I'll Be Homo For The Holidays
For many people the holidays is the one time of year when people get the family together at once. This is true for me, since leaving Sacramento 5 years ago, I only visit during Christmas. So, I understand wanting to get your family up to speed on what’s going on with you. We all get asked that annoying “where’s your boyfriend?” question. I know you’re tired of hitting them with the “I’m just trying to focus on me right now.” It can be especially taxing if you’re in a serious relationship and you want your family to know about such a significant part of your life. However, there’s a time and a place for everything. While there’s never a “perfect time” to tell your folks you won’t be marrying a man, there are better times to do it. Here are 5 reasons why you should hold off on coming out during the holidays.
1) You Would Be Making The Holiday About You
While you may love to be the center of attention, the holidays don’t revolve around you. Even if your birthday is on Christmas, they came for the food and gifts, get real sis! You don’t want to hijack one of the few days your family comes together and spends time with each other. Christmas 2017 will forever be remembered by your family as the day you came out the closet. It will be retold at every cookout, every Thanksgiving, every baby shower and most likely when everyone is lit. Spare yourself the embarrassment.
2) You May Not Be Taken Seriously
Now this could happen regardless of when you decide to come out, but the holidays are not particularly the best time to do so. This ties in with making the day about you. Your folks might see it as a way of seeking attention. How many times do you get the sense your relatives are trying to one-up each other with their news updates? "Audrey, just got a promotion at her job” “Yeah, well cousin Marcus just got into law school!” “Well, Megan just got engaged to a Prince!” and here you go … “Everybody, I’m gay!” *crickets.* Don’t be that person. While your intentions aren’t to one-up anybody, it could come across that way, and might be taken with a grain of salt.
3) Everyone Reacts Differently (Especially When Drinking)
Again, this is true for anytime you come out to anyone. Some will be accepting, others not so much. What makes the stakes higher during the holidays is the consumption of alcohol. You know what they say, “a drunken mind speaks a sober heart.” When alcohol is involved people aren’t so PC and call things like they see them. We also know drinking heightens people’s emotions. There is at least one angry drunk in the family (you know who I’m talking about). So if you decide to come out when everyone is liquored up thinking it will ease tensions, think again! This is big news, and you don’t want to deal with any possible fallout because your intolerant uncle had one too many shots of Henny.
4) It’s Extra Awkward!
You think coming out is awkward in and of itself? It can be! Sprinkle some jingle bells, long lost relatives, and a smackin feast by Gram-Gram and it’s awkward x 100! There the family is, having a great time, opening presents, playing dominoes, and “going for a walk” when you decide “now would be a great time to tell everyone, I’m into women!” For what? Is the Holy Spirit moving you to get that burden off your chest? Is it too much to bear? I get it, it can weigh on you. Especially when you see your brothers and sisters with their significant others and feel like you should be able to do the same. You should! But sometimes news like that can take out the holiday joy and just make things awkward. Whether or not it’s well received, the dynamic of the whole day can change. You don’t want your folks tip toeing around you or being extra sensitive… awkward!
5) It Will Bring Unnecessary Intimidation
Coming out is already a nerve wracking process. You might think it’s easier for a “one and done” by telling everyone at once instead of gradually. Yet, the intimidation is REAL! That would feel as dramatic as standing in the middle of Times Square and yelling out that you’re queer. Do you really want all eyes on you in that moment? It’s a bold move, but the intimidation and (most likely) mixed reactions will make it far more dramatic than it needs to be.
I can’t reiterate enough that there will never be a “perfect time” or a “perfect way” to come out. The only thing I would advise is coming out on your own time. Do it when you feel ready, don’t give yourself a deadline. Living in your truth feels good regardless of the reaction. Know that on the other side of the rainbow is freedom, happiness, and love. There is a community that will be ready to embrace you even if your loved ones may need more time. While you may feel the need to get it over with, let the holidays be about spending time your family and cherishing moments that you may not otherwise get the other 364 days out of the year.
Happy Homo Days!