As a beautifully diverse community of LGBT people and allies, we all experience this time of year differently. For some of us, the festive season is a time for doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles. For others, it’s a quiet time for reflection and appreciation of the people and things in our lives that matter the most. Some of us spend time with our families and friends and others may have other traditions.
Take a look at how some of us are spending this festive season, then share your plans on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #StoHoHonewall. We’d love to hear from you.
" I was outed shortly before Christmas seven years ago, and it was one of the most painful things I’ve ever been through. My family didn’t want me to have a difficult life, they wanted me to be happy, and they thought I couldn’t be if I was LGBT. Through tears and arguments, Christmas has returned to what it used to be - wine, cheese and a lot of board games. Christmas catharsis means that I take the time to reflect on how far I have come as a person, living authentically and unapologetically, and how far we have come as a family. Now my family celebrate what I do, and love who I am. And that’s the greatest gift of them all, though a selection box wouldn’t go amiss. Sarah
" I have a large extended family. To alleviate the stress and guilt of not having the time or energy to visit everyone individually, we all come together at my nan’s. With over 20 people in one house, it can become pretty hectic, and there are plenty of arguments over what festive film we should watch first or over who drank the last bottle of Irish Cream. We all recognise that this a rare time for all of us to come together, share a sleeping bag and quarrel over ideals of what the season should look or taste like. Some of us love a traditional Turkey and pudding, and some of us can't wait for the Curry Goat and the red wine and rum fruitcake. Luckily, I get to have both! Sanisha
" Going home to my family for the festive season can be a bit of a mixed bag of emotions. My immediate family is really loving and accepting of my queer and trans identity - but when we have to visit less accepting extended family, I have to endure a lot of bigoted upsetting views and don’t feel like I want to start an argument during the one time of the year when we’re all together. Outside of that, the times I get to spend with my immediate family at home are incredible – I just can’t wait for a time in the future when I don’t feel like the black sheep of the family just for being who I am. Alex
" My family REALLY celebrates Christmas (my Mum starts playing Christmas songs and planning her menu from August), so I will sit down with her and the clan on 25 December because nobody could refuse my mum’s Christmas dinner. For me though, my holiday happens on 21 December, when I celebrate the Pagan festival of Yule, a festival which many branches of Paganism celebrate to honour the Winter solstice. Generally, people eat and drink with their family and friends, and offer thanks for the good things in their lives. So I will celebrate it by seeing my friends and family, eating amazing food, and saying a few prayers of thanks for all the amazing stuff I have in my life. Cat
" In my family, we tend to celebrate the festive season in a pretty non-secular way. We usually have a large family dinner, followed by too many drinks and bad film screenings. A couple of months ago, both my dad and my gran passed away. Celebrating without them is going to be incredibly difficult - as heads of the family, they used to be in charge of everything, from bossing us around in the kitchen to keeping passive-aggressive arguments at bay. This year, we'll get together to remember them. We'll be there for one another, give each other support, and maybe even start some new traditions. Ben
" As someone who isn’t particularly close to my family, the festive period has at times felt quite lonely. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised that family doesn’t have to be about blood. I’m lucky enough to have found my own family of amazing LGBT+ friends, and this festive period will be spent with them, laughing, dancing, eating and drinking. That’s what this holiday means to me. Wayne
Show us how you're spending the festive season on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #StoHoHonewall!