Staying safe over the hols
The holiday season is upon us, which is LOVELY. Except for some people it isn’t. For some people (actually, a lot of people…) it’s a pretty stressful time.
We’ve popped together some tips for the hols and have some great advice below from The Proud Trust too.
If you’ve come out or found your identity this year, don’t feel pressured to come out to a whole bunch of friends and relatives just because they’re around – do things at your own pace. You don’t have to gather everyone and do a big coming out talk, you’re not giving the Queen’s Speech!
If you do come out to people over the holidays, make sure you’re safe and have a friend you can speak to, just in case it’s a little more stressful than you thought. You can always find novel ways of coming out on our Coming Out page too (maybe a handy festive name badge with the right pronouns on will do the trick this year….!)
People may well misgender you or keep asking the dreaded “So do you have a boy/girlfriend?” question which can get pretty tiring after a while… If you’re not ready to correct them – then, and it will sound silly, tell yourself who you are instead. Every time someone assumes the wrong gender or sexuality for you then find time later that day to remind yourself that you know who you are! Even stand in front of a mirror and do it! It can be easy to get lost and feel like you’ve taken steps back if you’re not able to come out to everyone, but that’s not true at all. Coming out can be a journey and it’s fine to take it one step (or relative) at a time – it doesn’t change who you are one bit!
If life can get pretty hectic, give yourself time out. Listen to some music in your room if you need some space, or volunteer to get those missing ingredients from the shop to get a breather.
If the opposite happens and things get lonely, treat yourself to something indulgent, message a school or college friend or head online to some of the LGBT forums (they’ll absolutely be others in the same place)
If things get really rough there are helplines open throughout the holidays including child line on 08001111, Samaritans on 116 123 and the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3303030. You can also head to Albert Kennedy Trust at www.akt.org.uk if you feel you may be unsafe in your home over the holidays.
If things aren’t great with your family, then maybe remember you have a way bigger, and infinitely accepting adopted family in the queer community (cheesy right? but it’s true!) You’re part of a massive community that’s filled with people who have similar experiences to you and for many, they form a new, chosen family you can be a part of.
And last but not least if you’re out and about for a few Holiday Parties, do take care of yourself! Mulled wine can go down a little too easy some times… Make sure you’re safe whatever you get up to!
There’s some more Holiday Survival tips at https://www.akt.org.uk/blog/blog-an-open-letter-to-the-lgbtq-community-at-christmas and some leaflets below too 🙂