I wanted to share some more thoughts after the weekend. From being an observer of my community and myself, I've recalled that there is an even wider spectrum of experiences we experience as LGBTQ+ folks during this holiday season…
8) mistreatment during travel–by TSA officials, security, or others
I myself was just going through passport control a week ago when moving through countries (to get to the United States and meet my family for the holidays), and I was consistently misgendered (being called sir and ma'am) and had officers even tell me they didn't like the way I look with short hair. It's so deeply exhausting sometimes to be gender non-conforming. The stares, the questions, the assertions of who I appear to be. I know that gender is seen as a natural part of our society, and so, much of the time, I'm able to exercise compassion and understanding for that. But sometimes, especially if I've been traveling for 36 hours or I just don't have the energy to teach people, it wears me down.
Deadnaming, for those who might be unfamiliar with the term, is when someone calls a transgender person by the name that was assigned to them at birth or a young age, as opposed to their chosen name. This happens a whole lot during the holidays, and I know it's really tough for people.
10) Being excluded from holiday festivities
This one breaks my heart. A surprising percentage of the homeless youth population is LGBTQ+. I personally have conducted research and written about this issue, and I also know people who have been affected by youth homelessness. It often happens because youth are kicked out of their houses by their parents who reject them for their sexuality. It can also occur because of abuse in the home, which is fueled by the parents' rejection of the young person's identity and/or expression.
It's tough to spend a time that is meant for family without family. Lots of people go through this, in and out of our community, and nobody deserves it.