Winter holiday season has long been a difficult time of year for many LGBTQ folks, people who aren’t close to or don’t have a family, or anyone whose families aren’t accepting of them for whatever reason. Closed-minded, disapproving, and plain-old ignorant relatives can be enough to make you want to stay home, even if you do have family to visit. For some, it’s just more fun, less stressful and easier than traveling. Younger adults in America have become increasingly less religious, many are dispersed from their families and less interested in celebrating the problematic history of holidays like Thanksgiving. As we build lives for ourselves outside of the traditions of our parents, we have to gather community through the relationships we’ve chosen, in the places we live, with traditions we create. Whether it’s Friendsgiving, Queermas, Festivus, we still love gathering to cook and share food, joy, and time together.
My house has been a weekly gathering space for my queer and chosen family every Sunday for years now. So, naturally I love to host holiday feasts for these cherished friends. Here are some of their stories.
“I never liked Thanksgiving until I started going to yours. Holiday meals were a mandatory family event growing up. You had to sit at the table, you had to listen to adults discuss ‘important issues,’ you had to eat your string beans. I was totally unprepared that becoming an adult means I’ve found a chosen family. I want to sit at the table with them, and it’s one of the only times of the year I enjoy discussing important cultural issues.” -Jeff S.
“I go to a cabin in Maine with my second mom/unrelated aunt for Thanksgiving every year. Five years strong.” - Kate H.
“I try to have close, mostly queer, people who don't have blood family near them (be they estranged or no). We wear onesies and play games.” -Brenna K.
“I did friend holidays even when I lived in the same town as my mom. I used to do Christmas eve with a bunch of my gay friends at their house. They would host every year. It was so awesome and warm and welcoming at their house. Then the next day at my mom’s it never quite had that family feeling to me because it was just the two of us. Once I’d had that experience I started seeking out the same thing when I moved to Oregon. It was just a bunch of us snowboarders on Mt. Hood that I hosted at my place. It was huge, like 30 crusty snowboard folks. But it turned out that a lot of us could make really great food. Then we started mixing holidays… Thankentines Day, Easter Giving or Zombie Easter. We would mess with stuff because we thought it was funny.” -Wendi A.
Do you have an untraditional holiday celebration? Share yours with us in the comments!
~~ Get your besties the gifts that keep on giving with 20% off our entire site with promo CYBERWEEKEND ~~
*ends November 28th!