Extended family / Family

Home for the Holigays

The year I came out, a family member told me that I’d better not attend our family’s Thanksgiving dinner with my girlfriend, because it might upset my great aunt, whose sister had recently died. I could attend by myself but not with “a guest.”

I chose not to attend.

Turns out that was a momentary glitch in that family member’s acceptance of my sexuality. Also turns out my great aunt never did have a problem with my sexuality. When my soon-to-be wife and I bought a house together, my great aunt chided me for not sharing the good news with her.

These days, during the holidays there’s no place I’d rather be than with my extended family. I wish all queer folks could experience similar speedy evolutions in their families. But the fact is, many of us don’t.

Recently Target 10 asked “150 Gays and Lesbians” about their holiday experiences. Here are their results:


Click for a larger image

How about you? Is spending the holidays in your childhood home or hometown like putting on comfy sweats, or wearing a white jacket that ties in the back?

Here’s what our VQ contributors have to say:

“I don’t only go home for the holidays, this year we’ve averaged two weeks out of each month staying with my family (due to my father’s illness and the fact that my kids aren’t in school yet). Staying at my childhood home with my parents and adult siblings is stressful, trying and chaotic- but thankfully only in all the ways family is supposed to be. It’s also joyful, comfortable and loving. I have a wonderful family and I consider it a privilege to be regularly annoyed by them.” ~ Sandra Telep

“Traveling to my childhood home would involve bringing a straight jacket for my mother if I wanted to make it out of there alive and emotionally unscathed. Instead we spend the holidays in happier homes.” ~ Deborah Goldstein

“Home for the holidays for me is a delicious taste of chaos: screaming, acrobatic nieces and nephews, free-flowing bourbon & wine, music, platters of too much food, and glowing lights. Scott grows weary of it about an hour or two before I do. Equally delightful after so much activity is falling into our own bed in our silent, childless house.” ~ Alan Shannon

“Truth be told, I love my family and I love seeing them. I’m sorry. It doesn’t read well, but it’s true. No shame…but it is the death of comedy. “So I went home and it was great.” Curtain.” ~ Roger Rosen

“I avoided going home for the holidays after coming out because my relationship with my mother was tense but that changed after my partner and I had kids. We spent our son’s first Christmas with my family and I had never seen my mother as happy as she was that year. We stopped traveling for the holidays several years ago because we wanted to have our own traditions in our home. We’re always happy when our family chooses to come spend the holidays with us.” ~ Vikki Reich

“I grew up with a very small family and am so grateful that it continues to lovingly multiply. My children don’t realize how fortunate they are to have extended family around them, including four adoring grandparents. Not having experienced this as a child at all, I am incredibly grateful.” ~ Jan Kaminsky

We’d like to hear from you, too. Share your stories in the comments section.

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.