Getting Ready for the Holigays!
It's the middle of November and I am now contractually obligated as a small business owner to talk about the holidays.
This time of year is a pressure cooker of emotions inside a frenzy of motion wrapped underneath a pretty paper wrapping and bow. Memories, both pleasant and decidedly not, flood us wave after wave in unrelenting fashion until we've turned the corner to January.
And this is for all of us.
Not just those of us in the LGBTQIA2+ community.
Holidays Since Marriage
For me, since marriage, holidays have meant something different. Throughout my 20s and most of my 30s, I'd spent holidays with my aunt or my family of choice (friends who I'd adopted, you see). I'd throw a big meal around Thanksgiving (before "Friendsgiving" as a term had legs) and I'd crash someone's home for Christmas.
No muss, no fuss.
But now I have in-laws and my idea of family has grown. I have a mother-in-law who loves to bake, a father-in-law who can make nearly anything by his hands, sisters-in-law who have brought me into the fold more quickly than I ever expected (to the point where I often can't keep up!), a delightfully charming 9-year-old nephew, and a beautiful bouncing baby niece who will be 6 months old on my and Cheri's second anniversary.
I love each of them. But our queerness has been the rainbow elephant in the room during our family get togethers.
I didn't have to deal with that in my 20s and 30s because I didn't have holidays with my own parents, having never known my father and having no relationship with my mother after my grandparents passed away.
The very definition of privilege. I never had shouting matches or conflict or violence or eviction from my family over my sexuality or gender identity.
My wife's parents lean hard conservative in their social views, but I honestly believe they love me as an individual. That doesn't necessarily translate to a love of having me as a daughter-in-law by way of being married to their lesbian daughter, however. But, I'm still sheltered by my own privilege in that this is not something that I have to battle directly as a) it is Cheri's parents who have to come to their own reckoning and b) I've aged into adulthood and independence and have no threat of economic or emotional relationships being withdrawn or turning toxic.
In a week, though, we are northbound for Wisconsin for Thanksgiving and we are set for the holigays to commence, in their full tension-filled and passive-aggressive glory!
Queer Chocolatier Celebrates YOU during the Holigays!
I know that many other folx have more challenging times during this part of the year and I want to let you know that I am here for you.
I am here for the moments that memories overwhelm or nerves take hold.
I am here for the times you feel you have to steel yourself for going back into battle over dinner trimmings.
I am here for you when you don't feel validated in who you are or who you love by the people who you were surrounded by during your early years.
I am here for you.
Queer Chocolatier sells crafted chocolate truffles, yes. But we also stand in solidarity with those who need neighbors and friends and family but may be lacking during the moments we are most vulnerable. If you need a moment to chat, near or far, send me a message or visit our shop. The only darkness I want you to experience during these last couple of months of 2017 is the darkness of my chocolate confections.
Show Someone That You Love Them Unapologetically
If you aren't queer and/or trans* (or even if you are), and you know someone who is and has a rough time during the holidays, let them know you love them. Reach out to those around you who may not have a great experience with going home to visit family or doesn't go home at all because of what has happened in the past.
This is the time of year that allies can actually do allyship work and not simply label themselves as allies.
Some things that you can do include making sure you hold yourself accountable to any microaggressions you might accidentally commit. During the holidays, the following microaggressions can be among the most common and the most painful:
- If you misgender your friend, work through it to do better but don't turn the attention back to yourself on how hard it is to remember pronouns or names.
- Stand up when someone deadnames a friend or relative. Let that person know that such an act is harmful and violent.
- Never, under any circumstances, out someone in front of others, including the family or friends of that individual. Your friend may trust you with that knowledge but may not be in a place in their life to be out fully and that is okay.
Let me help you in showing your friendship and love by providing gifts that can affirm or comfort those you adore. Consider a piece of art from our line of Homo Decor for their home or any one of our selection of truffles, in Classic or Vegan.
Let's all do a better job of taking care of each other during the holigays!