How to stay safe over Christmas as a young LGBTQIA+ person

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A guide to staying safe over Christmas as a young LGBTQIA+ person

If you’re worried about how your friends and family might react to your gender or your sexuality while you’re at home, then Christmas isn’t always the most relaxing time. It can be stressful if you’re trying to hide your identity, or if you’re trying to have a conversation about your identity with someone close to you.

If you’re finding things tough, know that you’re not alone and we’re here to help. We spoke to The Proud Trust, who gave us their expert advice on how to stay safe during the holidays.

Why might the festive season be difficult for you as an LGBTQIA+ person?

  • You might not be out to your family yet so Christmas can feel like an overwhelming time, trying to make sure people don’t find out and living a ‘double life’ can be confusing and stressful.
  • You might be coming back from university, where you feel safe, to a place where you feel like you can’t really be yourself.
  • You might not have a home over the holidays, or throughout the year.
  • You might get gender-specific cards and presents which don’t relate to how you identify.
  • You might not want to bring your partner home because you worry your family might not accept them or approve.
  • Some LGBTQIA+ groups are closed over the festive season which means it’s harder to seek support.
  • LGBTQIA+ community spaces may be closed over the festive season and during lockdown, making it difficult to connect to your community.
  • Christmas is an expensive time of year, so you might be worried about money.
  • The festive season can be very isolating, despite being around lots of people.

How can you take care of yourself over the holiday?

Remember that you’re not alone in feeling like this – try to stay in touch with people you trust and feel comfortable with.

Make a crisis plan. If you’re feeling like you need some urgent help you can call the emergency services or you can get in touch with a helpline that is open over Christmas:

Make some time for yourself and practice self-kindness:

  • You could try doing something creative like drawing or painting
  • You could take a long bath
  • You could read or listen to your favourite music or podcast
  • You could go for a walk (try to find some green space as it can be soothing to be near nature)
  • Take a nap if things feel too overwhelming

If you decide to come out to your family, find a safe way to do this:

  • Write a letter or an email.
  • Have a conversation with the person you’re closest to first.

If you’re struggling with your finances at Christmas:

The Mix would like to thank The Proud Trust for their help with this article.

If you need any further support

Read Emmanuela’s story about coming out to her family during lockdown.

Read our interview with Switchboard LGBT Helpline for advice on exploring your sexuality and dealing with homophobia.

Read Aimee’s guide to coping over Christmas as a young LGBTQIA+ person.

Next Steps

  • Stonewall campaign for the equality of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people across Britain and abroad.
  • Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline offers a range of help services for the LGBT community, including message boards and a helpline. 0300 330 0630
  • Queer Youth Network gives you the opportunity to meet and chat with other LGBT young people online.
  • BlackOut UK is a not-for-profit social enterprise run and owned by a volunteer collective of black gay men. They celebrate the diversity of experience and views among black queer men in the UK and offer support and advice
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

Tags:

gender| sexuality

By Holly Turner

Updated on 17-Dec-2020

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