If you can’t be with family for the holidays, find other company

By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist-

It’s December and another holiday season is upon us. For some, that is wonderful news of spending time with the family. To others, it’s a not-so-wonderful time to be spending time with family, as there are certain family dynamics and dysfunctions that arise. For still others, it’s a time when your family does not want you to spend any time with them at all, period, holidays or not. Even if you showed up at their door during this time you still wouldn’t be invited to enter. It’s sadly true, but far too many of us are not included in our family’s holiday plans, so we must look elsewhere to do something during this time when the world seemingly stops. Almost all businesses close down. There’s not much to do except be alone and feel isolated.

Too many of us are not accepted by our family and although it hurts all year long, the hurt is mercilessly brought to the forefront during the holiday season. It’s very painful to think about the nice memories of holidays past and the cruel reality of now and what you have lost from your life. Humans are social beings and to be excluded from family gatherings leaves one with hurt, anger, a feeling of loss, a feeling of being unwanted, a feeling of depression and maybe even thoughts of suicide. This is not a good time of year to be alone.

You must make other plans to get through this time.

Find others who are in the same situation. Plan something to do with someone who also has no family plans. Go to the movies and share a meal together. Yes, the theaters are open and a movie is usually a good way to spend a few hours to forget about the world for a while, then off to dinner. Chinese restaurants are usually an option.

If so inclined, you may want to go to any of the local churches for their holiday services. Maybe the music might make you feel better if only for a moment or two, or the feeling that you are part of a congregation. There are churches who will very happily welcome you, especially during these times and you may receive an invite to do something later on with some of the members. You never know!

There are other options to while away the hours during this holiday season. On Facebook last year I noticed that a couple of transwomen rented a room in a nice hotel for the holiday period and enjoyed the indoor swimming pool and the hotel restaurant during their stay. Afterward, one woman posted that from now on this is what she will be doing for the future holidays. Yes, to get away and to enjoy yourself is a wonderful idea!

If you cannot get away and if you cannot find someone else to spend some holiday time with you I suggest planning a nice meal for yourself that day. Watching movies on your television or computer is a good idea also. You could always tune in to TransFm, an Internet radio broadcast by Ethan St Pierre. He will be airing his annual “Hellidaze”  broadcast from 7 p.m. on Dec. 13 straight through to midnight on Dec. 25 . This will be a special Hellidaze broadcast because this will be his last one. Actually, Ethan will cease broadcasting TransFM after this date.

Ethan has asked me to be on one of the final Hellidaze shows so we settled on Friday, Dec. 23. Check out any of the Hellidaze broadcasts and call in or e-mail to say hi.

I hope that you have a nice holiday season whether you are with your family or not with your family.

I would also like to invite you all to my Springfield Transgender support group, UniTy’s Annual Christmas/Holiday party to be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, starting at 6 p.m. at Club Oz, 397 Dwight St., Springfield, Mass. Come join us for good food, good entertainment, good dance music and good company.

*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a local transwoman who has three grown children and works at a local Fortune 500 company. She can be contacted at dejavudeja@sbcglobal.net.


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