Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. Once it hits October 3rd (from the timeless Mean Girls and related memes), I start getting the holiday jitters. Who am I going to be for Halloween (and why is it Taylor Swift)? What type of pie should I bake for Thanksgiving? What terrible romantic Christmas movie am I going to watch over and over again on the Lifetime channel?
Despite the barrage of pumpkin spice and peppermint coffees, the holidays make me nervous. The forced interaction with my family members give me anxiety. Since I am not afraid to call out my family members when they say problematic things, I’ve become the basic “drunk uncle” of the family. By “drunk uncle”, I mean that whenever I speak about anything political, they shut me down as soon as possible to maintain the festive, holiday spirit.
I resent it. I understand the desire for my family not wanting to cause a political opinion war over turkey dinner, but I resent the fact that silencing me just allows those statements to continue on. Statements like continuing to misgender and use the birth name instead of the real name of my trans MtF aunt, or calling Obama a porch monkey, or saying that Jews are smelly (weirdest one, my Grandma made this up. She’s an OG racist, because she makes up new stereotypes I think).
If I even start to correct my family members on their behavior, they just say “stop being so sensitive”. Truth is, I’m not being sensitive. I was sensitive for a really long time, and would let every thing they said fester inside me until it started to kill me. I’m being STRONG.
Despite my anxiety, fear, and isolation, I will not hesitate to stop their actions. Even when I hear them talking behind my back about my convictions, I won’t stop. And for that reason, the holidays suck. I’m constantly put at the forefront of their expansive, rocky conscious, my thoughts and reasoning ebbing away unsuccessfully at their closed minds, and literally am talking to walls of ignorance and selfishness.
Maybe one day, I won’t have to have holidays with my blood family, and make my own family of friends and close acquaintances, and I will start to enjoy the holidays again. But until January 1st, I will put on my suit of honor, and attempt to bring light to the foggy, clouded minds of my family.