Every holiday season, HRC receives many calls and emails from LGBTQ people asking us how to handle situations with family and loved ones when difficult conversations arise about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Post submitted by Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera, former Director of Faith Outreach and Training
Every year during the holiday season, HRC receives many calls and emails from LGBTQ people asking us how to handle situations with family and loved ones when difficult conversations arise about sexual orientation and gender identity, particularly around the subject of religion. Whether or not you are out to your family, their negative beliefs and judgments about LGBTQ people can create a toxic environment.
And we know from experience that these situations often occur unexpectedly -- when you’re gathered around the television watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or a football game, in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on the holiday meal, or between bites of turkey and pumpkin pie.
While these conversations can be hurtful and unsettling, to say the least, we cannot expect to change hearts and minds in the moment. But our experience over the years has taught us that there are effective strategies for navigating minefields LGBTQ people face when spending time over the holidays with friends and family who may not be supportive.
These tips aren’t just for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, New Year's or Thanksgiving, but for all holidays and time spent with family, whether it be during Ramadan, Easter, Fourth of July or Passover.
Please remember that you are loved and your community is here to support you. If you need other resources do not hesitate to call The Trevor Project’s hotline at (866) 488-7386. You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-8255 or the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860.