The Jack O’ Lantern’s have hardly hit the compost heap these days before the first overt whispers of the holidays invade the retail shelves. On top of that, now Mom has declared Thanksgiving Dinner is now Brunch so that she and Aunt Tilly can get to Wal-Mart for the pre-Black Friday Sales that start at 8 pm on Thanksgiving Day. As if that isn’t enough to drive you crazy, you also have to deal with the coin toss over whether you’re going to his families or yours. Oh, and to add interest, you’re a gay couple so now the coin toss doesn’t really work because...
Scenario #1: You’re “out” but your boyfriends not, so we have to play the “This is my friend Todd” game.
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Scenario #2: You’re out to your family but the reality doesn’t exist as long as you don’t come home for the holidays with your Homo boyfriend.
Scenario #3: You’re both out, your families are both accepting, but it’s the extended family that’s stuffing you with underhanded comments around the dinner table about what you’re stuffing where.
It really doesn’t matter the complexity of the situation or the reality of the drama that may ensue when you roam home for the holidays as the token homosexual. Truthfully speaking, it rests on your shoulders and in your own thoughts how you choose to be in the festivities and how you react or deflect the smorgasbord of family dynamics that will come your way. Same goes for your partner/boyfriend/girlfriend as well as for your family. We all stand at choice as to how we will be in the moment when Adam & Steve step into the festivities with glee.
Rather than rely on holiday elixirs to warm the heart and numb the senses, a little “Operation Make It Work,” may be the best gift of all to keep emotions and loose lips in check.
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Chat it up and be honest. Avoiding what you’re feeling, anticipating, or wishing will or won’t happen by not speaking your truth, doesn’t rack up bonus points with Good Old Saint Nick. Speak candidly and from the heart with whomever you feel compelled to bare your holiday angst with so that you get your feelings out in the open. Better to diffuse the situation before five generations of Clampett’s are in the house, than to become the fuse that explodes because you and your beloved cannot partake in grace do to your “lifestyle.”
Have a game plan. If Uncle Pete is know for becoming surly and homophobic after a few cocktails, then find an ally who can block and tackle on your behalf. While his behavior isn’t something you have to accept, it also isn’t something you have to be a party to. Assembling your defensive line-up in advance helps prevent “in the moment fumbles” you may regret later.