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Dec 5, 2019 · Being queer or trans in the holiday season in Mental Health

@abida and @parus thank you for your valuable thoughts.

True love is indeed unconditional. A lot of the time, parents and guardians may be taught from religion and society that they need to take a stand against certain sins of humanity. This is often the way homosexuality and trans-ness (being transgender) is perceived in the southern U.S. for sure, as I know from growing up here. I appreciate the efforts of Christians, Muslims, and people of religions and spiritualities across the world in countering that popular, discriminatory belief system. It takes hard work to go against the grain to discern between what you were taught and what is the truth.

Dec 5, 2019 · Being queer or trans in the holiday season in Mental Health

@lisalucier I asked him, "is that your job to be telling me how I should look?"
It was completely unprofessional and I could've reported him but I really didn't have enough time since I was catching a flight.

It may not be tasteful or respectful to some but I also have to have a sense of humor about it, cause it keeps me sane. I said, "and where are your inches?" (meaning his hair – he was bald)

Dec 5, 2019 · Being queer or trans in the holiday season in Mental Health

It's as if you don't know someone's name or gender (like if you know I have a sibling but don't know any more info than that) and you ask me, "Oh, how old are they? What's their name?"

Dec 5, 2019 · Being queer or trans in the holiday season in Mental Health

Hi @gingerw thanks for your kindness and openness as always. So, to refer to me, you can say "your name is Ayesha" instead of "their name is Ayesha." Just like you would speak about anyone directly. Then, if you're speaking about me to @lisalucier, you can say "Ayesha lives in South Africa. Did you know they live that far away?"

Lol. I had fun with that. Hopefully that makes more sense. Basically, "they" is just a replacement for "he" or "she" but not for any other pronouns like "we," "us," "you," etc.

Dec 2, 2019 · Being queer or trans in the holiday season in Mental Health

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.

9) deadnaming

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.

Dec 2, 2019 · Being queer or trans in the holiday season in Mental Health

Hi @gingerw thank you for expressing your thoughts as a consistent ally to people experiencing marginalization/disadvantage. You're right. The world is complex in the way you're describing and I'm still figuring it out every day.

Nov 27, 2019 · Being queer or trans in the holiday season in Mental Health

As I think of some more to share, I'll continue adding to this discussion so as to foster a discussion for any LGBT people interested in joining or just reading if you prefer. Sending love to everyone having a tough time or feeling like they don't completely belong. Though it may feel like you're going through it alone, we're here for you as your community.

Nov 27, 2019 · Being queer or trans in the holiday season in Mental Health

There are a number of things we as LGBT people are managing when it comes time for the holidays. Just some that I can think of:
1) family conflict
2) our relationship with religion
3) misgendering
4) sobriety
5) political discussions
6) spending time with or introducing significant others to family