The Happiest Place On Earth

Some names in the essay have been changed.

Illustration by Sarah Sarwar

It was Christmas Day and we were somewhere between New Mexico and Arizona. I sat in the backseat of my family’s gold Expedition staring out the window at the winter desert. I'd thought once the semester was over, this whole mess would dissipate and I'd be able to breathe. I'd kept telling myself just make it to December — once you’re with your family, everything will be ok. But it was December and I was in a car with my family on our way to Disneyland and I still felt a heaviness in my chest. My dad was driving, my mom was dozing off, my sister was fast asleep on her neck pillow and my brother was fidgeting with his iPod; I was grateful to get away.

Instead of doing the whole Christmas thing — lights, tree, festivities, presents — my family decided to put that money into a Disneyland vacation. Ever since I can remember, it’s been a tradition to watch the Disney Christmas Day Parade on Christmas morni...

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Yvonne S. Marquez is a lesbian journalist and Autostraddle senior editor living in Dallas, TX. She writes about social justice, politics, activism and other things dear to her heart like Selena and tacos. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and has since written and edited lots of gay stuff for the internet. Yvonne calls the borderlands home, strongly identifies with her Scorpio moon sign, and really hopes to crush the patriarchy soon. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.

Yvonne S. has written 202 articles for us.