Tis’ the holiday season for many of us! I understand that not everyone celebrates Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or any other holiday pertinent to your specific culture, but I think it is generally safe to assume that this time of year, we are all in the holiday season – whatever that means to you. Most of us are planning for the New Year, setting goals for our businesses, perhaps putting together a lengthy list of New Year’s Resolutions too. I want to get personal and out of the typical business space for this particular blog post.
I do not practice any particular religion but I enjoy celebrating this festive time of year with my family and friends. We celebrate Christmas and are raising our children in an environment where if they identify a religion that resonates with them, we will encourage it, but for now it’s primarily Christmas in our home.
I bring this up for a reason. The holiday season can be a very tough time for many LGBT people, whether you know it or not. This is a painful time of year for many who have been kicked out of their homes and banished from their families, simply for who they love. On the outside your LGBT co-worker may seem fine and rosy during this time of year but there may be something they are not telling you. Additionally there is an exceptionally high rate of LGBT teens who are homeless because of being rejected by their families. Both of these groups may not have anywhere to go during this holiday season, so I encourage you to reach out and invite them in.
I feel extremely fortunate that my family is 110% supportive of me, my wife and our children. It’s not just my immediate and extended family but it is also my wife’s family, who are now my family too. I recognize to have this much harmony in terms of acceptance between all of our families is a gift that not everyone has. So as you are celebrating with loved ones this holiday season, don’t forget your LGBT friends who may be going through difficult times. The holiday season is where a lot of people are deciding do I come out or not, and if I do, how do I do it, etc? I remember those times and for me they are in the past. But again that’s not the case for many others.
Huffing Post as a video titled “Coming Out as Gay Over the Holidays: What (and What Not) to Do. You can watch it here. This will give you a small glimpse into what many in the community deal with.
Additionally, since this time of the year has a religious undertone, you may know someone who is struggling with their faith and identity. I just did a podcast interview with Candice Czubernat, founder of the Christian Closet. If you have time, go listen to her story of the reconciliation of her faith and being LGBT. You can listen to it here. In her attempt to help more people cope with coming out she created “The First 90 Days.” Each day, which started on Dec. 16th, she is posting a nugget of wisdom to help navigate people through this process. You can check it out here.