If you know me you have probably heard me tell my coming out story. Like many queer people, I had to come out multiple times to multiple folks. Being the smarty arty that I am, I came out to the majority of my family on Christmas. I came out to my mother on her birthday. As entertaining as both stories are, today we are going to focus on my brilliant Idea to come out to my family on Christmas.
Why WOULD you want to come out to your family on a holiday? That’s insane! I say well why the hell not? Think about it. You will have everyone together. If you are lucky you can get everybody in one shot. If you are smart you can do it at a certain time like when the itis sets in or while they are splitting up leftovers.
Right now someone is reading this post and saying “omg coming out to black families is no different! We are all the same!” No boo. Black families at the holidays are a unique animal. Didn’t you learn anything from #thanksgivingwithblackfamilies ? Tread carefully and go in with a game plan. This post doesn’t guarantee results. However, here are some things to carefully consider.
Be careful of that relative you already told- When I started tossing around the idea of coming out the first person I told was my cousin who I grew up with. She was a great support BUT she kept giving me the are you gonna tell em now look all night. AWKWARD!!! I don’t have the type of family that continuously asks when you are getting married. However, if your family is exactly that family then be prepared for loud chortles of laughter from this cousin every time a family member asks “if you got a boyfriend.”
Soften the blow by making a good dish- Throw yourself into the lion’s den and offer to cook something big like the dressing or the greens. If you are feeling particularly bold volunteer for the potato salad. If you choose potato salad you need a different kind of prayer but if you make any of these and slay it, honey they won’t be worried when you tell them. They will be too busy marveling about how “you did that” and arguing over who gets credit for teaching you how to cook.
Do it after your grandfather/uncle/elder aunt says the blessing- This is important! Do you want the entire 20-minute prayer to center around you? I didn’t think so.
Speaking of the blessing…
Be prepared for that one late aunt who just heard about it to fall out- This one is a toss-up and can be tricky because you have to know which of your aunts is more likely to fall out. If it’s your super saved aunt, this probably won’t happen because she always arrives early with her deviled eggs and/or pound cake. If it’s this aunt you really aren’t safe no matter when you do it. She is gonna fall out anyhow.
If it’s the newly saved aunt who still can’t make it to service on time, then this one is for you. Plus, she will be mad nobody asked her to pray so she will be extra anyway. This will be right up her alley.
If you have a “special friend” you have been living with don’t bring them- You truly don’t know what is about to happen. Do you really want to subject your “friend” to side-eye’s and “umm hmm” all night and having their name changed to “that little girl/boy?” Plus, your family is going to spend the whole night seeing things that never happened. To this day my uncle swears my sisters partner grabbed her butt.
Or maybe they will tell you they knew before you knew and tell you to keep shucking them peas- There is always the likelihood that they have always known and were waiting for you to come into your own. Be grateful for those family members because those are the ones that aren’t trying to tell you who you have to be. They are giving you the agency over your own heart and mind by letting you make your own decision.
However, they simply wouldn’t be a black family if they didn’t show you that in their own way.
Maybe you should just wait until New Years and do it over some chitlins. It’s bound to go over better than those 🙂