The Hard Truth About Returning Home For the Holidays as an LGBT Youth

Growing up is hard for any child, but making the transition from teenager to young adult as an LGBT youth is even harder. The level of discrimination that’s allowed is absolutely ridiculous. Just when you believe that you have things under control, someone else comes in to stereotype and degrade you. But thankfully, things have gotten better for many LGBT people. We’re on TV, in newspapers, represented in the sciences, and just about anywhere else that we want to be. Hollywood has realized that unflattering portrayals of LGBT people aren’t acceptable, and that’s really improved the image of this community tremendously.

Yet there’s one part of life that hasn’t seemed to change all that much, and that would be the families that we moved away from in order to pursue work or school. When you return home for the holidays, you may have found things have changed.

LGBT Youth

For example, if you have a significant other, they may not be welcome at the house. Before you take the time to book travel accommodations, you need to have a serious talk with your family. They need to meet the people that matter in your life, but you also need to realize that you can’t force them to change. If you encourage them to open their minds a little bit, you’ll go further than condemning them for being homophobes or transphobes.

Other relatives that come down for the holidays may not be comfortable with it at all. However, we’ve found that this is the best time to educate people. All you can do is maintain the best boundaries possible. You don’t have to get into arguments for the entire holiday season. You can just stick to talking about your experiences, and let everyone else make their commentary. Some LGBTs feel that you shouldn’t have to prepare everyone for a visit from you. In a perfect world, we would certainly agree. Yet this world isn’t perfect, but we still have to live in it. When our friends went home for the first time, they tried the “surprise” approach. They had never come out in high school, and now they wanted to reveal their true selves in front of their loving parents. It didn’t end well at all, and they had to fly back to college at their expense before really participating in the holiday festivities. We think it’s sad, but that whole situation could have been prevented by a few phone calls or Skype chats. The reality is that we can’t make the whole world tolerate and accept us. There will be people that just can’t think any other way, and they will have the unfortunate distinction of being our family. [Continue reading]

Dressing Up as Caitlyn Jenner For Halloween is a Terrible Idea – Here’s Why

Caitlyn Jenner

We thought we wouldn't have to really explain this to people, but we don't mind educating folks on such a sensitive topic: Halloween costumes. Specifically tasteless ideas like dressing up as Caitlyn Jenner. Far be it from us to police our fellow … [Continue reading]

The Equality Fight is Far From Over, Part 2

Equality Fight

It's only been a little under a month since the landmark Supreme Court ruling opened the doors for same-sex marriage in all 50 states. And since then, the fires of discrimination and prejudice are still burning brightly. Oh, some people are busy … [Continue reading]

Gay Marriage Is Legal, But There’s Still Work To Do

gay marriage is legal

On June 26th of this year, gay marriage became legal in all 50 states. That's right, you read that right; every single state. So even if you live in Mississippi, you can still marry your partner. Happily ever after, right? Homophobia died on the same … [Continue reading]

Give Every Student The Customized Assistance They Deserve


Who says that help has to be a bad thing? These days, people talk about the educational system in such a way that makes it sound like a student is "bad" or "in trouble" if they need help. But as an American in Sweden sending her two beautiful … [Continue reading]

Gay Marriage Comes to South Dakota – Finally!

gay marriage south dakota

The fight for marriage equality shouldn't be this hard. After all, it's not like anyone's asking straight people to suddenly take on a gay partner forever and ever. It's merely an acknowledgement that other people want to have the same rights that … [Continue reading]

Support for Transgender Youth is More Important Than Ever

Transgender Youth

What does it mean to be transgender? We've heard it described a few different ways but one description rings in our heads the most: like being born in a bad costume that you can never, ever take off without undergoing intense pain. You know that if … [Continue reading]

Should You be Openly Gay On Campus?

Openly Gay

Everyone wants to fit in whether they want to admit it or not. Even though we're a gay community, we're not going to say that there aren't times where we wish to fit in a lot better than we do. Even as adults, we still look back on our school days … [Continue reading]

Why Attacking the CEO of Apple for Not Coming Out Is Wrong

Tim Cook

As the iPhone 6 gets ready to launch, everyone is taking notice. But here's something that people are taking notice of that isn't a cell phone: Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple. He's got big shoes to fill after Steve Jobs´s death, but it looks like he's … [Continue reading]

Teach Yourself Something This Summer – Why Wait

online learning

The online learning boom is here to stay, and we're definitely glad for it. With so many LGBT youth feeling out of place in the traditional educational system, why aren't we standing up and making our own choices? Is it fear? Is it the possibility … [Continue reading]