Merry Christmas in spite of it all
I going to try and control my verbosity for the occasion. I’ve delayed this post a few days looking for something profound to say at the end of such a troubling year but in the end it’s Christmas eve and I’ll settle for simplicity instead.
In years past, I’ve said a lot around the holidays directed at those who’ve have experienced rejection from their loved ones and the depression and despondency that so easily arises this time of year. I’ve encouraged reaching out to those you know are alone, scolded the family who behave so callously, tried to encourage the rejected in my limited capacity. But a comment by a friend of mind reminded me of one important aspect of this problem I’ve neglected to speak to.
To be clear, I double-down on my position that the families who’ve placed their rejection of being LGB/T over their love for their family are being very awful people. Seriously, if by some miracle you are one of them and reading this, get your damned head on straight. But that said…
I have to acknowledge that by focusing so much on that failing, it ends up sending an implicit message to those which have been treated thus that the loss of that family connection is something to be devastated by. It shouldn’t be. It gives those people too much agency and power in your life. I realize that isolation is a big issue in the trans community but know this – if you have friends, people who pay attention and are involved in your life, this is your chosen family, and they are more valuable by far than the unconcerned person who so happens to share some genetic connection with you. Do not undervalue your friend because you miss your brother or your mom.
I suppose in one sense I speak from a position of some privilege here. By nature, I’m more able than most to “cut my losses.” I’ve not interacted with my dad or my brother at holiday time since 2009, and I spend virtually none of my time mourning this or feeling regret. They choose to disassociate with me, by this I know they are not worth my time or concern. I do not grant them the power to hurt me by their absence. I will enjoy time with people who want to be involved in my life, and lose no sleep over those who do not.
If you are alone in this season, and you have a friend, reach out to them, tell them if you are lonely, give then an opening to love you because you deserve it as much as anyone. If the loneliness gets too bad, call the Hotline even if you are not specifically about to harm yourself, don’t let the feeling fester. But please, whatever you do, do not let the toxic people who have wronged you before be the source of even more pain. They do not deserve to have that power.
Photo by – Leonardo Burmudes