again, just taking it as lightly as I can knowing that no matter what they say it doesn’t make me any less of a person.
Do you have other tips on how to have a happy and healthy holiday?
Watch your energy level, make sure that you eat and get enough sleep. Have fun and show up to what you want to show up for and what your committed to show up for, but take care of yourself [in the process].