I have debated a great deal whether to write about the topic I have chosen for today. Its one of those topics that is very difficult to discuss, especially as you try to process it all yourself. You also never want to be a downer during the holiday season. Despite all that, I feel like I have to get this off my chest.
Between the Thanksgiving holiday and getting “geared up” for Christmas, I have had a rather harsh reminder about how people who are “different” than what society deems “normal” are impacted during the holidays. Its something that many don’t often think about during this season of gifts, shopping and parties…especially when they have the strong family ties and such. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many transgender individuals.
So, I have struggled for a few years with the holidays. Since my mother died and the reality of my sister and I being all that was left of my nuclear family, the holidays haven’t been as exciting as they used to be. I had found comfort in the fact that I could travel north and spend the holiday with my sister, if my work schedule allowed, and if work kept me from making that trip, I could always make the day trip back to me hometown to spend Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Eve with my mom’s family.
That was until this year.
While I have, overall, had amazing support from those I have disclosed to, about 1/4 of my mother’s family has not been accepting of me. I have been called a lot of names, compared to a drug addict and been told I need to be institutionalized by members of my mom’s family. I had to come to grips with and accepted this, knowing that their words and actions spoke volumes about them, not me. However, losing that family connection has been a bit hard this year.
My mother’s side of the family is pretty big. She was one of 9 children, I have almost 30 cousins and most of my cousins are married with kids. For years, the holidays have been the one time of the year when we would all get together to celebrate all of our successes from the past year. Living in the city I do, about 3 hours away from my hometown, going to see them for holiday dinners has been a gift for me and allowed me to stay connected as we all get caught up in our daily lives.
This year though, was different. This year, an aunt and uncle who rejected me in the spring are the ones hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners. About two weeks before Thanksgiving, they contacted me for the first time since telling me they could not accept me 8 months ago…and told me I was not welcome at the holiday dinners and that I should not plan to spend the holidays with the family. They reminded me that they still don’t accept me and that their religious faith says I was going to hell. I’m not quite sure why they had to reiterate the statements they made to me this spring…but ok. I got the message the first time. No need for the reminder.
Needless to say that while I actually had expected this sort of thing to happen with my family, it was a very bitter pill to swallow as you hope attitudes and perceptions will change. I hoped for a change in their attitudes. Obviously the change didn’t happen. I admit. It hurt.
Despite all of this, I do want to say there have been incredible blessings this holiday season as well.
For one, I didn’t attend a family gathering that obviously would have left myself and many others feeling very uncomfortable. There were no fights to ruin anyone’s holiday.
Second…I have learned a great deal about friendship and the fact that we do get to choose our family…family isn’t just defined by blood relation. As the Thanksgiving holiday approached, I had friends in SL, new and old, who included me in their in world Thanksgiving celebrations. One friend not only included me in her in world Thanksgiving celebration, but she also checked on me continually on Thanksgiving Day to make sure I was ok and taking care of myself since I was alone that day. So did others. Some of you let me talk about my emotions with these events so I could process things. All of you helped me to know I was not alone.
These simple gifts from many of you in world just proved to me once again that you don’t have to see each other in real life to develop strong, caring and supportive friendships. These events proved to me, once again, what amazing hearts so many of you have. This proved to me that I am not alone in life and I am extremely blessed.
Why do I write about this for a decor post? Because as I have been working on these Christmas themed blog posts, I have realized that I need to create new Christmas traditions for myself. I need to remember that my home is my place to create a Christmas that defines my view of Christmas…a view of love, tolerance and showing those we care about how much we treasure them. As I decorate these spaces to share with you, I realize I am giving small glimpses of my own view of Christmas and while I reflect those in these posts, I need to make sure I am reflecting them within my real life home to keep me from struggling with the sense of loss that is going to come, no matter what I do, as I adjust to not being welcomed by members of my biological family…at least at this time.
I know this is a deeper post than I have done in a while and I still struggle with whether or not to share it…but I am going to. I am going to share it so that if I withdraw from those of you I care about, you will understand why and know it is not intentional. Its a totally involuntary reaction to events in my life. I am also sharing it as a thank you to all of you who not only helped me survive this past Thanksgiving, but also help me overcome the narrow minded views of the world every day.
All of you who have been so supportive of me…you embody the spirit of Christmas and love every day. Thank you so much for that gift.
See it on Flickr!
Snowy Christmas Bone Stocking Exclusive [@ Epiphany]
Snowy Christmas Fireplace RARE [@ Epiphany]
Snowy Christmas Stocking -D [@ Epiphany]
Snowy Christmas Stocking -E [@ Epiphany]
Snowy Christmas Stocking -O [@ Epiphany]
Snowy Christmas Paw Stocking VIP [@ Epiphany]
Snowy Christmas Stocking -R [@ Epiphany]
Snowy Christmas Stocking -Z [@ Epiphany]
Vintage Style Clock -Silver
Xmas Countdown Cushion [@ The Arcade]
Apple Sprig w/ Branch
Coffee & Muffin
Cosmos Flowers – Candystripe
‘Elvira’ Plate w/ Egg, Avocado & Toast
‘Elvira’ Plate w/ Sliced Grapefruit
‘Elvira’ Rose Tea
Handbag & Scarf
Magnolia Leaf Wreath
Model Plane – Large
Paris Loft Skybox RARE
Pinecones & Hazelnuts
Lively Labs :: Not So Srs Bsns Pup
Kalopsia [@ Tannenbaum]
Angels Gift Box – Red
Animals Gift Box – Bear
Animals Gift Box – Fox
Candy Canes Gift Box – Green
Starry Gift Box – Plain
Starry & Pines Gift Box – Drawing
Starry & Pines Gift Box – Plain
Kuro [@ Tannenbaum]
Merak [mainstore release through FaMESHed GO!]
Liza Heels – Black
Bachelor Bag Brown
Refuge [@ Tannenbaum]
Burst Bauble Blue
Burst Bauble Pink
Burst Bauble Purple
Burst Bauble White
Classic Bauble Blue
Classic Bauble Gold
Classic Bauble Pink
Classic Bauble Purple
Classic Bauble Silver
Drop Bauble Blue
Drop Bauble Gold
Drop Baunble Pink
Drop Baunble Purple
Drop Bauble Silver
Tree Frame Green Animated
Tree Frame Natural Animated
Vintage Star Topper RARE
Winter Scene Twinkling Stars
Wire Snowflake Blue
Wire Snowflake Pink
Wire Snowflake Purple
Wire Snowflake White
DarK Purple Berries
farmhouse coffee table
holiday twig vase
Toasty Slippers (Group Gift)