This year National Coming Out Day was on October 11th. For 29 years we have celebrated the bravery of all who have come out as LGBTQ on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Here at Bromo the issue of coming out is close to our hearts. The less shame we feel around who we love and who we have sex with, the happier and more fulfilled we’ll all be.
National Coming Out Day is an important day to be sure, but if we are to look at the best day logistically to come out to your family, Thanksgiving Day is pretty high on our list.
Barack Obama brought LGBTQ rights to the forefront of this beloved holiday in the 2013 Thanksgiving Proclamation when he stated:
Thanksgiving offers each of us the chance to count our many blessings — the freedoms we enjoy, the time we spend with loved ones, the brave men and women who defend our Nation at home and abroad. This tradition reminds us that no matter what our background or beliefs, no matter who we are or who we love, at our core we are first and foremost Americans.
Besides Obama’s speech giving us the warm & fuzzies, there are a few factors that make this annual feast day a relatively safe time to break the news to your family about a potentially emotional matter. Here are our top 3 reasons that make Thanksgiving Day a beautiful day to come out:
Distractions Are Rampant
The truth of the matter is that coming out should not be a big deal. It should be a matter of fact that everyone absorbs and then moves on gracefully. However the reality for many families can be much more dramatic. If you pair the news with distractions like food, wine, exhaustion from travel, tension from previous family feuds, then the matter of coming out may be buffered by the overall business of the holiday.
Allies In The House
Make a mental note of any level headed or liberal-minded family members who you could ask for support. Perhaps you’ve already confided in a sibling, a favorite aunt or friend of the family who can join the conversation and act as a reality check to any overly emotional family members. There is safety in numbers, and allies can be an effective way to ‘normalize’ a potentially inflammatory topic.
Be The Biggest Pendulum
Energy is contagious. If you are projecting strength, love and hopefulness, rather than fear and dread, those around you are likely to follow suit. Attempts to veer the announcement into a conversation rather than a confrontation can go a long way. Try starting with an actual ‘thanksgiving’: thank your supportive and loving family who have made you the strong person you are today (insert more colorful details and anecdotes here). This preemptive expression of gratitude may create an atmosphere where family can’t help but feel included and appreciated, rendering the topic at hand less scary to more ‘traditional’ in the group.
Even if the conversation descends into chaos right there over the stuffing, your loved ones will remember your demeanor for far longer than your choice of words. It might take time, but your grace will win hearts in the long run.
Here’s Bob Smith who beat the path for us all:
And happy feasting everyone!
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