Day 26 – Surviving the holidays…


Thanksgiving and being trans / gender non-binary

The holidays can be hard for some transgender and gender non-conforming survivors. Some trans folks don’t have supportive families to go home to, or may want to minimize the amount of time spent with family.  Others may need to work or be too far away from their family (or family of choice) to spend Thanksgiving Day with. But there are so many things we can do and ways we can show love and support to each other!  Here are a few ideas:

  • Invite trans people who you know may be alone (and not want to be alone) on the holiday to your home, welcome them in like family. In other words, no one likes to feel like the outsider guest so think of ways you and your family (of choice or origin) will make the day as seamless as possible.
  • Schedule volunteer time at a food bank. Getting out of the house and doing something charitable can be a win-win. See if your local LGBT organization is having an “alternative thanksgiving” and offer your time or volunteer at a local food bank or your place of worship.
  • If you are working on the holiday, make plans before or after work with your family on your own terms (“I’m only stopping by for leftovers and a few hugs then need I really my sleep,” etc.).
  • If you don’t plan on going home or being around family for the holiday and you want to be preoccupied in a healthy way, offer to petsit for friends or family who ARE going out of town. Animals can be so rewarding for our spirits and also allow us to get outside for walks or for play inside.
  • Take a nap. This is typically an acceptable thing to do after a big meal! So, take some time to yourself and get a good rest.
  • A good exercise to do ahead of time is to make lists of everything you love about each single person you will meet. Keep those lists in your pocket or close to you and read them when you need a reminder.
  • Plan a gathering with the family members who do love and respect you for who you are. If you are unable to have a separate gathering, try to arrange time with those individuals that is away from family who may not be supportive.
  • If you want to address behaviors or remarks that may be said while you’re home or with family, think ahead of phrases that are meaningful to you and practice them. By doing so, you may lessen the heightened emotional response that may not be what you want to achieve or lessen the “I should have said this or that” regrets later.
  • Always remember, you can leave the space entirely if you feel too uncomfortable or unsafe.




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