Christmakwanzakah OPEN THREAD: For All Your Hapless/Happy Holigay Feelings!

It’s Christmas! (For the record, I’m Jewish, but whatever, I’ve always not-so-secretly loved the fuck out of Christmas, which’s really a secular holiday at this point, amirite?) Regardless of your religious affiliations, chances are good you’ve got a few hours off this week to spend with your parents and/or children as well as various assorted members of your chosen and/or incidental family. There will be food and drink and presents and, obviously, lots of feelings and minimal safe spaces. Thus we present our fourth annual holigay open thread!


muppets love holigays!

Also! If you’re looking for a holiday drink, we suggest Irish Coffee, Eggnog, mulled wine, spiced whiskey, Hot Canadian, Five Loko, Corpse Reviver #2, Vegan White Russian, Skinny’s Spiced Pear & Ginger Punch, Poinsettia, Spiced Pear Sangria de Cava, Peppermint Snowflake Mistake, Candy Cane Infused Vodka, The Holiday Standard, Coquito, Bloody Ohio, or a Flaming Cinnamon Martini. Want some solids with your liquids? Try our moms’ favorite holiday dishes or just Get Baked in general. Or perhaps you’d like to wrap presents, make a last-minute gift,  roast chestnuts over an open fire, snuggle up in holiday hotness, make yourself some holiday-themed apparel, create some belated menorahs or do some super last-minute holiday shopping. We’ve also got advice on bringing your girlfriend home, not coming out, children, coming out help for your parentsbreaking up before the holidays as well as music including the Happy Holigays Playlist, XXmas, First Snow and Christmas songs that don’t suck.

If you’d like to view my girlboifriend’s favorite Christmas film, A Claymation Christmas, you can do that right here:

Now it’s your turn: what are you doing today? Are you having fun? Any politically horrifying and/or inspiring conversations? Have you been stuck in an airport for any significant period of time? Are you judging me for having a Christmas tree this year even though I’m Jewish? Did anybody get you a Samantha doll or 23 pounds of paper? Is this your favorite Chirstmas song, because it’s mine?  :


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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3178 articles for us.


  1. I’ve been waiting all day for this thread. I’m not thrilled to be here but also my antidepressants were upped specially for holidays this week, so at least I’m not spending the day chewing through my knuckles and crying like last year. I really just want to go home, though. My relatives are exhausting.

  2. All I want for Christmas is… weeeeeeeed. Like, I don’t know if I can get through another family dinner without it.

  3. My goal this Christmas is to make and consume all of the drinks listed above.
    Because getting cabin fever in Nothin’ to Do New Hampshire makes me want to drink heavily. Always.


  4. Ok, I did not realize how old “All I Want For Christmas Is You” was until now. This video and that puffy snow jumpsuit make me SO HAPPY.

    Also, hello Mariah’s ass at 2:31.

  5. After I finish all of my obligatory gift giving, I will spend the rest of my time, by myself, finishing college applications and listening to Venus Envy’s CD “I’ll Be a Homo for Christmas”.

  6. I’m sort of panicking that I don’t have anybody lined up to go out for Chinese food and a movie with…

    • Chinese food and movies are things that are just as fun/delicious alone as they are with a friend. Merry Christmas to YOU, my friend!

      • Aww, thanks. Turns out that somebody put Chinese leftovers in my fridge (fair game) and I had whiskey and Netflix, so everything turned out OK.

  7. I’m being a closet case at my parents house which sucks but I am drinking southern comfort and watching the first season of Lost Girl(which I only discovered this week) on my laptop so that’s good.

    • seconded on the soco/semi-closetedness,+ also getting over a breakup. And we have an xmas tradition of slamming back mimosas as soon as everyone wakes up tomorrow so I plan on bringing the drunk for 24 hours straight/until i eat all the cookies and pass out.

  8. My parents had family friends over the other night and made me put away my super gay stuff. Needless to say, I was a little hurt.

  9. I came out to my mom yesterday!
    She’s giving me the silent treatment, but my girlfriend isn’t a secret anymore so I’m feeling good.
    Let’s just hope she’ll talk to me before I go back to college.

    • Congrats!
      I have taken a swig of beer in honor of your bravery.

      I think I may continue with this every time someone comes out.


    • congrats! i came out to my mom for like, the 10th time a few days ago… and we have now moved passed that experience to avoid any topic of gay, and enjoy the easier things in life. Like cooking, drinking, and the weather.

      • Yep, my mom and I have settled in the comfortable area of never ever mentioning anything gay ever again. But she yelled at my brother for calling his friend a homo, so baby steps!

    • Woo! I came out in an email after Thanksgiving, and I saw my parents for the first time since on Sunday. My dad wants our entire family to do an in depth bible study to figure out how Jesus really feels about the whole thing. He said that he was going to approach the “is or isn’t gay a sin?” question with an open mind, which was way not expected and was really really big of him, but also I don’t really care what the bible has to say about my sexuality.

      • Big of him, good on you, and Jesus never said a single thing about homosexuality – just loving your neighbor and being good to outcasts. So. There you go. :)

      • uh, so your dad may not necessarily appreciate this, but you might like “love the sin: sexual regulation and the limits of religious tolerance” ( — it’s a really excellent academic book about why we need to stop hoping for tolerance because it’s not good enough, and it’s co-authored by one of my favorite professors (who also happens to be incredibly hot) and it’s just filled with great arguments to have in your back pocket in the face of “religious feelings” re: sexuality.

        but also i’m glad things went better than expected, and i hope they continue to go well for you & your family!

  10. Yes OMG thank youuu, I need to know I’m not the only one fielding inqueries about the difference between TATU and Tegan and Sara and being Regina George-ed by their sisters (“so, you think you’re really pretty?” “I love your shirt where’d you get it!? THAT IS THE UGLIEST EFFIN FLANNEL I’VE EVER SEEN)

    I’m just glad there’s pie :(

  11. I forgot all about that claymation christmas!! I used to watch that all the time as a kid. What a ridiculous thing.

  12. My present to my mom and stepdad this year is a magnet that says “Proud Parent of a Gay Daughter” which is how I’m coming out to them because 1) It’s kinda fun? I hope? and 2) it’ll finally make me do this, because if I don’t then I don’t have a present for them. I’m slightly regretting not having a back-up plan right now, but if I did, then I’m not sure I would go through with this and I really need to. It’s time. And I really think it’ll go fine, they’re cool people, but it’s obvs still nervewracking. (AND THERE’S NO ALCOHOL IN THIS HOUSE. O_O)

  13. The nice thing about living on the other side of the world from your family is not having any holiday obligations.

    The shitty thing about living on the other side of the world from your family is… living on the other side of the world from your family.

      • It’s especially weird when you’re from the Northern hemisphere and now live in the Southern and the seasons are ALL WRONG.

        At least it’s rainy today. Christmas should be rainy, says this Pacific Northwesterner.

        • My first Alone-Christmas was in Australia and that was the oddest. Now I’m in Canada which is not so so different from the UK, but its still not where my family are.

          Cheers to weird Christmas, Dina!

        • I’m in the southern hemisphere and it’s rainy and cold and me and everyone around me are wondering wtf is going, it’s been raining for like 3 weeks now, it’s really boring, I want sunshine. who wants a rainy summer?

          • Sydney was rainy today too, but yesterday it was stinking hot so I guess it all evens out?

            Last summer here was ridiculous with rain and cold…

    • Oh man I feel you. Spending my Christmas with my girlfriend in Australia this year is *very* strange to this Northern Hemispherer. On the plus side, we went swimming yesterday?

  14. I’m sitting in the airport, where I’ve been for hours, listening to a French man playing the ukelele. I am led to believe that there is no situation that is not improved by a ukelele.

    Happy Christmakwanzakkuh!

    • Which is why I absolutely adore it when Janelle Monae asks in her song Tightrope, “Do you mind if I play my Ukelele just like a little lady?”

      NO. NO I DO NOT.

      ‘Cause Ukes make everything better :) and although it’s a french man playing and not Janelle Monae, that’s okay because that also sounds pretty cool~

      Yaay! Christmahaunakwanzakuh! Wait….

  15. GUYS MY FAMILY IS TOO RELIGIOUS TO DRINK. This is an emergency. Also, the whole gay thing is going over not at all even though it’s been some months since I came out. I’ve already had too much Christmas and it’s not even Christmas. I miss my gays :(

    • I’m hearing you so hard! I too have no alcohol in the house, and the chocolate is all being saved for the guests tomorrow! Here’s a big big big big hug for strength *hug*

      • Awww that made me smile so hard! The internet hugs steel me against my mother’s judgmental sideways glances whenever anyone mentions girls.

  16. I’m holed up in my old room at my parent’s house watching Bomb Girls after reading Autostraddle’s “Top 10 Queer Female Television Characters of 2012”. I just finished the first episode and it’s pretty rad. I look forward to seeing more of Betty McRae.

    • Love it! Season 2 has started, right? Does anyone know where to watch it? I feel strongly that I should be watching Bomb Girls during the holiday season because of memories of reading the Christmas book about Molly (the American Girl)… since they are set in the same time period but Bomb Girls has a lesbian character.

      • Season 2 starts January 2nd (in Canada)! I just finished the first season. Betty McRae is living out my nightmare scenario of straight girl crushes gone bad. :(

  17. I’m getting ready for the family to come over, which means I’m drinking wine and eating quiche and painting my nails. It’s a good setup so far, though once my staunchly Republican relatives get here, I imagine my levels of patience and alcohol consumption will change dramatically.

  18. OMG I’m such a bitter Jew. I get all pissy that Chanukah gets compared to Christmas because Chanukah really isn’t a big deal holiday…. and it’s been over for a week. I will be eating Thai food with a Buddhist friend tonight, and tomorrow I’m going to Chinese food with some of you New York weirdos and will probably be going to Stonewall at some point. And maybe a movie.

    I’m on winter break from grad school and SO BORED. Someone entertain me! :P

    • Jealous! I’m a Muslim but for some reason we still invite all the family for turkey and fight with each other (probably because nobody goes to work today and all the students are off from school).

  19. In addition to still having a ton of presents to wrap, today is my dad’s birthday so I’ll be baking a cake (Red velvet my favorite).

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a restful Christmas break. It’s always rush, rush until bed on Christmas eve. lol Christmas day is when I don’t get out of my pajamas all day and then I’ll probably experiment with some of the drinks recipes here. :D

  20. I’m watching the Jim Carrey version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with my mom and sister and we’ve all come to the conclusion that the Grinch was raised by lesbians.

  21. Ah, thank you Autostraddle for keeping me sane through the holidays! I feel like all I’ve been doing since getting home is refreshing this site for queer company. Much <3 to y'all and merry Christmas!

  22. I’m mentally preparing myself for my yearly dose of irritating uncle and trying to cope with the awkwardness that is a sudden deluge of Lesbian plot in the programmes I watch with my parents who haven’t mentioned the gay since I came out to them four months ago.

    But also I taught my twelve year old sister about Barthes’ ‘Death of the Author’ and the idea of social constructs to keep her English teacher on his toes so it’s all good.

  23. I am trying to convince my family to celebrate Kwanzaa with me this year, while trying to figure out how to make my own kinara. So far they’ve agreed to see Django on the first day which is close enough.
    My mom is making tuna casserole because pizza would have been too simple.
    My little sister is wrapping presents and being mean which I am trying to just ignore because apparently accutane causes mood swings.
    I decorated the tree and wrapped the gifts and pretty soon I am going to have to start drinking again because as per usual the best game in town is attack Lanie for being different.I seriously have just been responding to condescending insults veiled as questions for the past two days. I am thankful though that my Mom is ignoring my dog for the most part and Gossip Girl is over so I’ve started watching Pretty Little Liars. In a few hours I will head to my homophobic church for service or maybe I’ll drink enough to skip it. sorry baby Jesus.

      • THANKS!!Happy Christmas :) I decided that my best option was to get them drunk so I bought several bottles of champagne and made them Christmas mimosas. My Momma and sister are docile holiday lambs now. Pretty soon we’ll get in the car and rock out to my Older Sister’s so I can see my 2 year old nephew be adorable and lovely. Shout Out to Hansen for making my hipster craft gifts a total hit.

  24. Buh, I’ve already had a panic attack and some serious shaming for my decision to not go to Christmas mass (Because, you know, the possibility of panic attacks. Also my complicated feelings about church.) There’s not enough booze in the world for this.

  25. Oof straddlers I need some help. My great uncle died the day after I came home for the holidays and now I have to go to the funeral. What is an androgynous dressing queer to wear to her a funeral populated by a bunch of distant relatives (religious conservative-ish relatives) she flat out doesn’t know? Are black skinnies and a gray button up going to do it? Should I wear a cardigan or a blazer? (Spoiler alert, I tried on a blazer i’d left at home and the sleeves are a little awkwardly short, but I’d buy another if i had to).

    What do I do? The funeral is Thursday, and I’m going to be traveling the majority of Wednesday.

    • I had a similar situation a couple weeks ago and I did a sweater over a button up and it went over fine (except for the distant relative who thought I was my cousin’s younger brother and even that was fine he was just really embarrassed when corrected).

      • What kind of shoes did you wear? I only brought ONE pair of shoes home with me, and they are beat up gray Onitsuka Tigers. I would wear some black (faux)leather boots if i could find them but I don’t know if I still have any of mine from high school, or if they still fit. How bad would it be to run out and buy a new pair of clean, unscuffed, Converse high tops (or something similar)? It’s not that uncommon for guys to wear them in formal settings, is it? Could i get away with it at a funeral, or do I need legit fancy lady shoes?

      • Never mind, found boots that fit. They worked when i dressed as Jareth from Labyrinth, and by god, they will work again.

        Thanks though!

    • sorry for your loss. I’m sure you’ll look wonderful in whatever and hopefully religious distant relatives will be respectful.

  26. Waiting for the inevitable awkwardness that is Christmas day to begin: a day spent in the proximity of people who can barely stand me? It’s oh-so-close to torture. Let’s hope the good food and drink will keep both them and me occupied.

  27. I’m basically boycotting christmas this year. My family has no plans so I didn’t travel home. Instead, I went to a birthday party yesterday and I’m going to watch Les Mis and the new Doctor Who christmas episode with a friend on christmas.

    On the plus side, I have a ton of peppermint dipped pretzels which are really freaking good.

    • Good for you.You are very brave and I hope you have tons of fun.
      I’m spending christmas with my girlfriend.

  28. I came out to my brother yesterday. It was no big deal, just awkward because then neither of us knew what to say. His reaction: “um, ok… I don’t care.” And then my sister started talking about her gay friend. It was a little weird but whatever, it’s that much less of a secret which means I have that much more brain space for Life.
    Now if I can just come out to my parents before school starts again I will officially be proud of myself.

    • Yesssss! I find coming out to siblings can be a helpful step to prepare for coming out to parents.

      And a guzzle of Sam Adams Limited Edition White Christmas ale in your honor.


      • How long is this Sam Adams White Christmas Ale thing going on? Because I’m getting back to Boston on Wednesday or something, and I want that immediately.

        • To be honest, I have no clue how long this White Christmas Ale train ride is going on for, but it sure is delicious. I bought it in NH in one of those holiday 12 packs. I’m not sure I’ve even seen it around Boston yet at the liquor stores I frequent.

          But I mean it’s BOSTON. SAM ADAMS. COME ON. It’s gotta be around somewhere, haha.

  29. grandparents have been here for four days. i’ve been back in the country for five after a semester in sunny rio, i am freezing my ass off. things have been weird, but at least they always come with lots of wine (AND THE WIFI GOT FIXED TODAY YAASS)

  30. Might have just read what there is of this open thread while holding hands with a cute Autostraddler.

    And tomorrow we have plans for cinnamon rolls and the world’s most culturally insensitive Christmas dinner (ham and latkes).

    So I’d say that Christmas is pretty good so far. Lots of snuggles.

  31. I’ve been going through all the different recipes on here, I think I’m gonna attempt to make Brussels Sprouts. That’ll be my big Christmas Eve adventure.

    • Good luck!I think I converted my whole family by making them on T-day this year. My grandma thinks I’m a great chef, but really roasted brussel sprouts are hard to mess up (and really really tasty!). I bet you will have a great experience with them :).

  32. merry christmas to me, my sister got me a handmade book of beyonce pictures with quotes like ‘PLOT TWIST I AM MODEL’ and ‘EVERYTHING HAPPENS SO MUCH’ and ‘PS STILL HOTTER THAN YOU’ and a beyonce mask and the first page literally says ‘dear elinor: you’re a reasonably cool person, but you know who is cooler? beyonce. so, i decided to dedicate this book to her, not you, but you can have it. merry christmas.’

    i don’t know how i ended up with the greatest sister ever but omfg this is the best present i’ve ever gotten

  33. I am currently, AT THIS MOMENT, napping. Can’t you tell? I’m definitely not hiding in a darkened room away from my relatives.

    • LOL. This was always my strategy – fake a migraine (which I really do get) and sneak away to a dark room to avoid all the blatant, cliche southern racism. :-O

    • My cat is freaked out by all the noise and dog at my parents’ so I need to go to the back room to comfort her.

      That’s what I keep telling my family, anyway.

  34. Ugh I am having an awful Christmas. I flew home and was looking forward to having a big beautiful lunch at our house until my father and youngest sister had to ruin it all. My mother & I spent the whole day preparing, and in response, each of them found something to snap about and spent most of the afternoon and evening yelling really loudly at us and telling us that we were selfish, horrible people, inconsiderate, unfair, all that business. My sister also keeps making comments about how I’m fat (she is a size 2 and I am a size 6). I was up until about 3 am on Christmas eve just sort of shaking and being devastated about it all. I am so sad you guys. I try so hard to be a good family person and I would like nothing more than a nice family Christmas where everyone is kind and loving. I don’t understand how some people can be so hurtful.

    • Oh man, I am so sorry about this Christmas disaster. Sending you some warm wishes and a basket of kittens to help you with the ‘feels. Hang in there.

    • I feel you, I just logged 3 hours of family time and it boggles my mind how horrible people can be to one another, even the tone has driven me to blast Oops I Did It Again until I start feeling ok again. Grouphug fellow straddlers

      • Nail on the head – she’s a lovely human being *unless* she gets upset, in which case it’s like unleashing a tornado or something. But yeah, right now, jerkface.

    • Thank you, lovey <3 they suck some of the time and others not, but right now they suck.

      When the extended family came over though, we had a great time, and I got to have the Christmas I had been dicing endless potatoes for after all.

  35. I just moved across the country (Canada, eh) and so this is my first Christmas away from home. The weirdest part is how green it is where I live now. My hometown is under 30cm of snow.

    Even though we just drink and watch tv I’m missing my family a bit so the green grass is helping me forget that it’s actually Christmas! hurray! I’m having a Top Chef marathon instead.

  36. It’s already Christmas here – Merry Christmas, Autostraddlers, from the land down under!
    p.s. it is so weird to have a Christmas when it is over 80 degrees outside :-/

  37. Okay, so here’s my confession: I’m home, my family is lovely, my best friends are all here…but I don’t plan on coming out to anyone during these holidays.
    So far I’ve had 3 comments like “so when will you ever bring home a guy?” or “so your roommate, could he become your boyfriend?”. We’ll go out with friends and they’ll meet guys and I’ll try to get through the situation without starting to cry because with all these lovely people I still feel so lonely at the moment(that happened the last time). I’m just not ready yet to talk to anyone. I just don’t want to. I have to build my new life first.

    But if just one more person asks me about a boyfriend, I’m gonna start screaming.

    • You don’t have to say anything to anyone before you’re ready! No reason for guilt about it either, your feelings are your feelings. I totally sympathize with the frustration of having people think you’re straight when you know you’re really really not… Sending you many virtual hugs!

    • I totally know how you are feeling!! I had to endure awkward conversations like this for years over the holidays from people I barely knew. If I had the ovaries back then, I would have said I don’t date people, I just sleep around. I think that would have shut everyone up.

    • “I have to build my new life first”. Exactly that. I’m going to borrow those words.

      I too have just spent christmas being a total closet case with my lovely lovely family. We started our christmas vacation 3 days ago with, get this, my gay auntie’s rainbow themed 40th birthday party! I’m not kidding. Her wife gave the most wonderful speech. And me? I’m just existing in a vast ocean of awkward where i am not out to anyone bar the two of them, and hating on myself for not being able to. Not yet. I don’t know when.

      I hate being in this position. I hate the questioning and the distance I am creating by withholding so much. But I just know i need to build my life first. And fix a lot of other things that need fixing.

    • *hugs* that sounds super tough, Taylor. I also don’t think anyone should be pushed to come out, it can be about self-preservation, or wanting to have connections with people even if that means we hide pieces of ourselves. You’re so not alone in moving through all those awkward spaces (the heternormative everything) and having to constantly silence yourself. it sure does hurt.

    • Reading your comments really helped me through the holidays, Autostraddle people, you’re the best!

      I did start crying again in front of my friends though. So I decided I should come out to one person, so at least I have one person in the world to know. So I stop feeling so lonely and creating that distance to everyone around me. So yesterday, I did. I told my best friend. It was scary, she was totally fine of course, it’s still feels weird. Like I gave up my comfort zone I had for 1,5 years. But I did it.

  38. Good things about being home for Christmas:
    – Free alcohol
    – The family cat
    – Eating food I can’t afford myself
    – Wearing my pjs all day (ok who am I kidding, I do that whenever)
    – Free alcohol
    – The cute girl who kissed me at the local gay bar
    – My grandfather finally talking back to my grandmother on his senile days

    Bad things about being home for Christmas:
    – Family parties
    – People making snide comments about my veganism
    – Never being alone (hello introvert)

    So I guess it’s pretty ok? Looking forward to get back to my student flat, though.

    • ALL THE SNIDE COMMENTS. For some reason it’s an endless source of humor for my family to make fun of the fact that I’m a veggie.

      • Pretty much. I’ll be over here with my delicious nut roast and quiche that nobody wants to try. And yes, I do get enough protein. More wine, please.

    • The whole not-being-alone thing definitely makes holidays annoying for introverts, especially when everyone else in your family is an extrovert and they can’t understand why you need so much time alone or WORSE, act like you’re being “insensitive” and “rude” for it.

      • My immediate family understands my need for alone time, so they respect me having Dexter marathons alone in my room. Long Christmas parties however..I have problems hanging out with people I like for that many hours, not to mention with relatives I have little in common with!

  39. I’m a high school senior applying to colleges this year, and my home situation has been extremely strained for a while, so there’s a lot hanging over my head this christmas. but it’s really nice to know that no matter how f-ed up my family gets, making mexican wedding cakes and listening to the pogues – fairytale of new york with my dad will always make me happy.

  40. my family is having pizza for christmas and i am anxiously awaiting info on this fiscal cliff business so i know if i can afford to see my girlfriend for her birthday or not. for christmas all i want is my tax refund on time, please santa please.

    • After reading this comment thread I’m really beginning to envy the Jews among us. This whole Christmas thing is pretty overrated….

  41. Cons: Parents are totally weird. Two Christmases is weird. No booze.

    Pros: 1 year with the love of my life. Can’t beat the gift of love for Christmas!

  42. Christmas with me and my mom. I came out to her about a month ago, but really, she’s known for a long time and lived in denial. It’s a bit awk, but she’ll come around. Just a few hours ago we talking about giving her grandchildren, and she said I need to “find a partner”, rather than get a man! not much, but it still makes me smile a bit.
    Still making presents too! drunk sewing!

  43. You guys I totally made a gingerbread castle for my nieces.You can see it here:
    (Sorry, I don’t know how to create a cool short link.)
    I’m just soooooo happy I actually finished something.

    This year I got my mom for gift exchange. She made a remark that she’ll be getting a gold macaroni wreath with a picture of my cat. Best gift any queer could receive but apparently not for moms. I was so sure I would be able to make her feel guilty for her rudeness but my gift fell through. Now I’m trying to put together a last minute gift. Just my luck!

  44. My stepmother suggested that i download the bible on my new nook so instead I am reading autostraddle. Cheers to passive aggressiveness!

    • I remember when I first “came out” as an agnostic to my bio dad’s family when I was 9 or 10 or so – every Christmas for the next few years afterward, it was nothing but Bible-related gifts. A few of them were fun, like a Bible trivia book (I’m a trivia nut) but none of them succeeded in converting me. Most were just stupid, and the worst ever was when my step-grandma got me nothing but a card from her priest noting that he’d given a blessing to me. That’s my perennial submission to “worst Christmas gifts ever” contests. And I can’t even re-gift it!

      This is why I’m glad my bio dad isn’t really a part of my life anymore so I don’t have to tell him that I’m bisexual and deal with all that shit all over again (unless my little sis already has told him). He’s still maintaining that my agnosticism is a “phase” even though it’s now lasted for the majority of my life.

  45. what about yule? the fantastic little lesbian witches?
    Anyway, I got a bunch of wonderful pagany gifts from my group. And tomorrow my family is exchanging gifts. There won’t be much this year because I’ve been taking care of my dad after his surgery, but there will be good food!

  46. Playing PS3 with my brother all night, drinking cider and making our way through a box of quality streets, Christmas eve has been bossing.

  47. My grandma and I are the only liberals in a sea of conservatives.
    We’ve been yelling at each other over their racism, gun laws, the existence of global warming, and EVERY OTHER ISSUE POSSIBLE. This has been going on for a week.

    Only 3 more weeks visiting.

  48. I’m really sorry people are having rough Christmases so I want you to know that one day when you’re old you have the option to have grandchildren/nieces and nephews like my mom’s uncle and his partner (my brother and I call them our Pepes, which means grandpa in French) and you can show them your old photo albums of your young queer years and have them marvel about how many rights the LGBTQ community has gained and accept them for their identities and just generally have a lot of love. I hope that helps.

  49. So, the first thing my mom does when she gets here? She rifles through my kitchen finds an empty bottle of vanilla extract (I forgot to throw it out after making christmas cookies for HER) and confronts me with it, asking if I DRANK IT because (apparently) there is a tiny amount of alcohol in vanilla extract?

    I turned 21 three weeks ago and my mother thinks I’m an alcoholic. Sweet baby jesus.

    I want a beer.

  50. YOU GUYS I came home for Christmas to spend time with my family and you know what Santa gave me for an early Christmas present?!

    THE FLU.

    I have been puking all day and couldn’t even sit with my family for our turkey dinner because the smell of the food made me feel so sick.

    So I printed a picture of my face and taped it to the chair and then went in my room bitterly and cried and then puked again. Sigh.

  51. I briefly considered coming out to my family this year but after a wonderful conversation with my my mum where in she reaffirmed her opinion of gays being too whiny and asking for too much, and how it’s disgusting to see and too fond of pda and acceptable only if out of sight and certainly not deserving of marriage and so on…. I don’t think so.

    if I didn’t live with her I’d probably do it but since I don’t have much of a choice….

    • My personal experience is if the person you’re coming out to is already an anxious annie (and also a homophobe), the holidays are probably the worst time to come out. Feelings overload!

      I feel for you though… it took me many tries to come out and each time it was thwarted by my mom’s homophobic comments, even a poorly timed episode of Intervention about a gay guy addicted to alcohol.

  52. My Mom thought it would be a good idea to invite my Dad to Christmas. Who I kid you not, she just divorced two months ago. My sister and my Mom have been dealing with their feelings all day by caring way too much about things that don’t matter and yelling at me. Tomorrow is going to fun…

    • Dude, my mom is HOSTING Christmas Eve for my day’s like 20 person side of the family. For the second year in a row. They’ve been divorced for three years. My dad is clearly not comfortable with it; my mom is 100% oblivious and simply does not understand the concept of boundaries. I feel your pain.

    • I am in the EXACT SAME situation. My Dad just finally moved out in October (after the two of them needing a divorce for around 12 years, and my Dad having announced his plans to do it to me when I was 9….but that’s another story!), and my Mom somehow thinks it’s a good idea to invite him over for Christmas morning. And by invite I mean practically demand his presence.

      Needless to say, I am more than nervous for tomorrow. Though at heart, I am still grateful that I have a dysfunctional family to get to be with for all our holiday debacles, actually spending time with them sure makes it easy to forget that…

      • Is it weird to say I’m really happy to see other people with dysfunctional fucked up families? Like mine is absolutely 100% cool with the whole gay thing, thats never been a problem, but there are boundary issues and dickishness and psych issues all over. I’m still up at 6:30 am (no, haven’t gone to bed yet) because I’m too anxious and frustrated about all this shit. My 21yrold brother hasn’t even shown up yet, I’m staying in a guest bedroom in a new house because my dad moved in with his girlfriend 3 weeks ago, and my awesome Jewish girlfriend chose not to come to Christmas with me this year because my dad’s been such an asshole.

        Thank you so much, autostraddle, for helping me not feel alone this holiday.

        • One of the best things about this Christmas is that I don’t have to see my dysfunctional family members. My parents and my brother are fine, wish I could say the same for the rest of them. My horrible grandmother was asking if she could see me. Considering how she beat me up the last time I saw her, uh no.

          • Your grandmother beat you up?! That’s horrible! I’m so sorry that that happened and I hope you’re okay x

  53. Guys. I think i’ve become one of THOSE people. You know, the ones that are like, “Why is there so much Jesus around Christmas?”

    Sorry, grandma.

      • My entire extended family left our gathering before the traditional reading of whatever part of the bible it is when Jesus is born. Whoops.

  54. I started a chat room for any bored straddlers who want to talk to other ones. tinychat [dot] com [slash] autochristmas. Come out wherever you are!

  55. The day after Christmas, a bunch of us who were closeted in high school are going to go drink at every gay bar we can find (I think there are 3 in Grand Rapids MI) and all of our straight friends have promised to be our designated drivers. There is talk of celebratory buttons that say “Homos come Home” or “I survived the Midwest”. Cheers, Queers.

  56. I accidentally got a little tipsy at dinner (in front of my 13-years-sober father, oops) and told my parents about my college friends’ stoned shenanigans last week. ooooops.

    but my divorced parents are not being hella awk around each other so YAY IT’S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

  57. my sister works at Dick’s sporting goods (yes, she works for dicks so what) and brought home 20 boxes to wrap all our presents in just like last year… so everytime someone opens a present and sees the box with the label they scream Merry Dicksmas!!! yes…this is my family. i love them but,shaking my head xP

  58. So far, my Christmas celebration has consisted of having an abscess drained on my thigh and being subsequently hopped up on antibiotics. My parents, upon coming up to visit me, have responded to this by offering me alcohol I can’t drink because of the medicine and dragging me out pants shopping, even though frequent pants removal is kind of wrecking my wound dressing.

    Oh, and the part where I kind of awkwardly sat there while my parents bonded with some old lady in the mall over their love of appropriating Native culture and aggressive hatred of trans* folk. For like two hours. I’m over this so hard.

    • That sounds like the premise of a bad sitcom episode. But on the bright side, if you ARE stuck in a cheesy tv show the moral will be a heartwarming finale about how family is always family…..or something?

  59. I’ve been at my sister’s house since Friday. She has 3 loud and rambunctious boys. My obnoxious banjo-playing brother and his wife are also here. I love spending time with all of them, but damn am I looking forward to getting back to my quiet and empty apartment.

    The good thing is that my mother decided to spend the holiday on the other side of the country from us, so I don’t have to put up with her judgement and snide comments about my alternative lifestyle haircut.

  60. Just like this past Thanksgiving, this will be the last Christmas that I put up with these people. I plan to move away from my hometown by the end of the summer, and I seriously fantasize about giving them fake contact info. I could easily set myself free by coming out- it worked for my aunt- but I don’t want to give them the power to cut me out of the family… I want to be the one who cuts them out.

    I sound bitter and immature saying all of this, but holidays make me feel all of the feelings.

    • No, you are not bitter or immature at all. When I move away I’m changing my cell number, and not sharing my address. I am breaking off contact and it is okay. You gotta preserve yourself.

    • You’re not immature Kris,just honest.And you’re right you have to be the one to make the initial break. But don’t give anyone fake contact details. Stay in touch with your family, even if it’s just via the phone or e-mails. Afterall they are your blood.

    • You’re not immature Kris,just honest.And you’re right you have to be the one to make the initial break. But don’t give anyone fake contact details. Stay in touch with your family, even if it’s just via the phone or e-mails at first. Afterall they are your blood.

    • You are not at all immature. In fact, I think you’re doing a mature thing by accepting that you need to cut off contact with your family to be a happy, well-adjusted person. You can do that! Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe and healthy.
      Also, friends can be equally important or even more important in your life than people who are related to you. I’ve often found much more support, listening, and love from friends who are the family I wished I could have had (but never did).

    • You’re not immature or bitter for cutting them off if they don’t treat you well. Breaking contact is practically a family tradition in my family, usually with good reason.

  61. Somebody send me a “So Many Feelings” journal for Christmas.



    I can’t hold all these feelings by myself I keep dropping them.

    They’re all over the floor and I can’t. I CAN’T.

    • i will send you the journal. i know you probably don’t want to send a random stranger your address so maybe via autostraddle magic we can make this happen? autostaffers can you help make a christmas miracle happen? i buy the journal, tell you it’s for mari mcgee and then you hook it up?

      • Aww, that’s so nice of you!

        Thank you, but I think I’ll just order it myself soon. I got a decent amount of cash for Christmas, and there are a few other things I wanted from the shop on here.

        :) Why is everyone on here so great…

  62. So far my time home has consisted of:
    -a tonsillectomy (that shit is really painful when you are 22)
    -a fuckton of oxycodone
    -3 separate screaming matches with my mother all of which began with her insulting me for being gay, my ALH and wearing mostly mens clothing
    -one hella awk dinner with extended family where everyone but my abuelos know I’m gay

    All I want to do is go back to my house at schooland cuddle with my girlfriend but alas she lives on the other end of the country (damn you Canada, why do you have to be so big?!) and I won’t see her for another 12 days :(

  63. mehhh. So far the holiday season has consisted of: my grandma yelling at me to help in the kitchen because I’m a woman, my grandma asking me why I don’t have a boyfriend, a mini breakdown/anxiety attack at the mall and general feelings of hating it here.

    buuttttt on the plus side I discovered that you can watch the Lword for free if you sign up for google prime. also beer. lots of beer

  64. Happy Holidays to anyone else whose parents or siblings haven’t called or emailed, or who haven’t invited you over because they find you and your life embarrassing.

    Or whose family uses the word “lifestyle” a lot, in an unkind way.

    Or those for whom coming out didn’t end up like all the videos with hugs and acceptance.

    Or who are faking a smile and happy holiday wishes to your friends on fb or the phone because you don’t want them to know that it isn’t happy at all.

    It’s a hard time for a lot of us. You’re not the only one.

      • You’re not, it’s just hard not to feel bad when you’re awash in media messages about “the joys of family” and how super-awesome everything is. And when everyone else seems to have somewhere good to go.

        I can hardly wait until the season is over. It sucks when your family treats you like you don’t exist, and in a while my friends will stop bubbling about how much fun they had at home.

        Soon soon soon. And until then, there will be chocolate and books.

  65. My family is too dysfunctional so I have chosen to remove myself from celebrations this year. Instead I will be eating lots of chocolate, reading good books and daydreaming about having a girlfriend next Christmas who I can escape with during this dreadful season.

  66. This year my mother invited some kids from a local commune over if they don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with. So that should be interesting, especially when combined with my rude, conservative extended family who will also be coming.

    Other than that Christmas time has so far been a mixed bag. It is my first semester at a college 200 miles away from my home and I have yet to make any friends outside of my roommate (college isn’t a happy party time for people with social anxiety) so it is nice to be home among my friends and people who actually care about my existence.

    On the other hand I found out I did not make it into the degree program I hoped to. So yeah.

  67. My puppy pissed in my lap on Christmas eve while on a bus on the way to a friend’s house. I had to sit in it for 40 more minutes and it definitely looked like I had pissed myself by the time I got there. Luckily it was dark and there weren’t many people around to see. Merry Christmas to me!

  68. I played drums in my church’s Christmas Eve midnight service and then got up and did it all again for the Christmas morning service not-that-many hours later.

    Dad made a terrine, our puppy wore an adorable bow and tried to bite it off, I got given a large percussion rack that looks like a medieval torture device and my sister is singing carols and trying to make me feel guilty enough to do something family-ish for the last hour before Christmas is over.

    (I’m feeling uber lazy and tired and like I don’t want to engage my brain in much- this all due to an afternoon nap (engaged in by many of us here) that for me turned into an actual sleep. Plus I already used half my brainpower solving Javascript puzzles!).

    Still, I shall gather some enthusiasm and play some boardgamey Smallworld goodness with my sisters. But I kind of am looking forward to sleeping. Also, putting together my IKEA bookshelf tomorrow (gay).

    Conclusion: Christmas = 8 out of 10. But the weather was 9/10. Beautiful.

    Also, I appreciate the spiritual side of the holiday.

    Definitely spared a thought for family and friends of those kids in Connecticut though, who may have had presents round the tree already for children who would never get to open them. My heart goes out to everyone remembering or experiencing loss or hardship today. x

    • So I lost our game of Smallworld to the twin sister- oh well, one day I’ll get her- but I also just wanted to return and comment and say Merry Christmas to those for whom Christmas is still going or just beginning!

  69. I’m a UK native currently living in the south of Spain, still confused by Spain’s idea of ‘winter’ weather and wondering why it is sunny outside, not rainy. Christmas is meant to be overcast!

  70. I swear to cats if one more person says the word ‘boyfriend’ I might start shooting fireballs from my eyes.
    Also, I guess my relatives either don’t get my gender presentation or they feel like it’s best ignored at Christmas because despite my bare face and bitten down nails apparently 42 mascaras, 576 nail polishes and 1000 cosmetic kits were just what I needed from everyone except my parents, amongst other girly stuff I usually wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. Mind you, I do think me in ‘False Lash Effect Mascara’ would be hilarious.
    Still, guess you’ve got to wade through that to get to all the good stuff, like watching 5 very drunk relatives getting really fucking passionate about a game of Cluedo.

  71. Thanks to ativan and whisky my holiday seems to be going OK. Although my mother gave me a girdle for Christmas and every time I eat a sweet I get snapped at. Will there be a tinychat tonight? I’m in the middle of nowhere and super lonely!

  72. xmas in australia = 40 degrees celsius, every year, without fail.
    spent the day layering sunscreen repeatedly, napping in front of the air conditioner, drinking too many cocktails, and more naps! family has been super relaxed and no boyfriend questions hooray :)

    • Our family friend who is from Uruguay was telling us how when he called his family to wish them Merry Christmas, only his grandma was there because everyone else was at the beach. He was telling us this while we were all getting stuck in a snow bank en route to my stepdad’s church in rural Pennsylvania. The contrast between Northern and Southern Hemisphere Christmases is staggering…

  73. I’m glad this topic came up. Reading through that list of alcoholic beverages brought up memories of a particularly horrific booze-filled xmas from about 6 years back. I was still in college and felt obligated to come home for every major holiday,especially christmas. And let me just say that none of those christmases was ever pretty,ever.That year I made a cold-hearted decision to never spend the holidays with anyone who made me so unhappy, family included.It was either that, or the ER or even worse, a funeral.Just to give an example, one year a spiteful(and stupid)relation prepared rotten meat on purpose and the whole family got food poisoning.She claimed it was an accident, but I swear to this day she did it on purpose.

    I figured I was now grown up and there was no need to be made to feel eternally 12 on an annual basis.(Love that Mariah Carey song by the way). Feeling depressed and drowning one’s sorrows in alcohol just wouldn’t cut it anymore. I didn’t want to develop a habit.There was tension at first, people felt snubbed.Breaking away required tact and diplomacy but eventually I did it. Every christmas I simply made other plans and carefully informed them early on so it wouldn’t come as a surprise. Eventually other people cottoned on and started following suit.My siblings and I all quietly agreed to just grow up and move on. To cut the BS and stop repeating the cycle of dysfunction.

    Now I spend the holidays with my girlfriend.Family members who I am close to get phonecalls & christmas cards and my parents get presents.There hasn’t been a big christmas gathering for the last 3 years. I had a festive lunch with my mother last week, just the two of us. There were no snide remarks or screaming matches.If complete strangers are able to accept me as I am why not the person who gave birth to me? I gave my folks an ultimatum 6 years ago, accept me or lose me forever.I was serious about it and they came around.

    Sometimes making a clean break is for the best. It compels people to appreciate each others presence on this planet. Remaining stone-cold sober today and processing the fact that you can’t stand to be around your own family on christmas day can motivate those of us who intend to raise children to do a better job raising them than our parents did.Do you want to have a family that can’t stand you? No? Then make an effort to do things better. Bottom line, lay off the booze folks and start making other plans! And always remember,the road to hell is paved with cinnamon martinis ;)

  74. anyone else actually playing the my drunk kitchen drinking game today? (if you don’t know it- look it up!)

    had to modify a little in order to not be blackout by noon, but otherwise turning the family crap so far into a fun drinking game!

  75. so probably the best part of the whole christmas morning capitalist bonanza was getting a hand painted watercolour on a piece paper from my little brother with a note that began with “… you have a lot going on in your head, your heart, and your life. Keeping stride with you is a measure of all of our ability to challenge ourselves, unlearn and believe in something” and ended with the perfect declaration of “fuck Christmas, happy new year”. What a great kid. Now I’m going to watch Premium Rush and drink mimosas all day, and try not to feel insecure about being away from my new g.f for 10 whole days. Merry Christmas ‘mos

  76. pros: I made eggs benedict for brunch, and my sister gave me a peppermill.
    cons: I have to go to work this afternoon, and my family is dysfunctional and bad for my mental health. But I put the first season of The Wire on hold at the library and as soon as it comes in I plan to spend every hour that I’m not at work in my room watching it and eating Christmas cookies.
    Next year, I want to spend Christmas alone at The Ice Hotel:

  77. you guys i wasn’t even going to comment on this, and i was also going to make this the christmas that i tried to ~mend my relationship~ with my crazy dad

    but then A) he told me that now that the injury he’s had for years is healed and he can go running again, it would “really mean a lot to him” if i went running with him. this summer. six months from now. and so i should start going to the gym now and running again (i stopped running a year or so ago) for the next six months to accommodate him. and ALSO since it doesn’t sound like the roads will be ideal, i shouldn’t drive to my mother’s house to see her for christmas at all, and should instead change my ticket to fly out of his city and just only see him!

    obviously this doesn’t compare to the people who have come out to their families with bad reactions and/or been disowned, and i don’t want to devalue that, but still, JESUS CHRIST ON A FUCKING CRACKER

  78. Doctor Who was amaaaaaaziiiiiing that is all my Christmas feels right now <3 Interspecies lesbian couple and more Clara~

      • Yes, please! I would love for them to have a spin off. They made Torchwood, they could totally do a series about Vastra/Jenny/Strax as detectives in Victorian London.

    • Whaaaa!!!! Can we talk about this? Lately it seems like I cannot get through an episode of Doctor Who without crying or beaming the entire time.

  79. Spending Christmas by myself today. I had dinner with my family yesterday, drove home today and have friends over tomorrow. It feels weird to spend December 25th by myself, even though it was completely by choice.

    • Just to update: Now watching Life trough a Lens on Annie Leibovitz, eating all the chocolates I got last week and being very content with my Christmas-choices of this year.


  81. My first Christmas after coming out as a lesbian, my mom’s gift to me is an (awesome) flannel. She gets it.

    I’m sorry that some of you have shitty families. I hope you have your own queermo families. If not, feel free to message me here and pour your guts out or write a poem or I’ll find a YouTube video of kittens for you. I care, really.

  82. Why do I forget every year that I cannot have behaviour expectations of my family members that I would have of even the most casual acquaintance. I just cannot expect any respect, consideration or even basic fucking civility. I forget every year! Oh lord. Why am I here.

  83. My stepdad got my mom a new kitten as a Christmas present, and the two male cats who I’ve long called “the boyfriends” (because they’re always sleeping in each other’s arms, cleaning each other, etc.) have taken him under their wing, so I like saying that he has “two daddies.”

    But this kitten is really bad, too – he keeps trying to knock over our Christmas tree. We also have this garland hung up in the kitchen window of different winter jackets in Christmas colors, and he was staring very intently at it trying to figure out how he could get up to reach it, squeaking in his little kitten voice in frustration. It was the most adorable thing ever.

    • I forgot to add that I’m posting this for all the people with stressful family situations, in hopes of giving you some holiday cheer because KITTENS MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER amirite?

      Here’s a picture:

  84. I’m an atheist, but I’ve decided to treat Christmas as a reclamation project, kind of like reclaiming “queer.” I don’t know if it’s possible, but in the US it’s de facto secular anyways and it’s not like Santa, trees, and lights are anything but pagan symbols anyways.

    Oh well, at least my parents have come around about my being trans, so I can sit here watching Breaking Bad with them without feeling angsty about it.

    • I think Christmas is secular in a lot of the world, and yeah, I’m an agnostic and I still celebrate it. I’ve met a lot of people who belong to non-Christian religions and still celebrate it.

      I still had to go to church though because my stepdad is a pastor.

  85. my family has never been big on holidays, so when i moved a few hours away, i’d be lonely around the holidays. then i made some friends whose families also weren’t “festive,” and we’d have fun getting wasted during holidays together. now i’m nearly five months sober and GAAHHHH. right now i’m glad my family doesn’t do xmas because everything they DO is loaded with alcohol, so at least i don’t have to deal with being around them.. but i’m also not going out partying with friends, so FEELINGSS.. lonely ones.. bah.

  86. You know you’ve imbibed enough wine around family when you start talking about your frustration at people always assuming you are straight and you look around (at your conservative evangelical fam) and realize “oh wow, despite having talked to each of these people individually about my sexuality, I’ve never talked about it or even alluded to it in a whole-family-together context and I just did like it was no big deal.”

    You suspect you may have had too much when you hike up your pant leg to have a leg-hair-off with your brother and brother-in-law. (for the record, I won.)

  87. It’s Christmas day and I am home alone making dinner and listening to the Grey’s Anatomy soundtracks. The festivities at my girlfriends parents house were last night. Today she had to work. My mom is in Belgium visiting my brother. My step-dad died a few months ago (who I was super close to). We had to put our cat to sleep last week the day we got home from a 2 week European vacation (where we also got engaged).

    It just doesn’t feel like the holidays. I’m ready for 2013. Sorry if I am depressing. I’m sad today.

  88. My first girlfriend, the first girl I have ever loved, broke up with me two days ago. Now I’m spending the day with my extremely conservative grandparents trying to pretend like nothing is wrong when all I want to do is crawl into bed and not speak to anyone. So, I hope yours goes better than mine.

    • Oh you poor dear, I understand entirely.
      I wish there was something I could do to help, but speaking from personal experience I know there’s nothing to be done…read a book, drink some tea, listen to Fiona Apple.

      • Fiona has become a staple over the past few days. “Love Ridden” in particular. Thanks for the kind words.

    • That’s absolutely awful. First break-ups are the WORST. Mine happened right before Valentine’s Day :(

      Sending good vibes your way, I’m really sorry…

    • Losing my first love was the hardest thing I ever went through. That shit is the worst. When we broke up, I wasn’t out yet either, so I had to go around all the time acting like nothing was wrong. That was probably the worst part. I feel you :( All the hugs for you! Also, I’m wishing a shoulder for you to cry on in the near future….

    • Same here, only she left me on Black Friday.

      Hugs, from across the vast reaches of the Internets. <3

  89. So far my Christmas has been great –but I’ve acted like a terrible person.

    Two days ago I went to a Christmas party with my best friend and my ex-girlfriend (whom I haven’t spoken to since we went of to Uni, but we’ve dated for the past THREE years). It was all fine, we met for tea beforehand and were civilized, went to the party, talked to separate people…
    But then we start talking.
    And it’s so true that the largest partys are the most intimate, because we were definitely flirting and the sexual tension was rising! Then this fabulously gay man dressed all in black comes over and goes
    “Would anyone like a Judy Garland??!!?? Would YOU????!” And of course I say yes though who knows what’s in it. (I later find that it was lemonade, vodka, and cream soda –really boozy)

    CJ has one too and soon we’re using the alcohol as an excuse to start touching one another. And then I kiss her. She freaks out, says she’s still in love with me, and the rest of the night we act like a couple, kissing and touching and hugging…but every so often she stops and is guilty –but then I kiss her and she’s fine! We fit so wonderfully together ;)

    The hitch however is that she has a girlfriend. This girlfriend is the reason we broke up in February. CJ couldn’t do long distance anymore and needed someone physical to be with her, and me being several states away was not cutting it anymore. I also have never met this girl, so she is just some intangible being that is keeping me away from my CJ.

    Honestly, I don’t feel bad. CJ loves me, and I love her. She’s said that she wants to get back together once this thing with the other girl is finished so I see no reason that this is terribly wrong –though I know, it is. My best friend is honestly the reason I feel bad. I feel like I’ve let her down.

    And CJ has no intention of telling her girlfriend that this happened, because she’d be too hurt.
    I’ve long since accepted that, going into the situation I didn’t expect to be getting back together with CJ by any means.

    I guess I have no question for my fellow Autostraddlers –just, I’d love some advice, or consolation, something. My gay friends are supportive but not in the immediate area, and my straight friends don’t understand/approve.
    Merry Christmas!

  90. You guys this is my first tipsy Christmas, and it’s FABULOUS. Here’s to hoping that next year I can write my actual name on Christmas presents. Love you queermos!

    • Tipsy Christmas is the BEST. I had my first one last year, after my grandpa made a joke with the N-word in the punchline at Christmas dinner and I subsequently decided I no longer wished to be fully conscious for the evening. Also, good luck with the coming out process!

  91. so far, all the potentially terrible situations have worked out alright! so christmas has been a bit of a pain in the butt, but nothing catastrophic, though the alcohol is just beginning…

    however, i now have a GIANT pile of extremely pink/purple winter accessories, despite my wishes for grey/green/black menswear. dad hit the nail on the head, mom hit -me- over the head with some subtle hints that i’m her firstborn GIRL. anyone need some colorful girly winter things?

    • I don’t know if that was a rhetorical question, but I really like the colors pink and (especially) purple.

    • i feel like there should be some sort of non-profit where all queermos who get holiday gifts that are inappropriate for their gender presentation can donate them to homeless lgbt youth who really need things and who wouldn’t otherwise get gifts — things would be sorted appropriately so the homeless youth wouldn’t have to take on an “accept whatever you get, you should be grateful for anything” attitude but rather things would be sorted and organized and everyone could get some things they need and like. does that make sense? i’m just brainstorming outloud but we as a community always talk about wanting to help our homeless youth so maybe this could be a tangible thing. does something like this exist? i dunno, i think it should/could.

      • I LOVE THIS IDEA. We should make this happen!

        And there’d always be something for everyone, because for every butch lesbian whose parents think buying her a dress and pumps will turn her straight or at least femme, there’s probably a femmey gay boy whose parents think the same will happen of buying him something super-manly (I’m out of ideas, it’s 3 am).

        • no that’s exactly what i was thinking! this either must already exist or it needs to exist. i’m going to do some research and then i’m going to write about it because that’s what i do and then we’re all going to take care of each other because that’s what families do. stay tuned…

  92. so far, all the potentially terrible situations have worked out alright! so christmas has been a bit of a pain in the butt, but nothing catastrophic

    however, i now have a GIANT pile of extremely pink/purple winter accessories, despite my wishes for grey/green/black menswear. dad hit the nail on the head, mom hit -me- over the head with some subtle hints that i’m her firstborn GIRL. anyone need some colorful girly winter things?

  93. Any suggestions for podcasts to listen to with my mother on our 4+ hour drive to/from a funeral? I already listen to Comedy Bang Bang (even had my Plugs theme played for the holiday ep last week /#humblebrag), BUT I don’t know that it’s exactly my mom’s kind of humor. My other faves tend to be depressing as fuck, so if you do want to suggest This American Life, can you try and think of funny episodes? Thanks Autostraddle!

    • I’m not sure if you have access to Canadian podcasts? But I love Quirks and Quarks (super fun science show); White Coat, Black Art (interesting commentary on health care and the health industry); and if you can find old Age of Persuasion podcasts they are fantastic.

    • Well this is about two days late and $2 short but I’m fangirling pretty hard over you getting your plugs theme played. Hope you enjoyed your week of fame.

    • This really stupid ultra-conservative dude at my stepdad’s church insisted on singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. I wanted to gag.


      • Comeoon. Singing happy birthday to Jesus is so much more fun than praying. Of course Jesus was born in may. And Mary was a maiden, not a virgin (lost in translation, same word in ancient Greek). And Santa Claus was invented by coca cola. And Judaism isn’t even really monotheistic, they’re just a bunch of pagans who decided they wanted to worship one god more than all the others.
        But hey, happy birthday to you.

        • “And Santa Claus was invented by coca cola.”

          This actually is not true:

          “And Judaism isn’t even really monotheistic, they’re just a bunch of pagans who decided they wanted to worship one god more than all the others.”

          Um, I have nothing against Jews or other religions, and I’m not sure how you would take that from my comment. My issue with this was it’s part of a pattern of this guy taking things in the Bible TOO literally, and overall him being a huge fundamentalist. I’m not that religious myself.

          • How is being polytheistic a bad thing ?
            Anyways, I’m an atheist Hindu so I don’t really read the Bible.

            I was just trying to say that nothing is no fun at all if you start compulsively fact-checking. That’s something that’s pretty perverted about the Internet culture.

            Also, you still haven’t said happy birthday.

          • Happy Birthday! (sorry!)

            And I’m sorry I misinterpreted your comment. I wasn’t saying polytheism was a bad thing, but I thought that’s what you were saying. Also I compulsively fact-checked before I knew about the Internet.

            I’m curious, how does being an atheist Hindu work?

  94. So I think I might have the flu and there’s a crapton of ham and latkes and I’m not even hungry which concerns me and everything hurts. But my cutie made me tea and is frying all the latkes, so.

  95. at a jew retreat in the woods….all the way across the country from my new honey :(. i keep ditching lectures to skype.

  96. My mom keeps asking me what I’m looking at on my phone, and although I say CNN or Angry Birds, really I’m thinking up witty messages to send cute girls on OKC. Its a highly recommended holigay coping strategy.

  97. My partner, Fitzi, got me a Saint Harridan backer package for Christmas! My first real suit, and it is specifically designated as the suit I am going to marry her in. Best. Christmas. Ever.
    Happy Holigays Friends!

    • You two are so fantastic! That truly is the best Christmas! Congrats! You two are such a foxy couple.

  98. You guys, I love my family, but I might bust my eardrums if I have to hear one more mention of what upstanding, honest citizens Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are.

    I’m just going to take a gander and assume that now isn’t exactly the best time to shout “Hey! I’m gay! And it’s awesome!”

  99. OK so I just got back from work to find that my dad (who I haven’t spoken to in 4 months because he is abusive) gave my sister presents to bring home for me. I opened them, and they’re nice things and I want them. But I don’t want to talk to him. I feel dishonest accepting gifts from someone I dont want a relationship with. I just wanted to share.

  100. I thought I’d make it through my first real “alone” Christmas okay, and then Rudolph started singing about being a misfit. Lost it entirely. My family might not be super good at holidays, but I miss them a lot today. My (sometimes) friendly neighbor brought me some ham and fixings from his family Christmas tonight. He knew all my roommates are gone and didn’t want me to “feel forgotten on this special day”. His wife makes some bomb-ass cookies, so at least I can eat all the feelings I have.

  101. I guess I kinda sorta came out today? I made up my mind if anyone in my family posed the usual boy questions I’d be honest. Today my sister asked, so I told her I like a girl. Mildly awkward, but I don’t think she was too shocked.

    In other news, tornadoes in Alabama! So, uh, roll tide.

  102. My father didn’t call me. I knew he didn’t care about me but he usually keeps up the pretense. I know I shouldn’t care, but I do.

    I didn’t even realize until my mom pointed it out. I wasn’t feeling good because I had some wine and I am alcohol intolerant, but my mom kept asking why I was acting upset. Then she asked if it was because my dad never called and… yeah. Now that is why I am upset.

  103. Pros: being out to family and slowly seeing the distance I created by being closeted for so long starting to close, even if its one inch at a time ;-)

    Cons: Realizing this relationship Im in isn’t healthy. Crap.

  104. I love my family and I’m so happy that I’m home, but I really miss my girlfriend who is spending the holiday with her family. She was supposed to come and visit this weekend, but now it looks like she’s not. It’s no big, because I’ll see her Sunday when I head back to our place, but she would’ve met my extended family (who I am very close with) and my best friend for the firs time and I’m super bummed. It’s not her fault. The logistics just didn’t work out, but I just feel… I don’t know. I’m just down. =(

  105. I came out to my parents over the holiday. Hooray!

    I also went to church Christmas Eve a little bit drunk. Whoops! Apparently you’re supposed to not drink seven glasses of wine or something.

  106. When my brother talks about his girlfriend, everyone chimes in with questions and comments.

    When I bring up my girlfriend, there’s a word or two, followed by awkward silence.

    I started dating girls a little over a year ago, and told my family immediately. It wasn’t a big “coming out” story, just… “this is what’s going on in my world, now”. My mom, dad, brother, and I have always been close like friends, but the news has kind of thrown a wrench in all of that. I didn’t expect it to be a big deal, and unfortunately, it has been.

    Aside from the family drama… I’m SUPER thankful that my girlfriend has an iPhone, this year. :) FaceTime is a godsend. Plus, all my friends from home are amazingly supportive. Overall, I’m a lucky girl. So happy freaking holidays, and lots of warm snuggly feelings to all of you!!!

    P.S. I’m excited to get back to Fox and Hounds Ladies Night with the Los Angeles Autostraddle crew. See you guys in a week! <3

    • i had a really similar non-coming-out coming out. my family (mom, dad, brother) and i have always been superrrr close, so when i started dating girls i just mentioned it like i would mention anything else. my dad and my brother were totally cool…my mom, very much not so.

      things are not the same as they used to be and i wouldn’t really say we’re best friends anymore, but i will say that 3.5 years later, things are much, much better. i guess i just wanted to say i understand, and i’m sorry, and i hope it gets better. it’s gotten better for me.

      but also i’m super jealous that your gf has an iphone & you can facetime, AND that you get to party with the LA AS crew…so you sound like things are gonna be alright ;)

      • Vanessa,

        Thank you! I’m so happy that things with your mom have improved. :) Breakthroughs (however small) DO happen, so I hope my mom and I make some more progress, too!

        Happy New Year!


  107. My brother and I accidentally raced each other to the bottom of a bottle of port, then went outside in my flannel jim-jams to look at the moon with my new high powered binoculars. I’m declaring it a Christmas win.

  108. This thread was beautiful. I love all of you.

    I’m reading it at the end of a two day Christmas, which, like usual has left me convinced that my family dislike me, and that I have no social skills. I also have a headache, and nobody recognizes me as enough of an adult to even offer me a cup of tea, let alone a glass of wine. Waaaaah.

    But my immediate family is beautiful, and for the first time in a while I actually got to spend the lead up to Christmas with them.

    We had a lovely ‘Blue’ Christmas Eve service, which gave a time to be somber and remember and support those remembering tragedy. Then Christmas morning was beautiful, and my six year old sister played bells in the band, and was gorgeous.

    Then we had presents, and then drove 400km to have Xmas dinner with Dad’s family, then got up today and did mum’s side.

    But on the bright side I got rainbow stuff from my parents, who are pretty homophobic, but I’m takin this as a sign they’ll come around, and today my AS calendar was in my mail, so that’s great.

  109. I’ve never been able to get drunk on Christmas because since the age of 18 I have worked on Christmas. I vow to NOT work on or around Christmas next year because I want to experience the joy of getting plastered with my family.

    This year I spent my first Christmas morning alone where I opened up my presents and cried because I don’t have my family or a girlfriend or even a roommate (who went home for the holidays) to share it with. But then I opened up a really awesome present and my mom called and I immediately felt 100 times better.

  110. Christmas is a non-event for me as I don’t do my family(my choice and I’m still searching out people of my own liking. I’ve been watching season one of Sailor Moon. and the theme song has really been a comfort/brainwashing. Their outfits and style are totally rad and there is even a special disguise pen that helps Sailor Moon change into a sporty photographer or even a sophisticated talent agent etc. Also there are many good lessons in the show such as: study to give yourself the best possible future and get a good night’s sleep and eat well to be the best that you can be. I think Sailor Mars is the best because she’s no-nonsense and will kick your ass with her martial arts. Sailor Mercury is smart and compassionate and takes the high ground in moral dilemmas and Sailor moon is a big whiney baby. She cries every episode even though you know she’s going to defeat the evil monster sent from the Negaverse! Hello! And what’s with fucking Tuxedo Mask saving their asses every single fucking time with that goddamn rose? This is not really a feminist show at all when a gdodamn man comes in every fuckin time to help before they can really let their powers shine. What the fuck???? And duh Darian is fucking Tuxedo mask you idiots!!!!!Hello how can these people not see that??? Also the cat Luna may be the most intelligent creature on the show. I have yet to meet Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus but I am curious to see what their personalities will be like. And to all the sisters with no family yet Moon Prism Power! Mercury Bubble Blast and so forth!

    • You should totally watch the live action version of Sailor Moon! along with the third season of the anime when the actual lesbians come in.

      But the live action is way better than it looks in the first few episodes, and there’s a shiiiiiiiiiitload of lesbian subtext between Mars and Venus in that one.

      • Yay for gay! Season 3. It’s all good. Just met Laurie the androgynous anime artist. Woo.

  111. Guys, my very homophobic uncle was very nice to me yesterday and then told me, for the first time since coming out, that I’m always welcome to come stay a few days with them and to come by sometime soon. Best Christmas present I got.

  112. Y’ALL. I mostly have a lot of feelings about the Doctor Who special. Can we talk about this?

    Like I’m not sure how I like Clara yet. And some parts were kinda cheesy (no spoilers yet)…and Madame Vastra/Jenny, omg!

    (I’m enough of a nerd that this is nearly eclipsing my big queer feelings about city mouse coming back to the small-town where nobody knows he’s a boy except his family, who’s remarkably chill about it. thank Santa for Steven Moffat, even if he is the devil sometimes)

  113. I hate going to see my family for the holidays. It’s always terrible, or at least, not so awesome. My paternal grandparents (the only people I’m not out to) kept asking me if my “roommate” (a.k.a. my live-in girlfriend) went to see her family for the holidays and where do they live?, etc. etc. I did manage to go the entire time I was up there without seeing my mother though. I swear it was a solstice miracle! :D :D :D

  114. As for gifts, Idk. I’m a somewhat masculine of center/androgynous individual and I received “hair chalk” in colors pink and blue, a pink bottle-cap necklace making kit, and a pink and lavender scarf – all from my sister. She is and has always been perfectly fine with me being gay, but she simply does not understand my style. On the upside, she did pick out baby blue footie pajamas for me, which are perfect (even though I never asked for footie pajamas) because hers were pink, so she did a better job with that. At least I didn’t get nail polish in flower-shaped containers from my grandfather like I did last year, lol. I was like, cooool. I’ll… paint stuff. :P

  115. This hometown is smaller than I thought… The locals scare/confuse me… My family makes me want to change… Thank the baby Jesus that Lagunitas is here with me… Should have booked the flight for before New Year’s though…

  116. Christmas was awkward but fun.

    I came out to my aunt and we had a long discussion about this guy I was going out with (but am not anymore, which was complicated by the fact that he put the moves on me when I visited him). As a result my grandmother’s house will always be -for me- the place where I came out to her.

    And I went to mass -willingly- and got more than a bit drunk Christmas Eve. (I’m good at hiding drunkness so I’m not sure anyone noticed.)

    I also went to New York City with my father -we go every year- and before Christmas visited people I missed in DC.

  117. After being home with my parents for 8 days, my mom finally asked me, again, if I was “still trying to meet men,” despite the fact that I’ve told her 4 or 5 times I am not interested in meeting men – I want to date ladies! We were doing so well, with 8 whole days of her not questioning my identity. Sigh.

    On the plus side, when I suggested she go to a local PFLAG meeting she said “maybe,” so that’s progress I suppose.

  118. Whelp. Another Christmas has gone by and once again, I neglected to inform my somewhat homophobic father that I’m a flaming homo. He and my stepmother announced that they’re having a baby, and now I’m even more afraid to tell him because I really want to be a part of my new sibling’s life, even though we’ll be about 22 years apart. Uggggh, feels.

    On a much brighter note, I have a huge crush on a gay girl I work with/am friends with, and I got to be her secret Santa! She liked her gift, which included a mix CD. So that made me ridiculously happy.

  119. This was a strange Christmas – the first one in which I refused to dress/act male for the benefit of others. That felt good in itself, but it was really weird… usually, our family always ribbing each other and cracking brain-hurting jokes, stringing wordplays along for as long as we can manage, etc… but this year it was really subdued, almost as if everyone was afraid of everyone else, walking on eggs, like… well, it was cool, that everyone wrote my new/real name onto card envelopes (though nobody /ever/ calls me or my sister by our real names, nicknames only; also, we don’t give gifts, just cards)… though my grandmother just didn’t write any name on my card… she’s the only one who seems to be actively denying to herself that there’s anything different about me. My dad and one cousin, though, who are both normally pretty homophobic/transphobic, have basically reached the point of just leaving it be/not talking about it, and acting with me like they’ve always ever done. (To quote my dad when I came out to him: “What am I gonna say? No? You’ve never listened to me before, why would you start now?”). Really, it’s only my stepmum, sister and one female cousin who are actively supportive, but that was good enough.

    And unusually, we didn’t go to midnight Mass… nobody said as much, but I suspect it was because my grandmother didn’t want me going to ‘our’ church in a skirt…

    The woman who gave birth to me, on the other hand, didn’t even bother to send me an email for Christmas (or my birthday in March, for that matter, after being outwardly all supportive, taking me clothes shopping and such whilst I visited her in the states), nor has she replied to the message I sent her. Ah, well. Not like she’s ever really been involved in my life, but still, it kinda bugs me that she seems more interested in what her born-again friends (yeah, she became one of those a few years back) say/think, than in her child.

    I still find that rather surprising. My birth-mother, who was the one who taught me, as a child, the importance of tolerance and openmindedness, doesn’t seem to want anything to do with me anymore (either because I’m transitioning, or because I refuse to become a born-again, or both), whereas my dad, who was always a fairly hardcore prick, at times exceedingly abusive (and yet always there without a word when you really needed him), and also quite homophobic/transphobic/everythingelsephobic, accepted my explanation when I came out to him and was surprised, almost even offended when I told him I worried he’d disown me over it.

    Interesting, how differently people you thought you know, can turn out to be…

    (sorry for rambling so long!)

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