Going Home as a Queer Person

 

As a queer person the holidays can be stressful. The reason these seasons or holidays can be stressful as a person in the queer community is because of our prolonged time at our parent’s house or other unsupportive family member’s houses. Some people do not have supportive families to go home to, and this can make something that is supposed to be fun super dreadful. The way many in the queer community resolve this feeling of dread is finding a “found family.” A “found family” can be described as a group of people who are not related but give each other continuous support. This can be the only thing making someone feel more accepted and loved throughout these worrisome seasons. 

For me, I have been lucky enough to have super supportive parents, but my extended family not so much. Recently, I have gotten my name legally changed and it has been something my mom’s side of the family is not taking well. They cannot understand why I wanted to change it or they simply just will not call me Ivory. Everytime they use my deadname it feels like a hit towards my identity, and makes me feel less inclined to go over to their houses. However, I do because my mom wants me to and I hope one day I can get them to understand my discomfort with being called my deadname. 

A current intern at the LGBTQ+ Center shares their experience with being a person within the queer community, and not being super excited to go home for winter break. “My siblings and I don’t have the best relationship with our mother. I always feel as though I am walking on eggshells and on edge most of the time,” they said. “I have outgrown a lot of bad habits since coming to college, and whenever I go home I feel myself slipping back into them.” 

The intern continues with how their home life has affected their other relationships. “With the childhood and experiences I had, it has always been hard for me to be in a platonic or romantic relationship. I only really started dating in college because of how much my parents made it hard for me to believe that someone would want to be with me,” they shared. “Even outside of my romantic relationships, being in a platonic relationship was hard for me due to my past, I had to unlearn a lot of bad habits to make meaningful relationships.”

They end with how being queer can be a hard topic to bring up during the holidays. “I am the only queer person in my family that I know about. I have been outed on purpose and accidentally, which sucks. I wish I could talk about my queer experiences, but I can’t for the fear of being judged,” they expressed. “I am fortunate to be accepted for the most part, I know that not everyone is as lucky. I also know for a fact that if I had it my way, there would be certain family members who would never know.” 

Samuel Clark, a super senior at Kent State University, goes into how it feels for them to go home for winter break. “Usually when a negative emotion arises when I go home, which it usually does, I try to change the subject to keep the peace during the holidays. However, people always end up feeling whatever they want to feel and sometimes it is best to just leave the room for a little while.”

Clark carries on with how the relationship dynamic changed once they came out as queer. “We were in a good place right before I came out as queer, and now it is a little harder to navigate due to my identity being known.”

Clark finishes with how safety during the holidays is the most important thing to be aware of. “Being safe at home is the biggest thing for some people, so when at home and there might not be the most accepting people make sure you are always safe,” they said. “So when I’m in a situation at home that I might not be able to safely leave, I’m careful about how and when I bring up being queer, if I do at all.”

To the people who may not be as lucky to get a supportive, loving, and accepting family: I see you, and I hope that one day you find the people who love you for you no matter what. You are worthy of love and respect, especially during the holidays.

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