To many, the end of year holidays are a time of celebration and joy. But there are a lot of people for whom the holidays are something else entirely. For those with sensory disorders, the holidays are overwhelming. For people on their own, the holidays serve to remind them of their isolation. For people in poverty, they’re a reminder of what they cannot give their loved ones. For a lot of trans people, it’s a time of being misgendered. For retail workers, it’s a time to be abused for minimum wage. This year in particular will be hard for a lot of people due to travel restrictions, health concerns, and other reasons related to COVID.
This year, I am celebrating Queermas with my sister and (greyhounds and lockdown willing) parents and aunt. We’re decking the halls (and the Halls) with rainbows and sparkles. We’ll gather around the aircon and eat nice food while our collective greyhounds hopefully get along. But my Christmas’s didn’t used to be like this. Several years ago I had my last Christmas with my extended family. For the first time, one of my relatives tried to talk to me about my being trans so he could understand and support me. My father’s father, who had not been a part of the conversation, spat out that it was ridiculous and that I would always be his granddaughter. The conversation ended, and I’ll never have another Christmas with them.
To everyone out there struggling in this season, know that you are not the only one. Even if you’re on your own, you are not alone. I won’t tell you that there are people who care about you – I don’t know you or your life. But I can promise you this, there are people out there who will care about you.
To those of you who, like myself, have the privilege of getting to enjoy the holidays, take some time to consider how you can make this season better for those who are struggling. If you know you have a relative with sensory issues, consider how you can help them avoid being overwhelmed. If you have money, consider donating to a cause you care about, or buying a gift for someone you know who needs it. If you’ll be spending the holidays with a transgender, trans nonbinary, or nonbinary person, correct people who use the wrong pronouns for them, even if they’re not in the room. If you know someone struggling in other ways, consider how you can help. As good as this season can be to some, doesn’t touch on how painful it can be to others.