Celebrating The Holidays Alone
Isn’t it supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year? Or isn’t it supposed to be the time where everyone strives to be around their family? For many of us in the transgender community, and for myself, the holidays are a poignant reminder of loss.
Since transitioning I’ve seen a lot of people simply move away from being in contact with me. In many cases if I don’t pick up the phone, or text no one within my family takes the time to reach out. I’ve watched my Dad embrace holiday traditions with his new wife, and her family, and know that he hasn’t visited me since I came out. I face in-laws that still think I am a sinner, and spend thirty minutes a day praying for me that I will renounce my ways and de-transition. In-laws that time and again have implored my wife to leave me, and said the most horrible things about me. Yet they don’t have the guts to speak to me directly. I’ve lost friends from my wedding, that walked with me for over twenty years. Simply because I am transitioning.
The holidays aren’t peace on earth and joy to the world for me. The holidays are a reminder that I have fought like hell to still be standing. Instead the holidays are a marker of how far I’ve come, and what I have fought so hard to win. I see myself. And that is a reason for celebration. When I see her, I see a smile. It took twenty years for her to be here, and I will never let her go. Further, I see the absence and recognize that I’m much stronger than I’ve ever believed. I never thought I would have the ability to live a life and remold a family. But here I am, with new friends that are closer than ever, and will be there for me when the pain hits that so many people who are supposed to love you simply aren’t there.
As I celebrate the holidays for the second year family-less I am seeing the world with much more clarity. Being trans in America is a fight. My very existence calls into question religion, family, and politics. It is truth serum for the people I meet. How do they really feel? What beliefs do they really put in action? I’ve found new friends that love unconditionally, and celebrate me. As much as I mourn the people that have walked away I do it because they are missing out on the best me.
If you are facing the holidays either alone, or knowing you will face some transphobic people hold your head up high. You have and are continuing to bloom. You’ve made it to this point by living your truth. You have done nothing wrong, and you are beautiful. Look around at the new friends who have come beside you, and enjoy time with them. No matter what the world has thrown at you, you have overcome, and you are still standing. Look yourself in the mirror, pour yourself a drink, and cheers to becoming love!
You are here…
And you are enough.