It is officially the holiday season. If black LGBTQ folks do not have it hard enough, we are about to embark on the exhausting, awkward and anxiety-provoking holiday season with our biological families. And despite all the cheer in the air, it can be extremely stressful for a lot of black queers, especially if you family does not know or doesn’t approve.
Here are examples that come up for me every year:
• My drunken Uncle Calvin asking me, “I know you gay and all, but are you the man or the women?” Without fail, I look my uncle in the eye like Joan Crawford in “Ice Follies” and say, “The woman” — and then watch him sit with this thought all night.
• Grandma Vivian saying, “You know I would like to see you with children one day?” This despite the fact that she has 12 already. I will repeat the same answer I’ve repeated for years, and that is, “I am too busy with my career to worry about children.”
• Little cousins who have not seen me years saying, “Oh yeah! Our mom told us about you, but we don’t judge anyone.” As if there were something to judge me about. At this point, I just take a deep breath and not say anything because I know I am not going to change their minds about black-queer issues.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to know that you are supported; this means finding the one family member you can stick to all night — also having your friends on speed dial so you can vent about whatever homophobic or transphobic joke you just heard.
This holiday season, make sure you find time to relax and enjoy yourself with your loved ones. The holidays can be stressful, but you are going to get through it. Remember: You are loved and anyone who tells you otherwise is WRONG!