Once November begins, the holidays are on everyone’s minds, especially college students who are in desperate need of a break.

Homemade meals of turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and Christmas ham cause mouths to water.

Stockings are hung with care over the fireplace where people warm their feet.

What’s not great about it? Well, being queer.

For a lot of queer people, the holidays instead cause sweaty palms and nervous stomachs.

Instead of relaxing, they are in constant anticipation for the next homophobic remark.

Queer persons in the closet, usually those who still live with their parents full time, are commonly put in positions where homophobic conversation surrounds them. These conservations often times cause them to remain silent to prevent outing themselves.

They have to answer vaguely to questions like, “Why do not you have a boyfriend or girlfriend yet?”

Those who did come out in unaccepting families still get involved in these conversations and if they stand up for themselves, they are blamed for ruining the family holiday.

It is a lose-lose situation and leaves the holiday experience filled with solitude, angst and sadness.

Be mindful of these things when you are thinking about family and friends over the holiday breaks.

This does not mean be pitiful or avoid the conversation.

Have respect for your family and friends (and hopefully anyone) and try to be as understanding as possible with their side of the conversation.

If you are queer and do not face these struggles from your family traditions over the holiday, be grateful.

Appreciate the situation that you are in and do not take it for granted and as always, support your fellow queers.

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