The 11 Best Holidays For Coming Out To Your Family and Friends

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Coming out is a weird thing. It’s hard to get exactly right. Plus it can be damn scary and sometimes dangerous. That’s especially true right now. So, honestly, you do you and please come out on your own terms and stay safe. But, on the chance that you do want some slightly ridiculous advice on which holidays I, personally, think are the best to come out to your family and friends on, here’s a little break from the madness that we’re living in.

Also, sorry guys, I grew up in a Christian household, so these are the holidays I know. If you celebrate other holidays, please feel free to tell me which ones are also great to come out on.

Now, you too can look forward to your entire family looking at you like this!

Now, you too can look forward to your entire family looking at you like this while you stumble over your words!


11. Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday in November)

For some reason, Thanksgiving is always the most awkward holiday. You’re not going to ruin the awkwardness and drama by adding a little more awkwardness and drama. But, hey, if you do, the tryptophan in the turkey will have everyone asleep in an hour anyway and you can sneak out.


10. National Coming Out Day (October 11)

This seems like the natural choice to be higher up on the list, but honestly, it’s a little cliche at this point. At least you can get away with doing it on social media with a nifty hashtag on this day.


9. Easter (First Sunday after the First Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox [what?????])

Here’s what you do: write “I’m Gay” (or trans or bi or queer or whatever) on a piece of paper and put it inside an Easter egg for the Easter egg hunt. Someone at your family gathering will find it, and it will lead to mass confusion as everyone tries to figure out who the “I” is referring to in the note. Now your Easter party is a mystery party!


8. Arbor Day (Last Friday in April)

This one is pretty specific. If you want to come out as a butch, flannel-wearer, lumbersexual or other similar type, what better day than Arbor Day, a holiday dedicated to the forest and the trees?


7. Halloween (October 31st)

I mean, come on, Halloween is called Gay Christmas for a reason. It’s a great holiday for trying new things, dressing however you want and releasing a part of yourself that you’ve never let out before. The only downside is that sometimes when you come out as a trans woman on Halloween, your pastor asks you in church on the next Sunday (as you’re standing there in a dress, with makeup, painted nails and curled hair) in front of a bunch of people if “this whole thing” is a “Halloween joke.”


6. Columbus Day (October 12th)

Christopher Columbus sucks, so why not come out on his day and pull all the attention away from his genocidal, imperialist, racist ass and onto your beautiful queer one?


5. Valentine’s Day (February 14th)

Love is in the air! And that love is gay love! If you want to come out and have the best chance of getting a date at the same time, this is the day for you.


4. Galentine’s Day (February 13th)

This holiday invented by Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation is like Valentine’s Day but focused on love between women who love each other. If you’re a woman who loves other women, this day is already about you, so why not turn those one of the gal pals you’re celebrating into your Gal Pal by coming out on this day?


3. Feast of Our Lady de Guadalupe (December 12th)

We’ve talked before about how La Virgen is a very feminist and queer and Brown deity, so she’s the perfect one to watch over qtpoc as we come out. This day is for us!


2. New Year’s Eve (December 31st)

This holiday is all about new beginnings! Why not start a new beginning as a queer person? It’s also all about kissing people! Why not kiss a cute girl or non-binary person? It’s a win-win!


1. Veterans Day (November 11th)

It’s today! Carpe Diem! Seize the day! Come out right now!

Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 574 articles for us.

50 Comments

  1. Saint Patrick’s Day for me. What a rough night. Had my bags all packed just in case I got kicked out. I didn’t. I left to go out drinking with my friends who were waiting in the get away car though. I did not want to hear my mom try to “reason” with my “life style choice” at the time.

      • Fun fact: Jesus died at Passover and so it’s the one holiday they sort of had to coordinate with the Jewish calendar – which is the reason it moves the way that it does.
        The lengthy process of deciding how this would be done was not at all short on hand-wringing – the Easter Controversy took 300 years to solve.

        I only bring it up because the thought of bearded white dudes arguing for 300 years over this brings me such joy every time I’m reminded Easter exists.

    • I think the Orthodox church decides differently, because sometimes Orthodox Easter falls on the same day as what the Greek side of my family calls “Regular Easter” and sometimes it’s wayyyy different. Like this year, “Regular Easter” was March 27 and Orthodox Easter was May 1. Kanye shrug.

    • It’s very complicated. In the Roman Catholic Church they don’t use the true scientific vernal equinox, they use March 21st every year. The full moon they use isn’t the astronomical full moon, but is an “ecclesiastical moon”, which is defined as the 14th day of the ecclesiastical lunar month, which is also defined by the church based on the moon cycles. As far as I know, that ecclesiastical lunar month idea is similarly related to how the Jewish calendar is established. Easter is on a different day in Western Churches vs. Eastern or Orthodox Churches because the Western Churches set March 21st by the Gregorian Calendar, whereas the Eastern Churches use the Julian Calendar. In the Roman Catholic Church, it’s not just Easter that’s affected. There’s a whole church calendar or liturgical calendar, including seasons (the calendar begins with the First Sunday of Advent, the Advent season is followed by the Christmas season which goes from Christmas Day until the Feast of the Epiphany, followed by ordinary time, then the season of Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, then comes the Easter season which goes from Easter Sunday until Pentecost, then a longer ordinary time until Advent). Other church holidays are affected too, not just Easter. It’s a whole thing. I think a very similar liturgical calendar exists in Eastern Orthodox churches.

    • I was just thinking about Passover. Everyone’s already thinking about oppression and the need for compassion for others. If you’re reform, you might have already gotten the orange on the Seder plate speech. And you can come out just by saying “Next year in Jerusalem with a girlfriend! Fingers crossed guys, root for me!”

      • My great-uncle used to only put two-dollar bills in the afikomen, so this made me think of queer as a three dollar bill. If I could do it over again I would definitely mock up a three dollar bill with Tammy Baldwin or Rachel Maddow and put that in the afikomen.

  2. I’d like to put in a formal request for a short list of ways to become more like Mey in my every day life because really, that’s all I’m trying to achieve in this world.

    (For real, you’re my hero.)

    • Take selfies like a boss would be on that list.

      Seriously, I joined Instagram and all of Mey’s selfies exude “I’ve Got This.” boss-ness

      From a very cute “I look hella cute and I know it” Got This boss-ness all the way to “HBIC I am da Boss” Got This, the boss-ness don’t need to be restated.
      It’s all there.

  3. This is fun and relevant. I’ve been considering coming out to my family when I’m home for the holidays this year. I haven’t really wanted to because (a) I’m bisexual but in a long-term relationship with a dude, and it seemed kind of… attention-seeking? unnecessary? to do so, and (b) I’ve only really come out to myself in the past few years. But now that I know some of my immediate family members voted for Drumpf, I want them to understand more fully why I’m so upset, and I kind of want to shake them up. Plus, it would feel great to have that part of me openly acknowledged.

  4. Yeah, I spent a couple hours yesterday drafting an email in my head to come out to my entire family as non-binary. It had been brewing for awhile but this week with the election and everything I’m really feeling like I need to come out now so I can ask for support from the family members who do choose to support me, and know who doesn’t rather than just being afraid of what their reactions might be.

    The main thing that’s stopping me is I’m still afraid being non-binary is a made-up thing. I doubt myself on this so much and I don’t know how to defend myself and prove that my gender is real when I’m not always sure myself.

    • Hey Bekka. Fellow non-binary person here. I think doubts about being non-binary are super real and common, I had a lot of the same worries and concerns before I came out as genderqueer. I thought maybe it wasn’t real, that maybe it wasn’t a big deal, that I could ignore it. But I couldn’t ignore it, my brain and body and heart kept returning to the thought of being non-binary. When I stayed up all night staring at the ceiling mulling gender in my head, I knew it was a big deal. I also looked around and realized there is a whole world-a whole community (thanks autostraddle)-that supported and believed me. I also realized that as long as there have been humans, there have been non-binary genders, maybe not in the same language/wording/meaning that we are using here, but they have always existed and will continue to exist!

      Don’t feel like you have to come out to your family right away, but if you do know you got a whole lot of people behind your back, who trust you to know your body/mind/heart/gender. And that being non-binary isn’t always a linear path, sometimes we only feel it 70%, sometimes we question it hard, and sometimes we change our mind, and sometimes it’s the way we are going to be for the rest of our lives. <3

      There's a whole plethora of articles out there that can help explain what non-binary means to your family and I hope you reach for those resources, especially because coming out is hard and scary and trying to 'prove' or defend is sometimes too much to juggle with all the emotions at hand.

  5. Mey, I just want to say that I feel about this article the way I felt about your Prinsesstårta article, and that is that of all the AS writers I think my sense of humor must be closest to yours. Thanks for making me laugh!

  6. Well, this is timely. I just came out to my brother today and I’m planning on coming out to the rest of my (Trump-supporting) family soon. I’ve been avoiding phone calls from my mom for the last few days and trying to draft an email, but I’m having a really hard time figuring out what to say.

  7. I came out to my parents one week before Obergefell was decided (definitely not planned!) and then came out to everyone else (on FB) the day of Obergefell! So that was pretty cool. And then I went to SF Pride the next day which was super awesome because a) being around loads of happy queer people and b) being a happy and out queer person around loads of other happy queer people!

    Much love & support to those who are thinking of coming out now! We’re here for you <3

  8. I really want to come out to my parents sometime soon but I’ve got a feeling that the holidays aren’t a great time for that. Has anyone here come out to their parents over Thanksgiving or Christmas? I feel like it’d be super awkward, but I hate being in the closet to them and my extended family. All my siblings and most of my friends know and every time I go home it gets harder to keep myself from just blurting it out…

  9. I really want to come out to my parents sometime soon but I’ve got a feeling that the holidays aren’t a great time for that. Has anyone here come out to their parents over Thanksgiving or Christmas? I feel like it’d be super awkward, but I hate being in the closet to them and my extended family. All my siblings and most of my friends know and every time I go home it gets harder to keep myself from just blurting it out…

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