Christmas is such a stressful and emotional time for everybody, especially those who identify as transgender. When I was in my early stages of transition I was always worrying about how my family would react, or how they would perceive me. My family are now amazing with who I am, I just worry about what may happen so here is some of my advice:
Be Prepared To Hear Your Dead Name
Being called by your dead name (the name you was given at birth) can be difficult. It feels like a slap across the face when someone does use the wrong name, and the wrong pronouns. It can be awkward, it can be stressful and it can be emotionally and mentally draining. When someone does use your dead name, or use the wrong pronouns, don’t fight back with anger, be subtle and mention that the individual has made a mistake. Slip up’s are bound to happen, they’re not always in spite but just sometimes a mistake. Being dead named, or being greeted with the wrong pronouns does not reflect who you are, so please always remember that.
Bring a Friend Or a Loved One Along
Sometimes having a friend or a loved one around for support can be beneficial. A friend or loved one can release any anxiety feelings and can make sure any conversations aren’t awkward.
Have An Exit Plan
Sometimes you need to get away when you’re feeling anxious or you’re feeling super overwhelmed. Find a friend who you will be able to see over the Christmas Period when things get too much, or go into a separate room from everybody else and read a book, watch a film or listen to music. You are allowed to leave a situation if you need too, and never feel guilty for it.
Find a Safe Place To Stay
Sometimes times can be tough, and sometimes parents can’t always be accepting, so you may need to find an alternative place to stay. Whether it’s another families house (who is more accepting), or a friends house. Never put yourself in a situation where you feel threatened or unsafe, as your safety is so so so important.
Over the Christmas period, keep yourself safe, be honest, and look after yourself. It will get better one day, I promise.