The holidays can be pretty tough for the trans* community, whether you're in the closet or not. Spending time with close and distant family can lead to being misgendered, discussions starting on sensitive topics, and could even include people discussing your gender as a dinner topic, which can be quite uncomfortable.
So, here are some tips to survive the holiday season! Hopefully they will help make it that small bit easier.
If you're in the closet
1. Pretend you're a spy
This is my personal favourite, because it plays well to my imagination - pretend you're on an undercover spy mission. You have to remember a fake name and pose as a different gender to obtain secret information on an unknowing family. This also helps with the whole having-to-socialise thing :')
2. Do small things to reaffirm your gender
This could be anything from wearing an article of clothing that makes you feel a bit more comfortable if you can, wearing your hair the way you want, or adding small accessories to your outfit. Sometimes I like to draw my pride flags on my stomach, because no one else can see it there and it's something small that no one else can see or take from me (kind of like my gender :P)
If you're not in the closet
1. Don't be afraid to stick up for yourself
You know yourself better than anyone, and you can prove that to others. Your gender is your own to define, and even though some family might be totally ignorant - you can stand up to them and show them that you know better than their uneducated selves! c:
2. Don't be afraid to back down from an argument
I promise this doesn't contradict my last point! Even though I encourage you to stick up for yourself, it's also good to know when to give up. Some people are too set in their ways, and it will be more harmful for you to argue with them. Despite anything they say, you know yourself best, and you can walk away knowing that you're the bigger person.
Taking short walks away from your family, whether that's outside or just to the bathroom, can really help to clear your head and refresh yourself. If you have time, even writing down what you're feeling or listening to some music that makes you feel good can help get you in a better mindset.
2. Be aware of your feelings
Reinforce your own feelings - you know yourself best! As well as that, don't be afraid to feel upset or angry - there's no need to repress those feelings, sometimes situations call for them. What's important is acknowledging them and managing them as best as you can. Learn what coping skills work best for you!
3. Take care of yourself
Come to 7 Cups if you need, talk to a friend, take time outs, do something you enjoy - all in all, look after yourself! Your own wellbeing is the most important thing!