Christmas prsents with rainbow paper and a LGBT+ friendly mug

Being LGBTQ+ at Christmas

Written by Thomas Freeston, Kent Union Vice-President Welfare and Community.

Like in the song, Christmas is often described as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. However, the reality for some LGBTQ+ people is that Christmas and its association are a much less positive time of year. It can be difficult going back home to a family that does not accept you for who you are, or perhaps having to hide your true identity.

Below are a few tips to help you during the Winter break:

  • Figure out friends you can call and text: Have a friend or two on standby that you can reach out to if you feel stressed or scared or if you’re family says something messed up. It’s useful to have someone you can chat to or vent to if needed.
  • Make time to be alone: Spending time with many people can be exhausting, especially unsupportive ones! Make time to sit in bed away from it all; go outside or do what you need.
  • Celebrate the holidays with your chosen family too: Remember to celebrate holidays with the people in your life who are supportive.
  • Prepare yourself for any questions that tend to come up at family gatherings: There are many questions that come up such as partner, kids, jobs etc. Know how you will respond to these. By doing this you will boost your confidence and reduce the anxiety you may be feeling. Only share what your comfortable with.

The most important thing to remember is that even though no one else is around, you are never alone. There is an entire community of people who care about and who love you.

There is support available for you:

Spectrum Life offers 24/7 emergency expert mental health support via phone, text, or WhatsApp.

Student Space: text STUDENT to 85258 or visit the student space website.

LGBT+ Switchboard: Phone us at 0300 330 0630 open every day between 10:00 – 22:00.