Any advice for someone feeling uncertain about family, dating, and the holidays?

For many, the holidays are filled with parties, events, and many intentional moments. If this isn’t the case for you, you’re not alone. Many LGBTQIA+ people have experienced rejection of their identities by families, friends, and other significant relationships. The holiday season might be a time where the loss of those connections can feel more present than usual. Here's some advice I hope will help you navigate this time of year.

If you're wondering whether or not to come out during the holidays:

The first thing I think about is safety, always. Consider if your family might respond in a harmful or hurtful way. If that's the case, have a safety plan that includes an exit strategy in the event of a worst case scenario. This can include giving supportive family members a heads up so they can be there if needed. Once you have your plan figured out, it might be okay to lean into the moment and share about your identity.

Ultimately, we want family to witness who we are in a way that feels celebratory of our identities.

Remember that coming out doesn't have to be an in-person experience and it’s normal for the process to look different from person to person.

If you're leaning into found family and prioritizing mental health:

Creating new ways to celebrate during the holidays frees us from constantly thinking about what used to be and invites us to experience newness and novelty. Exploring new traditions can help you move through any grief that comes with spending the holidays differently. Pause and reflect on how you wish to foster connection, togetherness, belonging, or community in a meaningful way.

If you're thinking about meeting each other's families:

This question has more to do with your relationship than your family. It gets to the heart of whether or not you both are ready for that next step. In short, it's important to be on the same page about what introducing a partner to family looks like and means. Five questions I recommend talking through:

  1. Where are you in the process of coming out to your family?
  2. How do you feel about your relationships with your family?
  3. Do you feel affirmed and celebrated by your family?
  4. Will your family be supportive of us?
  5. If I get stuck in a conversation that makes me feel weird, how do I let you know?

If you want to let your family know pronouns don't have to be a big deal:

We don't have to explain our pronouns to anyone. There’s nothing that says that we’re obligated to do this. So first, I’d reframe it from explaining to inviting someone in to celebrate with us! If this is your first time having this conversation, invite your family into this process by sharing pronouns are a way people honor themselves and respect their identities.

To read Moe's full responses, head to the Help Center of the Hinge app.

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