Being Trans at Christmas
by Shane Foster
It’s that time of year again – the weather has suddenly turned very cold, and we’ve even had snow, so it can only mean one thing – the Christmas (or holiday) season is well and truly upon us! But, whilst for many this will mean lots of merriment, over indulgence, and spending time with loved ones, family and friends, for many it will have a much different meaning.
For many in the Trans world, or indeed the LGBTQ+ community, this time of year is filled with dread and despair as we try to fit in with others, or even make adjustments to avoid anyone being ‘uncomfortable’ in our presence.
As the family come together there is always the chance that you will get the occasional odd or disapproving look because you are ‘different’ from the rest of the crowd, or event the opposite – the overbearing wish to ensure you ‘fit in’ with comments such as “we love you because you are different!”
For some, this time of year is even worse, as many Trans people have simply been disowned by their families just for being themselves, and so they simply stay away to avoid the conflict. But why should this be – why should we change to fit in with everyone else? After all, Christmas is a time of joy and happiness, and a time to rejoice, right?
During my time in the LGBTQ+ community I’ve met some really interesting people who have happily shared their stories with me about the times they’ve encountered this. There was one in particular who I remember vividly because even thought she had transitioned over 10 years earlier, she was still met with hurtful remarks by her family who insisted on referring to her by her former pronouns, and even using her old name.
There was even one person I met who just couldn't spend time with family at this time of year because they were just mis-understood and so their family simply wouldn’t spend time with them. Whilst they fully accepted that they were gay, they just couldn’t come to terms with the ‘experimentation’ of wanting to look and feel like a woman.
So, one thing’s for sure, Christmas is the one time of year when we are reminded how shallow our culture really is, since we are happy to embrace differences all year round, except at this one time when we need to be with our families to celebrate.
What are the choices then? Do we just simply accept that we have to change to fit in with others during this festive season (it is only once a year after all), or do we stick to our guns and be ourselves?
For many, the former will be on the cards (pardon the pun), and we will just simply fit in with the crowd and then transform back to our real selves once it’s all over. But remember, you are not alone and there are many people around you who do get it.
Here are a few tips to help you cope:
- Check to see if any of your friends will be available to rescue you if you need to send out an SOS
- Thinking about No 1, you may need to check for phone signal / internet reception wherever you are going to be
- Spend time with the family members you get on with and stick with them, and you can also avoid the rooms filled with those you don’t get on with
- If you need some time out, you can always offer to go to any get anything that has been missed from the shopping list
- If all else fails, arrive late and leave early!
The key thing here is to remember why you are spending time with people who don’t accept you for who you are. Is it because you want their acceptance, or is it simply because you want to keep the ties with your family?
Either way, make sure you are doing this for the right reasons, and be true to yourself. And if there is going to be some conflict, make sure you don’t rise to it – don’t be on the offensive, just take some deep breaths and state your case in a calm way. Sometimes the only way to heal these rifts is for them to come to a head, but always in a calm and collected way.
Whatever you decide, and whatever the outcome, just remember that the only person here who counts is you. So remember to indulge yourself and give yourself some festive treats, after all it is Christmas and you will find loads of bargains to treat yourself right here at Crossdressing Closet
Before I close, I would like to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and best wishes for the New Year 2023.