What to do When Your Family Isn’t Accepting
Dealing with any family members during the holidays can be difficult. It is the time of year where you are forced to spend time with all of your extended family, including the members you would never speak to if they weren’t related to you. If you are gay and have homophobic family members this makes things a heck of a lot more difficult.
For many people, going home for Christmas and spending time with their family is not an option. Not everyone has supportive families or families that they are in contact with. Other people may not be out yet and have to deal with people that are just generally homophobic even if not directed at you.
For those people that are going home to see their families over the holidays… Here are some tips for LGBTQ+ people that have to deal with homophobic family members over the holidays.
If they start saying homophobic things, being rude or being an overall ass…
Try and remain calm. It is easier said than done but try not to let people get under your skin too much. If they say mean things, don’t stoop to their level. This will most likely just make the situation escalate even further.
Acknowledge that homophobia often is based on a lack of knowledge. This is especially true for people from overly religious or conservative backgrounds. They may not know any other gay people and have never learned that gay people are “normal”. They also may have grown up in a time where gay and lesbians were not as accepted as they are now and are still stuck in that mindset. If you want, you could try and educate them. They may respond well if you speak to them from an emotional standpoint or maybe if you use logic and statistics.
But, stand up for yourself! If something they say offends you say so. Don’t let them walk all over you. Try and remain strong. Also, don’t be afraid to walk away from the situation.
In these situations, remember you are not alone. You have the LGBTQ+ community behind you supporting you. You have other people who love and accept you. If you don’t feel like you have either of those, you at least have Allie and me! You can always reach out to us if you are having a hard time and we will try and support you in the best we can.
Remember that the homophobic people in your life are the problem NOT YOU! You are amazing and strong. There is nothing wrong with loving who you love.
Try and remain hopeful, it is possible that they will change. There is always a chance that people can change and their opinions will change over time. This is way easier said than done, however.
Regardless, try and spend time with the family members that love you, accept you and/or open minded! Don’t put yourself through hell just because it is the Holidays.
If it is not safe for you to go home for the Holidays DON’T! If it is bad for your mental health to try and avoid the situation if at all possible. It might be hard to not spend time with your family or it might be a breath of fresh air depending on your situation!
If you need someone to talk to about any struggles you are having Allie and me are always here to listen. You can reach out to us via email or Instagram.We will help you however we can!
I hope these tips can help make your situation a little bit easier over the Christmas season. Be safe and remember you are strong and capable and will get through this!