Regardless of what’s celebrated, mainstream holidays happen during the winter time. This can be a time where businesses are closed, school is out and for most Americans – the expectation of family gatherings is present.
For those in the transgender community however that is most often -not- the case. Most of the trans-kin I know are estranged from their families in their decision to be authentically themselves. Disowned, distant or disconnected – trans-kin face challenges even more so than trying to avoid Uncle Marty’s 50th recant of growing up that is begrudgingly endured.
When I came out, I was told my father would disown me. Having come out in the same month as both my birthday and my daughter – that meant “faking” it and answering to a deadname and wrong pronouns right after declaring my liberation. That following winter holiday brought only my parents here to Iowa as years passed brought us to their home in North Carolina – when I was living a lie.
Yet here is something crucial – people who have known you the longest who claim to love you should make the effort to honor you as you are. My mother struggled briefly but has now claimed me and loved me as who I truly am. I cannot tell you how much this means to me.
People who care about you will make the right choice in validating and supporting who you are authentically. There is no relationship worth maintaining for someone who doesn’t make a conscious effort to support you.
Many in my community have a chosen family (not blood) also (to balance the potential loss or simply enhance what they have). Those often compromised of other trans kin or (a) significant other(s) of whom/which they can spend time or celebrate with.
So, gather as you are able. Recognize when you need self-care or recharge. We take a lot and our bodies often do too.
Whether you’re going home for the holidays or reading this knowing you may not ever – we are all valid, and worthy of love and affection.
Uplift one another as you are able and stand in your power.