Wednesday, December 22, 2010

DADT Thing You Do (Every Year)

What's up, liplickers?


So DADT is (almost) history. 


Isn't that amazing?
It's weird.  
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it.


As a kid growing up in the Mormon church, I was told that the end of the world was coming rapidly, probably within my lifetime. 

And while I accepted the end of the world as fact...try as I might, I couldn't imagine that I would actually live to see it.
[via sabino]
We would drive by the Shell station on the way to church in Dad's Bonneville, and I would close my eyes, pretending that when I opened them, the Shell would be gone, and everything in it - Mountain Dew and Hostess cupcakes and peanut butter Nature Valley granola bars and the fat business guy in the red collared shirt, impatiently waiting in the $.69 fountain soda line - would be gone.

                                poof *




I've never been able to visualize things.  
Even at all.  
I have no capability to think how a situation might be different than how it is currently going down. 
That is, incidentally, why I am the worst choice of people to ask if you're wondering what color you should paint the walls.




That's why the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal is confusing me. 
I never actually thought I would see the day.  


Gay legislation is so back-and-forth (you can get married! Oops, shit, I mean, you can have legal partner status!) that it's hard to keep track of when we're equal citizens of the United States, and when we're not. 
[via girlswholikegirls]
You know how it goes around here. 

The same lesbian couple can be... Married! Partners! Roommates! Rifle practice! - all in a day's worth of driving.
(by braxley)
It's just so great to see something, even a piece of archaic shit like DADT that should never have been signed into law in the first place, get laughed out of the Senate.


Anyway! This is obviously not a political blog, faggettes.
I will simply embarrass myself.

Today we're talking Holidays Round 2.


No matter what holiday you celebrate, and even if you don't celebrate anything at all and fucking hate the holidays, with the rampant commercialism and blatant ripping-off of ancient pagan rituals didn't you know that Christmas is really just the age-old celebration of Winter Solstice and stoppityou'reboringtheshitoutofeveryone , chances are you're going to be sprung from your school/work cell and set loose for a long holiday weekend.  


And even if your family isn't religious, they tend to demand your presence, in your hometown, riiiiiight around now.
[via awkwardfamilyphotos]
So what's it like when you go home with your girlfriend?  


I need to know.

Because I am a total shit about going home with CJ

[via wejustdon'tsleep]
And I'm not sure why.
  
She grew up in a tiny town called Montevideo, in Minnesota.  
Her family is nice.  
Her mom made me a stocking with my name on it in glitter. They drink wine with dinner, sometimes even getting tipsy, which is a completely foreign concept to me at a family dinner.  
They're noisy and they argue with one another and they tease each other and they like - for some unfathomable reason - to play Yahtzee
[diane dimassa by love alban]
I'm not kidding.  It never fails.  After dinner, everyone will be sitting around drinking beer at the table.  
Someone will bring out the Yahtzee box.
Then everybody simultaneously goes, "Oooh. Yahtzee!" like they'd never thought of that before, won't this be fun, and then they all get out their mini-pencils and score notepads, happily settling in for what's shaping up to be the most boring night ever.
[via pioneera]
Almost all of the other kids in CJ's family are married, and they seem to be fine with us being big lesbians.


But I'm just a huge ass about going home. 
I whine. I complain. I threaten to not come.  
[via sabino]
It's because families make me uncomfortable.  My own included.  I always feel so awkward.  


Like there's a big spotlight on CJ and my face and everybody's watching The Gay Homosexual Not Married Show.
[via oneheavyfebruary]


Internalized homophobia is such a bitch.


Do you feel that way when you go home with your girlfriend? 


Like you're being judged in a completely unflattering florescent light? 
[via lesfemmes]
I do.  I can't relax.  I can't behave normally.  


I monitor my actions: too much touching? Can we kiss in the kitchen?  Is it OK to sit on the floor, between CJ's legs, if she's sitting on the big cushy chair above me while watching A Christmas Story with her family?  
Between the legs could be read in too many ways.  
Better not risk it.
[via hellogirls]
And then, around Day Two, just as I've resigned myself to being the genderless and sexless weird houseguest who doesn't know where to put her hands and seems to hang around CJ an awful lot, I'll see one of her married siblings playfully wrestling with her spouse. 


Say, getting pulled onto her husband's lap in a fight over the Lay-Z-Boy. 


And then the anger hits. 


I'll sit there thinking, "Here they are, sitting on each other's laps without a second thought about whether someone in the family might find that 'inappropriate.' I bet they've never given their heterosexist entitlement even the briefest fleeting thought. They get to be themselves, their whole selves - sexual, gender-encompassing, loving, human selves- all the time, with their God-sanctioned partners, in front of their family, all the time. Isn't that fucking nice."


And that's not a healthy thing to be thinking. 
Christmas is not about rage.
Is it like this for y'allfags? 


I mean, I'm actually really lucky. 

CJ's family is welcoming.  They're nice to me, even though I lurk awkwardly in the kitchen, going, "Can I, um, help with anything?"


I can't even imagine doing Christmas where the family actually hated gays.
[via hellogirls]
Jesus.  
We leave for Montevideo tomorrow.


What are the holidays like for you?

73 comments:

  1. My partner's family was pissed to hear that they couldn't buy me presents because I don't celebrate Christmas. We visited a few weeks ago and they unceremoniously handed me stuff in plastic store bags, to rebel against me.

    I feel a lot of tension when we are playing with the kids in the family. When we last celebrated with her family, the sister's husband made remarks about not letting his infant play with a doll because "you'll make my son... *insert awkward silence because he realized he was about to make a homophobic reference to a couple of lesbians*" I feel like I am constantly being watched when I'm playing with the nieces, like being gay means I could potentially be a pedophile. It could all be in my head, but it's there, the same as worrying about sitting too close to my partner in front of grandma.

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    Replies
    1. For reals. There's a story in Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris where he describes being alone in an elevator with a male teen coincidentally. Sedaris is *so* nervous he sweats near literal pools of water, and ends up spilling coffee everywhere, just out of fear that people are gonna accuse him of molesting the kid.

      Delete
  2. We always go back to my parents homes for the Holidays. Milwaukee is a good place. My dad and step mom love my partner, but watch fox news all day....explain that!? My mom, who is way into church, thinks we should be able to get married, and also loves my partner. And my grandparents must be on to the fact that my "friend" (who has been to Christmas the last 3 years) and I are closer than most roommates.

    But her Mom whispers the word gay, so anything beats that, right?

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  3. For me, Christmas is fucking hell. My Nana still thinks that I like boys and proceeds to ask me about why I don't have a nice boyfriend. Ellen Degeneres has a better chance of passing as straight than I do- I am really gay. I have to keep my mouth shut as my Nana talks about how disgusted she is to see (insert any reference to homosexuality). I am forced to wear skirts and dresses and heels. Even tho I am a grown ass woman (ok, sorta-21), my mother will attempt to make my dyke hair cut- the pride and glory of my physical person- look 'girly.' This includes bows, head bands, and flat, lifeless hair covered in a crunchy hair spray helmet.
    As if that wasn't bad enough, we are in heaven's waiting room- Florida. No one drives about 15 MPH unless they are late for the early bird special. We eat dinner at 5 and are then forced to spend the rest of the night in her condo. There is no internet, no cell service and one tv, which she uses to watch lifetime movies at decibles so high, conversation is impossible. Because her condo is in a gated community, there are no bars within walking distance, so I am trapped.

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  4. T-3 days until I have to tell my grandma that we really, truly did break up (she doesn't believe anything I put in a letter).

    My grandma, 2 unmarried aunts, a dog and a few thousand cats live on an old farm together in one of the most rural places humanly possible.

    By all demographics, they should hate anyone remotely queer, their neighbors do. Their neighbors toilet papered their house when they found out I was gay (the nearest neighbor is 3 miles away). All my grandma said was "they have a lot of learning to do, this isn't your fault"

    She unfortunately lives in a world of her own now, and I can't express how wonderful they are, but how much I'm dreading explaining that lesbians, too, break up (no, grandma, it wasn't going to work anymore, yes, I still see her, no, you cannot send her a Christmas card)

    For some reason, this particular fact is beyond her understanding.

    She was the one to call me first this week about DADT, told me to stop being so awkward when I did bring a girlfriend to the farm and uncomfortably ignored her through a painful present exchange, encouraged said girlfriend to wear whatever she was comfortable in and take off that stupid skirt (then lent her a pair of my grandfather's old jeans), she had the fewest questions about babies, and never suggests that I try out men or that there are "women, gays, and everyone else".

    I feel more comfortable and accepted at that farm than in New York City or the ivory tower of academia.

    And for this, I am thankful every time I can go home.

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  5. Oy, I understand the rage. My straight little sister is currently on a parent-paid-for trip out of the country to visit her boyfriend of four months (although they think they've only been together a month), and my girlfriend of three years is in my phone under a male name.

    Needless to say, I've never brought her to meet my family. They'd probably kill her. Or me.

    However, I've met her family, in rural middle of nowhere (with cows and horses and a goat!). They think I'm her "friend" except they know we sleep in the same bed. No one mentions gay, and everything's fine. I like them, they like me, we'll just always be "friends who sleep in the same bed" to them. And that's just fine.

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  6. As a late to life queer who brought a queer date to Christmas last year, I'm now going to Christmas without a queer date. Which makes me straight, right? I want to wear a big ugly handmade necklace that says "still queer."

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  7. i'm actually getting to learn what my family is like this christmas. i've never had anyone to our christmas before EVER. my brother has had over girlfriends, friends and roommates without a thought but for some reason i've never brought anyone over. my girlfriend was invited over this year. we celebrated with her family early because they are going out of town, and they were wonderful as they always are.

    with my family i just don't know what to expect. Ang is just about the nicest person on the planet and impossible not to like. she got invited to our thanksgiving and we weren't the only lezbos there as my cousin's sister in law and her partner were there (which was awesome...), so i couldn't get an accurate read, but i got the distinct feeling that they loved ang...they would have liked her a lot better if we were just friends lol...

    i hate going into christmas with no idea what to expect and wish that we got the same treatment as my brother and his parade of girlfriends got...

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  8. My family is mostly great, except that my mother doesn't understand 'genderqueer'. She keeps thinking that because she prefers jeans to dresses and was a feminist in the sixties that SHE is genderqueer. Obviously I have not done a good enough job explaining....

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  9. I am incredibly lucky. Every Christmas holiday, my girlfriend and I make a 2 hour drive to my mom's house where we are both warmly enfolded into the bosom of motherly love. She loves each of us unconditionally. My mom is also a lesbian. Her house is full of lesbians on Christmas Eve and there is no place I would rather be.

    On the other hand, visiting my girlfriend's family for the holidays is completely out of the question. Don't get me wrong, they accepted me into the family as one of their own without a hesitation. And we do visit them from time to time, where in the two of us have refused to act in any way different than we would at our own home. Although, we tend not to wander around her mother's house naked.

    However, we do not condone her family's way of life and decline to spend the holidays with them, out of protest. On one hand the nephews call me Aunt Jen and her father wants us to add more grandkids to the clan. While on the other hand, they consistently support political leaders whose anti-gay agendas are the base of nightmares. The hypocrisy boggles my mind.

    My point is this, my girlfriend and I choose to spend the holidays where we feel happiest. Why put yourself into awkward and tense situations that leave you feeling uncomfortable simply because you are "supposed" to? It's your life, you make the rules.

    I wish that I could have all of you fabulous queers over to my mom's for Christmas. Please take care of yourselves, you and your partner's happiness should be your number one priority.

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  10. I am very familiar with the rage. Before i even get to the part where I'm not supposed to be gay at my mom's family's gatherings: i would like to state that they will never be comfortable simply because my mom married and had children, i.e. me and my sister, with my dad because her father said she shouldn't and it would never work because "he will only ever be a mechanic" it didn't work. So the family christmas has never been pleasant. At this family christmas my sister and straight cousins gets to sit with and kiss and lean on their husband/boyfriends/girlfriends (one has a child out of marriage with her boyfriend) and i can't even mention my girlfriend(rose), because it will offend their religious-ness. On the few occasions she has come to family gatherings (labor day, thanksgiving, my birthday) i was given strict instructions as to how we were to act, and on thanksgiving my sister actually tried to walk out at her appearance. (my mom and my sister's husband talked her out of it, what i would give to have been privvy to that conversation).
    My dad's family is slightly better, as i am the first person in the entire family to attempt higher education (and i graduated) they, in the past few years, seem to have decided that in spite of who my mother is i might be worth keeping around, so i've started being invited again. They don't let me really talk to the kids, they are nice to Rose, but it's like sharing a meal and gifts with politely interested strangers.
    In contrast to both of these, i have been accepted with open arms into Rose's family. It's only been two years, but they've invited me to everything from the get go. birthdays, wednesday family dinners, thanksgiving, christmas, 4th of july, everything. Even though they're catholic and her mother told me that, and i quote: "you're a sinner and going to hell, but i like you and you're good for Rose. you're always welcome here." i will never understand that sentiment, but it's more than what i've ever gotten from my own family.
    What i will never understand about the family thing is, even if you're family if you don't like someone and they don't like you, why on earth would you pretend to, or force someone else to pretend to, just because it's a holiday? because it seems to only make everyone miserable.

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  11. OK girl, you know what? I TOTS understand what you mean!!! And do you want to hear the funny part? I'm bisexual and now I'm seeing a guy, right? I feel as subconscious with a guy as with a girl, that is, if he's kissing me or wants to hold hands in a public context (the street, our friends, etc), I get shy and tend to look over my shoulder in order to "not bother anyone".

    It's like, girl-girl relationships and boy-girl relationships to me have the same immediate emotional validity, so I always have to stop, think how others would think in their little minds, like "oops, is this "wrong" (ie. am I going to draw attention) or is this "ok" (ie unnoticeable). Then I feel bad that I've auto-censored myself.

    When am I/are we gonna stop caring about what the world thinks of us?

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  12. My girlfriend and I got through Christmas with my unapproving parents and now it's on to Christmas with her awesome, loves us, totally okay with gay family. I can't get out of here fast enough!:)

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  13. FUCK YEA TO DADT DISAPPEARING. one of my possible futures is the military and i just so happenly have a vag and oh damn i like vag. i would not be able to keep it hidden so im glad that its going away for me and every other homo in the military. WOOT WOOT. ive never tooken a girl to any type of family thing but when i do it wont be any different then if i was bringing a guy. i like girls and im proud of it. i dont want anyone to think that gay couples are any different then straight ones so i wont give em any leverage to. merry christmas to all hope yall all make it through the holidays =]

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  14. I have lived in varying degrees of bitterness and acceptance about this exact predicament for almost 2 decades now.

    Sometimes there is downright rage and foulmouthed resentment. Other times I am able to accept the few of my family members for who they are, those fucking biggots.

    Speaking of mormon backgrounds, My partner and I were both raised mormon but somehow her family is MUCH cooler about it than mine. Her family came to our wedding 7 years ago, Her dad introduces me as his "daughter in law" as he proudly shows me off to the folks at his local grocery. Her mom, who is becoming more and more affected by her dementia, clearly adores adores us together......and still remembers my name lol. I love them, yet we still behave as genderless, sexless individuals who don't share any affection around them.
    On the other hand, at my family get togethers, I have a brother and his wife who will actually abruptly gather their children and leave without a word or any eye contact. I have one sister who unconditionally and completely accepts me as a full and equal human being.... and then 9 other siblings who love us and let us play with their kids but thought prop 8 was a good idea. As you can imagine, We would rather "eat our own testicles" than spend any time with MY side of the family although the one sane sister I have is actually spending christmas here at our house with her husband this year.
    We have raised 2 daughters (my parents 2 oldest grandchildren) into fabulous productive self sufficient talented and interesting adult women together AND our marriage is WAAAY better than most of my siblings marriages but attending anything at the old family home can feel so empty, lonely and awkward.
    We can take my family in divided doses, but all of them together is just impossible; especially during the holidays. It has been 17 years since I spent thanksgiving or christmas with them. On the bright side I know I have love and acceptance and appreciation from my partner's family and that is 50% better than what some effing dykes have to contend with.

    That is my lovely christmas miracle for 11 years now.

    Now I just need a place I can proudly send our photo filled family christmas newsletter to...every year. I vote for an effing dykes queer family christmas newsletter contest next year.

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  15. We shall see...I finally told my mom, being one of those girls that's slower than others and she was clearly relieved I finally spoke up. She is awesome but now we shall see what happens Christmas morning. :)

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  16. I haven't come out or even moved out yet, so...

    Unfortunately, I think I can see what the future holds for me when I look at my aunt, who is also a lesbian.

    First off, my parents don't talk about her, like ever. My dad told me she's a lesbian (she's my mom's sister), but my mom won't even acknowledge it. We've never been to her house, and we never see her unless she's visiting other family.

    This year, she moved in with her girlfriend, Gwendy Joysen (haha check out her music. shameless promotion: only reason why I include her name.) We were supposed to visit them. We didn't.

    I slipped a note into the box that her gifts were in, telling her I was ok with herand her girlfriend. I hope we can make amends (not that we've done anything wrong) with the family and we can overcome the homophobia so ingrained in our family.

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  17. My gf is in Afghanistan this year so we get to put off he awkwardness. But her mom is gay so I'm guessing her family is gonna be a lot cooler about it. My family is all super southern folks, but apparently mom outed me to my aunts and started crying, my aunts just said they will love me no matter what. I don't understand cuz my mom is so supportive to my face, she was the first one to tell me about Dadt (I'm in the army too) and she points out hot chicks to me all the time, but behind my back she acts like I'm punishing her. My dad is dying and real old school so she won't let me tell him, but I think he lies. When he caught me with my first gf all he said was "at least you can't get knocked up" so there's that. He wants to meet my "friend" hour so I'm hoping he lives to next Christmas so we can find out.

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  18. Dude! I go to school near Montevideo! I have friends from there! Awesome.

    My family (mom's family especially. Dad's family does the Minnesota passive let's-not-talk-about-it thang. You know what I mean.) has been cool with young Kate being a total lezzy, even though I'm the only effing dyke in the family besides my badass step-aunt who lives in Skokie. All my mom's sisters and cousins were raised Irish Catholic, but now they're all "Yeah, guys, Let's make the green bean casserole with organic beans and mushrooms this year, and then we can bitch about hyperpartisanship over wine and cheese." I haven't taken a girlfriend home to the family yet, since I'm nineteen and freshly outed, but I think those folks would be down if I showed up to a holiday with my super alternative, hyperliterate, asymmetrical-haircut-clad, gender studies major girlfriend.

    It also helps that the only other person my age in the family is my seventeen-year-old out bisexual younger sister, so there are no overt displays of heterosexual privilege among this generation. All the other cousins are tots yet to explore their preferences.

    My girlfriend's parents are lovely and sent me and my family a brick of fudge, the only problem is her terrible, horrible homophobe grandmother who is PERSONAL FRIENDS WITH MICHELLE BACHMANN.

    *shudders*

    Otherwise, all is well on this end of the cities!

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  19. When I came out to my family I basically told them that I was gay and had a girlfriend and if they didn't like it I didn't really care too much because it wasn't going to change what I did or what I wore or who I fucked in my spare time. Fortunately we did not have an issue as they already knew I was gay (go figure I was the last to know). My girlfriend has attended the last three family christmases and although she is a little more reserved and quiet and is overly helpful in the kitchen, I refuse us to be seen as anything but normal. If I want to sit with her I do. If I want to hold her hand I will. If there happens to be mistletoe somewhere hanging (there never is...) I will kiss her if I damn well please, because everyone else can. And if my family has a problem with it, well thats just too fucking bad then I wont come next year.
    I'm not saying my hands are in her pants at dinner and I respect the household rules, but I find that if I am awkward about it, it just becomes more awkward for everyone else and then I'm even more awkward about it and it just perpetuates a vicious cycle.
    Again, luckily, none of my relatives have ever made a big deal out of how any of us 'kids' act towards our significant others.

    maybe its because I'm from Canada. y'all should move here.

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  20. I'm going home by myself this year, cause my girlfriend is visiting her family in the south of Germany.
    My parents just recently got divorced, so now I'm traveling from my Mom's to my Dad's back and forth. They are both pretty accepting, asking about my partner when we talk on the phone, bringing her little presents when they come for a visit. But my relationship to my parents has always been a very tense one, so the chemistry still isn't really great. My mother tends to get very mean and personal, if she doesn't get her way, so my girlfriend is careful when it comes to chatting about personal stuff.
    My father tries hard not to piss me off, but mostly avoids the topic at all. I think he might also have a problem with my gf being half-Iranian (that's why she's so beautiful :D). When I came out to him he told me that he's ok with me being gay, I should just not tell anyone about it. *rollseyes*

    They will be thrilled when they find out that my younger (and only) sister is gay as well.

    My gf's family is not much better. Her mom is trying really hard to be accepting and nice. She actually went to see "The Kids Are Alright" and called to tell us that now she believes that gay and straight people just have the exact same problems, which was really cute.
    Her sister thinks we're "cool" because we're gay, which is so sweet (and totally true).
    Her dad is from Iran and schizophrenic. She never talks to him about me and our life together, but they only talk once a year on the phone, so I guess it's not important. He once told her that his mom - her gramma - might have been a lesbian. She killed herself at a very young age, after being married to a really ugly, rich, old man at 17.
    My gf wants to out herself to her fathers sisters - her aunties - though. They are really nice and quite liberal, but somewhat homophobic. We'll see how that goes.


    Merry Christmas everyone!!!

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  21. Oh man. CJ is from Montevideo? I'm from Willmar. Tell her. Awesome. Hell, e-mail me. We'll get some Grainbelt. krisaerickson{at}gmail{dot}com.

    Good luck with you situation. I was nervous just to come home with short hair and a nose piercing.

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  22. I'm really lucky. My family ROCKS. My partner and I just got engaged and my 90 year-old-knighted-in-the-Catholic-church-they're-that-Catholic grandparents COMPLETELY support us! My family has welcomed her with open arms! Christmas with my family is great. Her family tolerates my presence, but I am only a "friend." A friend who happens to celebrate the original holiday (Solstice) and not the rip-off ;)

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  23. "The Gay Homosexual Not Married Show." LMAO. I too, am so very, very awkward around families. My girlfriend's parents are total christians, who have somehow DADT-ed their daughter into fuzzy hetero status. So no, I haven't met them (nor do they know I exist) This used to really bother me when she'd leave me alone for Christmas (I can rarely afford to fly and see my parents), until I realized that I'd better enjoy it while it lasts, because the thought of meeting her firefighting, gun-owning dad has this little femme feeling...like the dude whose defiling his daughter. I should probably comb my hair.

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  24. My girlfriends family is renting the flat out the back of our place and my mum is visiting for christmas so we have both of our families on the one property for merry festivities. She won't let us combine the celebrations though, says we have to be together for at least 10 years before our families can party together. It's all quite nice though, my mum is cooking a vegan feast for my favourite ladies on christmas eve and then awesome veggies for christmas lunch. I think its probably a bit more relaxed because its our house, if anyone had a problem with our gayness, which they absolutely don't, they could just leave. Seriously, there is no other time of the year when my mum comes over, fills my fridge, cooks yummy stuff, gives me presents and then leaves. It seems pretty perfect to me.

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  25. The holidays are pretty awful here. I can't bring my girlfriend home because my family refuses to acknowledge her existence even though we live together. And I feel uncomfortable bringing ANY female friends home from college to "meet my fam" cause it just means my mother assumes we're doing it upstairs at night.
    I know just what you mean, I always feel like I'm being horribly judged at my girlfriend's house even though her family loves me and is open to her orientation. It just STRESSES ME OUT!

    and is why I spend as LITTLE time as possible at home any time of the year. What point is the holiday season if you can't spend it with ALL of the people you love?

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  26. appreciate what you have. for the last three years i got to go home for xmas and bring my girlfriend. this year i fucked everything up, no more girl, and i'm stuck in sf too poor to fly home for xmas.

    as stressful and annoying and uncomfortable as the holidays are, especially when dealing with snide, unaccepting families, enjoy the awkward time. get through it. take some fucking pictures. eat more cookies. make a fire. just fucking enjoy it, cause if you weren't there you would miss it.

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  27. My mom died 9 years ago, but when she was alive, I LOVED going home for Christmas. She introduced me to everyone as "my beautiful lesbian daughter". When I commented once that I didn't really need to be out to the butcher, she asked "why not?" I didn't have an answer.

    She loved my partner and gave her fabulously appropriate gifts (like a top-shelf framing hammer), cooked up a storm and filled the house with love and laughter.

    My father, on the other hand, was a homophobic prick, which is just one of the reasons my mom divorced him. I didn't step foot in his house on a holiday after I turned 18 and didn't have to.

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  28. "my beautiful lesbian daughter"
    your mom sounds awesome!!

    the holidays suck BUT there's nothing like good queer porn to get you through it :)

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  29. Realised about a week ago this is the first holiday since my homophobic grandmother passed, so I can go to family functions without fear of having knitting needles thrown at me like ninja stars. I skipped.

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  30. to Wiley: your mom is the only person who can decide if she's genderqueer. how do you know she's not?

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  31. I stay four thousand miles away from my family of origin year-round. This is largely about keeping the children away from them, so I don't know if I'd voluntarily visit if I were childless. I suspect I'd visit my dad, but not my mom. As it is, I must protect my children.

    Krista I hope you find a way to feel at least a little bit comfortable this holiday. You bring a lot of comfort (along with your humor) to a lot of folks, and you deserve some good, kind, openhearted, welcoming treatment.

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  32. Worth noting: I used to date one of the girls in your photos this post. In that extra epic Love way. I actually just talked to her this morning :).

    Christmas with my family is so awful that I'm leaving the country this year to avoid it. Yep.

    Generally my mom tries to make a show of how accepting she is, while saying it's inappropriate for me to touch knees with my girl-of-the-moment. She says "Girlfriend or whatever" with elaborate hand quotes that make it clear that nothing like that is real to her. My dad tells me that I can't be gay because he want grandkids, but my best friend must be a lesbian, because she's so beautiful and that would be the biggest joke of all.

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  33. I have always been very lucky. My Mother has only one rule; if you are going to have sex in my bed.. change the sheets.

    This year, my dear Cassie, is taking me to Kentucky to see my Mama. I would not be able to take this trip without her. She has no family of her own because she was raised Jehovah's Witness. My Mom told me that there are more presents for her than me, because I had the chance to get more presents.

    I feel for all of you that won't be able to be "you" this time of year. Merry Christmas to you all. I promise that my Mom would welcome any of you to her table and as long as you change the sheets hugs before breakfast.

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  34. As previously stated, I haven't come out or even moved out yet. But the prospect of facing this one day does worry me sometimes. This is Portland, I don't think my family would be terrible about this. But they are Catholic. From overhearing their conversations on various related issues I get the sense that they're tolerant but still have some hidden reservations.

    Hell, I've already had to do the whole, "must censor every word and action or I will die," thing when I brought my best friend to Thanksgiving. Key word: FRIEND... not girlfriend, friend. Very close friend that just happens to be bi and that many people tend to think I'm dating when they see us together sort of friend... but just a friend, no benefits even.

    Apparently my censoring abilities need work, because I got some looks from the family and now if I mention her in conversation there's always the hidden, "Oh yes, your girlfriend," in whatever they say. Come on Grandma, I love you, but really? She has a boyfriend, I promise you. His name is Blake and he actually lives like a mile away from you. We can go meet him and then I'll tease him about how I've seen her naked more than he has and you'll stop making me feel like I'm being secretly evaluated every time I dare to mention someone who's close to me.

    Or maybe I'm just paranoid... *sigh*

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  35. The only thing that my parents can't understand about my girlfriend and me is that she's a vegan.

    I won't be taking her to Christmas this year (unfortunately). She'll be spending her holidays with her own family in Ontario. I've only ever taken a girl home to meet the folks once before, and I have to say, I think that my mother loved my ex girlfriend more than she loved me. They went to lunch together, chatted about careers together, my father and she cooked together, the ex even went on a coffee date with my mother when I was out of the country!

    It turns out that the ex was a no good, untrustworthy, demeaning, condescending better than you type... but it was so nice to see my parents really loving my partner.

    If they met my current girlfriend, they'd probably offer to fly her out for the holidays.

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  36. My gf and I are headed to my parent's house for Christmas then hers after. We have never said "gay" out loud and don't really talk about it but my dad is doing his best to fake it til he makes it. My mom, who btw is such an effing dyke it's ridiculous-she taught PE in th '70s, hates pants and loves tools, just sayin', is very offensive without knowing it and reminds me to stay "girly". The faux hawk I'm getting before grad school next spring should be a fun surprise. We do get to sleep together but my gf's house will be much more fun. Her mom, without hesitation, knocked on the bathroom door last time we were there while we were taking a shower, just to ask a question. This was both awkward and very cool at the same time. Happy holidays queers!

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  37. I recently came out to my parents and nothing has changed at home. It still sucks, more because of family issues than gay issues. Extended family however is a totally different story. They've been on my ass about getting a boyfriend and staying a virgin every holiday since I was 10. Where's the fun in any of that? They don't know I'm gay and probably never will... Until I find someone I wanna spend the rest of my life with... but that could take a while.

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  38. my gf and I go our separate ways for xmas. we are too touchy feely, it would be a disaster. also my mom has no idea we are together... and we've had "sleep overs" over the summer. oops.

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  39. Hey K.B. - Funny enough, I used to feel the exact same way you do, but ONLY when I took my ex back east to do Xmas w/ my fam. When we did Xmas w/ her family we were more like CJ's brother & sister-in-law. Strange, huh?

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  40. Portland Anon, I feel you. This year is the first time I've ever brought a friend to my mom's house and the first long visit since I came out to them last Christmas. My dear friend is female, funny, pretty, very smart, with very short hair and nails bitten way way down. She's obsessed with science, nature, and hiking. I once spent an overnight weekend with her to visit an aquarium (it was awesome, BTW). I talk about stuff we did EVERY TIME I call my mom.

    I SWEAR SHE'S STRAIGHT, and I am completely okay with this. I just don't know how to warn her that at some point my mother is going to give the polite, roundabout version of the usual Twenty Questions Of Relationship Status in an effort to divine the boundaries of our ~connection~.

    Navigating a relationship with family around would be super hard, though. I would thought-police myself like crazy, and forget touching--I never know how to express affection in public anyway, aside from friendly little bouts of physical violence.

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  41. My girlfriend's sister is a therapist that specializes in sexual orientation and gender identity. Her two year old probably already knows what gay is.

    Oh, and both my girlfriend and I have lesbian Aunts. So, we're not likely to be the only gays at a family gathering on either side.

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  42. Holidays at my house are never fun...my family is relatively accepting of my gayness (I have a mohawk now, so it's a little hard for them to be outward assholes about it at this point). I have yet to bring anyone I'm dating home for the holidays, but my girlfriend is coming for New Years this year. I know my mom and my will be great (at Thanksgiving, my mom asked me if I thought I was transgendered. I'm a dyke, not a tranny, but it was really adorable that she asked), I'm more worried about my aunt (I live with my aunt and uncle). At Thanksgiving, my aunt was being a dick to my mom so I told her to shove off, and she told me that "the young angry lesbian thing wasn't really working for her"...so we'll see how having my girlfriend here goes. My aunt doesn't really acknowledge the gay or girlfriend thing. She's like Bruce Bawer, gays should be seen, as long as they look "normal", but never heard. Ever.

    My girlfriends family is kind of similar, but a little better than my aunt. I met them for the first time last weekend. Her mom was amazing and asked us what queer theory was at the dinner table and told her before I arrived that "I don't care if she's a girl, as long as you're dating her, you're not staying in the same bed until you're married...or the equivalent," which was pretty cute. Her mom's adorable. Her mom also said I was welcome to stay through Christmas if I wanted to, so that made me really happy. Her dad's a priest so it's a little different. He's having a hard time wrapping his head around it, but he's trying, so I can't really give him a hard time. He's a very nice, adorable, funny man. Anyway, I love her family. They're really wonderful people. My family dynamics are complicated, so I prefer to spend as little time with them as possible. But, all in all, things have been fine so far this year.

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  43. Girlfriend came home for a minor holiday after I dropped the Queer Bomb on the family. Parents asked me to keep it on the down low, then my mom decides to out met by introducing the gf as my gf and shoving us together and yelling the words girlfriend just in case someone didn't get the point. when we'd actually fucking rehearsed how to not out me and then the gf and i rehearsed how to act like "just friends."

    it was miserable. extremely volatile mother makes bringing the gf home absolutely miserable. i prepare back up plans for back up plans and stress us both out so much only to get there and it be a completely different situation and of COURSE not one of the one's we've discussed. I can not win.

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  44. I'm lucky, my family loves her and we practically live at one another's houses. Both of our parents have seen us kissing and hugging, likely more than they can stomach, but her brother is equally PDA with his girlfriend. My love is coming here for Christmas brunch, and I'm going there for dinner (with the side of the family that she ISN'T out to. That should be... interesting).

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  45. Sigh. We've been together for almost two years, living together, but neither of us are going home for the holidays. My girlfriend is working through the holidays as an excuse not to visit her evangelical Christian family. My parents are Catholic, military veterans, and try to forget that I'm gay. Since I graduated, I'm finally free enough to say that I'm not interested in visiting them. I don't have any grandparents or siblings to make the pain of being with them worth it.

    Sadly, I don't ever see either family even coming to a wedding, much less doing holidays together. Doing the "right" thing for me never felt so lonely...

    Any advice besides whiskey while the girlfriend's working the night shift?

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  46. First off, I CAN'T BELIEVE DADT IS FINALLY OVER EITHER!!! Omg, I actually have been wanting to talk to someone about this but I'm at home now and I can't be excited about it like I would with my friends. It's almost like I am mistaken or something, like I read it wrongly somewhere. It can't actually be repealed. This is just a dream and I'll wake up from it tomorrow. Yea I totally have the disbelief thing going on too.

    Secondly, YES. I fucking hate internalized homophobia. I am constantly reminding myself of how unfortunate and outcast I am. My therapist is like "you're projecting..." blah blah blah, yea tell me something new! I am currently single and haven't brought a girlfriend home while admitting she was my girlfriend, but I will say how pleased I am with the way my family is accepting my sister's girlfriend into the family. My parents even call her the adopted daughter. My mom got her a Christmas present this year. I couldn't be happier. So something about that makes me excited to bring home the next lady I'm with. =) Not sure about my extended family, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there!

    Thanks for this! Like always, I consider you part of my lesbian community b/c I feel so out of touch from it here sometimes!

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  47. I'm the only queer in my whole family (what's up, closet cases? Don't leave me in the ditch)
    but luckily my immediate family, even my grandmother, has been wonderfully accepting of the two girlfriends I've brought home for Christmas. Both of their families have been wonderful to me, too. The only thing was when I went to visit my gf at her folk's house in rural Illinois, and her parents said we couldn't sleep in the same room together... WTF? We were in college together! Like we hadn't fucked already...
    However, even when either of them has come over for Christmas, I feel the need to keep a distance between us in case my mom is watching. Try a ten-foot-pole. There is no way I would touch her in front of my parents! Unfortunately that makes her feel uncomfortable, too. But I feel like if I show any affection, my mom will suddenly turn homophobic against me and will be grossed out, and all the "gay? ok w me!" shit will be out the window, like she was pretending the whole time. But I guess we shouldn't care, right, queers? We should make out with our gfs and piss off as many people as possible? Maybe that's when we'll realize its mostly internalized homophobia, and the rest of the world sometimes doesn't care.

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  48. Last Christmas, when my Dad raised his glass to wish me a happy and safe return from my travels in Asia, I decided to chime in, "AND I'M GAY."

    No one said anything, except for my uncle's new girlfriend, "Then may it be a toast to the girl of your dreams."

    My uncle and the awesome would-be aunt aren't together anymore. So this Christmas I've opted to stay in the eastern hemisphere.

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  49. I'm pretty fortunate in that my family is totally accepting of my girlfriend and me. We're able to interact completely as ourselves without fear.

    HER family though...is a completely different story. She's out to everybody except for her parents, for fear of them kicking her out/shunning her. So even though our relationship is pretty obvious, she hasn't openly declared it. Consequently, when we're over there, we sit next to each other but with plenty of space in between, or on different couches. We don't really touch, and obviously aren't affectionate. We're just "friends." It's kind of a weird adjustment to make, but it doesn't bother me...I just go with it. Though it definitely can be awkward.

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  50. The holidays are pretty well as painstakingly intolerable for me as they are for many of you... See, I had a girlfriend for the past two Christmases but this year... not so much. So now because I didn't have her accompany me to dinner and all the festivities they seemed to think it was okay toss around gay jokes and ask my father how many guys he's had to scare away or beat off in the recent months I've been single. I don't know if they just forgot I was dating a girl or hoping it was just a phase... Either way it sucked and it was pretty uncomfortable having to lie and go along with their conversations so as not to make anyone uncomfortable.

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  51. I'm in a straight relationship, but I never kiss or playfully wrestle my boyfriend in my parents' presence - it makes me feel super uncomfortable. My younger brother doesn't care though, he's always really affectionate with his boyfriend. I think my parents are fine with.

    My dad just always pauses before saying 'gay' and then says it in a different tone of voice. I wonder if he'll ever get over that.

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  52. One of my pet peeves is when our parents will introduce us to other family as "my daughter's friend." After a dozen years I think we could get a more creative word than "friend"???
    Other than that... the holidays are what they are. And in the end I am glad to have someone to spend them with.

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  53. Just checkin' back in to wish you well and sending you "be your wonderful self" vibes.

    Somewhere there's an island where this really happens: White Wine in the Sun by Tim Minchin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCNvZqpa-7Q

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  54. Ahhhh DADT is gone. I watched on CSPAN. In the basement. Turned down low.
    #imclearlystillinthecloset
    #butimclearlyahugehomo

    My poor parents.

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  55. Christmas has always been sucky even when everyone thought I was normal. When I first brought my girlfriend home for Thanksgiving, she was a big hit with the parents. They called her by her boyish nickname, bought her presents, encouraged us to wear matching outfits, etc... Now they call her "that woman" and "don't trust her" and "why do you dress that way?" I haven't brought her back yet, but I bring friends from school. Now, suddenly, all girls around me are perceived as fuck buddies that I'm "flaunting, despite what this household stands for." It's getting ridiculous.

    Her parents, on the other hand, love me. They show me baby photos of her and toys she used to play with. They comment on how our relationship is just like there's and how photos of us after a few months looks like photos of a couple after a few years. They express dismay that we might not be able to conceive children that have both of our features.

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  56. I'm so lucky. I came out when I was in my mid-twenties - have never had to deal with anyone in my family treating me poorly because of my sexuality/gender ID for any reason - In my family, that is.

    Any person I've ever brought around (friend or girlfriend) has always been treated very kindly, and anyone in my family would think it was weird if I brought a girlfriend/partner home and *didn't* smooch her or sit on her lap or play around with her. They'd think something was wrong or we were maybe fighting.

    But I come from the same kind of family (relatively) that it sounds like CJ has - we all do argue and then are laughing in 5 minutes, we drink too much wine at dinner sometimes, we don't play Yahtzee, but we play cranium, pictionary or scattergories or sometimes we even play charades - super gay, but also super fun.

    I hated going to my ex's family's house for holidays. It was murder to stand around acting like we didn't fuck every night, but rather were just nice little roommates. It was such an uncomfortable elephant in the room.

    But until I read your post, I never really thought about what her experience must have been like being in my family - my mom/step dad always wanting to hug her and be there for her, and my family genuinely wanting to go to Pride with us and showing up for our Gay/Lesbian art shows, my sisters wearing Rainbow Tshirts that say support gay marriage (in public)...

    Must have been tough for her in a lot of ways.

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  57. Christmas is the worst for me. My sister has her boyfriend over and can act any way she pleases while I sit being ridiculed for being vegan, having a "strange" haircut [my hair is short, yes I'm a girl, girls can have short hair], I have to hide my tattoos and pretend that I date boys but just haven't had a boyfriend in awhile as to not embarrass my Mother. Fuck, why bother go home for the holidays.

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  58. I know exactly what you are talking about! this year, my parents finally invited my girlfriend over for post-christmas things (because god forbid she is there ON christmas, the lord might see us and strike us dead). they asked me to "cut down on the PDA". I was really not PDA with her last time and i mentioned that we held hands. and my parents response? "yea, thats what we meant by PDA. holding hands" as opposed to my hetero sister who spends have her time making jokes about her sex life with her husband. i'm right with you.

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  59. My family is actually really cool with my gayness. It was a process, of course, but now they're always asking about my girlfriend. It's really nice. What sucks is that my girlfriend - who is the most wonderful person I've ever dated - is so afraid that her parents might disapprove that she makes spending any time with them incredibly awkward. The holidays could be so much fun for us if she would just relax... but instead SHE makes me feel like I should stay in the corner, quietly asking if I can do anything to help, as if it would make me less of an inconvenience. They're never going to stop treating her like a child if she doesn't give them a reason to. I've never had this problem before, and all my other girlfriends were awful.

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  60. My family is awesome--dad struggled at first, but he's good now--and totally accept me and my partner.

    Her's sucks, and gatherings there are pretty openly hostile. I only go so that she doesn't have to face it alone.

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  61. dear krista,

    a majority of my reading consists of your posts.
    please post more often.
    <3333333333333333333333333333333333

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  62. My family can't wait to see my gf. They keep asking me where my better half is and why can't she be there for christmas and all that. Her family...it took some time for her mom to get used to me, but after that it was fine. i stay at her moms house a lot with her. we are ccelebrating new year's together and her dad's bday. :)

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  63. OH GURL

    i feel the same way, except with my own family. cause even though all of my siblings and i are gay (that's awkward too) and out and my parents are completely, completely chill with it, I FEEL THE UNFLATTERING FLUORESCENT LIGHT TOO. it just screams 'you're gay, this is weird, stop.'

    i still like it when my girlfriend's around my family though, because

    a) she's cute and i like to show her off :3

    and

    b) it just gives me warm fuzzies to see all the bitches i care about in one place, bonding over the slightly burned rolls.

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  64. I'm super jealous of your CJ family time, because I know that is never gonna happen with me. My mom is way too Catholic and I can't summon up the internal courage to come out because I'm afraid of being completely cut off (which wouldn't be so bad except for that my car is still in their name and I'm not putting it past my mom to come take it away, even though I'm paying the car payments).

    I'm 23, one of those girls that you can pinpoint as a lesbian from a mile away, and my mom still got lacey underwear for my Christmas stocking. DENIAL MUCH.

    All my siblings know, all my friends know...it's basically just the parents and extended family to deal with. So being home was remarkably depressing, to the point where I spent Christmas Eve afternoon crying in my room, til my mom made me go to church.

    My sister also hates coming home for the holidays because of my hyperreligious and highly judgmental mother, so next year I'll go see her and her hubby in Seattle and go dancing at gay bars. It sounds way better.

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  65. Just tonight, we had a family party at our own house for new year and Everybody was kissing at the new year...IN OUR OWN HOUSE, we waited 'til everyone's attention was diverterted to kiss in the new year. Not because I was uncomfortable...My partner has some of that internalized homophobia that you were referencing earlier.

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  66. You know Krista, I'd be less worried about PDAs at CJ's parents' house, than them finding out that you made fun of them playing Yatzee!

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  67. Totally empathize with the internalized homophobia. I appreciate that my girlfriend's family never says anything homophobic, but the silent judgment is almost tangible. It's rough. And I invariably find myself thinking how I wouldn't have to feel so stressed, so other-ed, so fucking self-conscious, if I were home with a boyfriend. (But THEN I just think about how awesome it is that I DON'T have a boyfriend and that I DO have a really hot girlfriend and that I love being gay and wouldn't trade it for anything....and this consoles me:-)

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  68. I can totally understand what you´re saying and I feel for you. But I can´t even bring my girlfriend to my parents home since they haven´t even accepted the fact that I am gay yet. I hope they will some day, because it hurts. And I wanna be able to talk about my girlfriend among them. Fortunately I don´t live in the same city as my parents. But your blog really makes me smile! Thank you.

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  69. I'm still not out to my parents, and coming home from a wonderful arts college full of pretty, liberal girls to redneck-land is NOT my choice. Sigh. But Christmas wasn't so awful. My extended family is so amazing. If my parents weren't homophobes who would throw me out, I would totally feel safe telling the world.

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  70. umm my mom actually cried when I came out...and Christmas is really awkward because the first time I brought my girlfriend home, my mother and father yelled and screamed at her and then kicked her out. So I usually don't stay long for Christmas. I visit, alone; hand out presents and stuff, have a snack, then leave. That takes about and hour or two tops.
    Vey's (my girl) family is...not quite as comfortable as we would like. But they're more accepting because they absolutely LOVE Vey and they see that Vey and I really do love each other. So they're supportive and they're really trying to be open minded.

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  71. I'm not even out yet to my parents. I'm only 18 though, so I can use that as an short-term excuse. But anyway, living in Texas doesn't help either.

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    Replies
    1. I know that feel, bro

      Delete