Regardless of being cisgender, straight or anywhere in the LGBT spectrum, the holiday season can wreak havoc on some people despite it being so holly and jolly. Bills are clashing with the marketing overdrive to buy-buy-buy, the weather is changing, it’s so dark so early, and a million other things that just mount up on top of people already feeling the daily strain in their lives. Combine that with dysphoria or fearing how your family will react to your presence just for being you can sometimes cause a boiling pot to spill over. Getting through the Thanksgiving holiday is just one small hurdle for most people as it is now the official holiday kickoff where people are wishing you good tidings while elbowing you out of the way for the best deal possible. For those of us in the LGBT spectrum, however, Thanksgiving is the start of our greatest fears as we are facing not just a more chaotic time for two months straight but the impending sense of doom in having to deal with family.
“This is the time of year when LGBT people are assaulted, verbally harassed, degraded, misgendered, or even outright shunned and disowned.”
This is the time of year when LGBT people are assaulted, verbally harassed, degraded, misgendered, or even outright shunned and disowned. While there are a few wonderful families out there who have embraced their LGBT family members as they would any other person, many others, especially transgender folks, are headed for a nightmare and none of the warm-fuzzy feelings that movies and songs insist exist for everyone. Being inundated with a constant barrage of holiday sentimentality from movies, TV specials, and nonstop music piped through every available speaker, there’s certainly a sense of wanting to embrace and enjoy the season and, for the most part, we do. But on the backs of our minds, there’s a dark and fearful place and that place can overtake a person and result in self-harm or even suicide.
There’s help and this is not the end. It’s a small moment in time, and it too shall pass. You are far stronger than they are, and your life means so much to the world. Perhaps these sound like fruitless and meaningless words from some random Internet stranger, but it’s coming from someone who has been taken over by the darkness of despair; faced it; gave it the big old F— Off; and turned things around. It’s easy to say now that “it gets better” or that it’s a mere drop in a far larger pond. While I can’t convince you that my words are genuine, I do hope that I can convince you to reach out to someone, utilize these resources, and keep on pushing through.
If you need help please reach out to:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Trevor Project: 866-488—7386 (866-4-U-TREVOR)
– also, has chat services or text TREVOR to 202-304-1200 Thursday and Friday from 4pm-8pm EST
Trans Lifeline: 877-5665-8860
GLBT National Help Center – 888-843-4564 (888-THE-GLNH)
— GLBT Youth Talk line – 800-246-7743 (800-246-PRIDE)
— Other hotline numbers available on their site
Text an anonymous crisis counselor: 741741
Of course, if you or someone you know is in imminent danger, call 9-1-1 immediately.