First of all, I want to make clear that I have not celebrated Thanksgiving for years….at least, not as it is traditionally done as in remembrance of the ‘first’ Thanksgiving. In my view, that ‘celebrates’ the beginning of the Native American genocide on their own soil. I will now climb down from that soapbox to express I know it is a time when many families get together to share turkey, merriment and celebration of things they give thanks for. I think this advice can be meaningful for anytime there is a large family gathering.
However, if your family is biphobic it may not be a great time for you. I was young once and I do recall how difficult it can be to navigate these situations if your immediate (or extended) family is LGBTQIA+ unfriendly. And, believe me, when I was young many moons ago many more families were homo/bi/transphobic than they are today. Should your family members get their collective head out of their butt….yes, but it may not happen by tomorrow….so what can you do to make sure your self-worth and self-esteem remain intact?
- If you can leave and go somewhere that is more welcoming do it. You don’t have to be where you are not welcomed, supported and loved for who you are. Hang out with a friend’s family that is more supportive. Holidays are generally when there is enough food for one more. Bring a dish or a bottle of wine (always welcome at my home) to show appreciation for the invitation. When my kids were young we always had room for one more if they needed a place to be themselves. Head to a local coffee shop/bookstore/chinese restaurant. You can while away a few hours in your own company.
- Perhaps you could volunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter where they serve a dinner for the guests. You will be doing good and it will also be good for you. Win/Win
- If you are really in crisis call the Trevor Project. They are there to help. You are important and valid and there is support. Please do not hesitate to use it.
- trevor project LGBTQ suicide hotline – text “trevor” to 1-202-304-1200, or call 866-488-7386
- If you don’t have an option to leave, sleep in. Maybe you’re not ‘feeling well’ and need to ‘rest up’. You can always sup on leftovers after the party is over.
- If you are required to be ‘at the table’ use your personal mobile device to play a game, or text a friend….live ‘tweeting’ with a sense of humor can relieve some of the tension of the day. I mean, millennials are expected to be plugged into their phones right? Check out adorable animal videos…anything that soothes you. It could be your lifeline.
This is definitely not meant to be an exhaustive list. Perhaps, there will be one family member who is a safe haven…stay close to that person, engage them in conversation, express how much you appreciate their support. Let them be there for you. : ) I hope you have that person. If not, know that there are many of us out here who have been through the same thing and survived….in fact, we have thrived. It is just one day and it will end. You will still be you when it is over and that is what is most important. : )
I want you to know there is love out here for you. There is support out here for you. You may not feel a lot of it right now but there is a community that will welcome you now or whenever you are ready. Be safe. Do what feels right for you. Love yourself because you are worthy of LOVE! All the Bi hugs from me to you. ❤