So many issues arise when the family gathering time of year comes around. If you aren’t out to your family, do you choose to tell the whole family at once? If you’re in a relationship, do you bring your girlfriend? If your girlfriend isn’t out to her family, should you feel upset when you aren’t invited or instructed to act as if you aren’t dating her?
No one can answer any of your questions but you. A little advice, however, can help you settle on a decision that you are comfortable with. So the following is a group of reminders, tips, and things to think about when it comes to the holidays and being a lesbian.
If you are in a relationship:
- If one or both of you is not out yet, it may be helpful to consider spending the holidays separately. That also avoids any argument about whose family to spend each holiday with.
- It also might be helpful to spend the holidays together, alternating between the families. If neither of you are out, it might help in the future if the families already know the girlfriend. If one of you is out, it might provide a bit of relief to be able to spend some of the holiday time as a couple.
If you aren’t out yet:
- You know your family best. No one can say exactly what will happen, so if you decide to come out to everyone at one of the upcoming family gatherings, be sure to do it with a clear mind and no expectations, good or bad.
- It’s okay if you intend to come out and then change your mind. Nervousness is natural. You can try again at the next family gathering, or you can try out telling a few family members individually and letting the news spread by itself.
Some general advice:
- It is important to be true to yourself, but it is just as important to be true to your loved ones. While it may be tempting to stand up in front of everyone and announce your sexual orientation, it might not be the best way to tell everyone.
- Stay calm. If you are stressing out about it, just take a deep breath and go with the flow. There is no perfect time to come out or to have the family meet the new girlfriend. The more positive you are, the less it will weigh on your thoughts.
Take this holiday season to be grateful to have a family to celebrate with. Even if the family is your girlfriend’s or your coworker’s, or if you have two dogs and a cat to snuggle up with or it’s a short conversation with your neighbor. Even if your family is you. Celebrate Thanksgiving and every other holiday that comes with it in any way that will make you happy to be you.