Three Things You Can Do To Make Thanksgiving Better For Members of the LGBTQ Community

A roasted turkey, savory stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, and decadent pumpkin pie are all hallmarks of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner; something many of us look forward to with joy. However, others may be less excited about the upcoming holiday.  For a significant portion of the LGBTQ population, Thanksgiving can be stressful, aggravating, and even lonely.

Today, when it seems as if the LGBTQ community has made great strides in achieving equality, many individuals are lacking acceptance from their loved ones. Homophobia is still very present and incredibly painful for many.

Sadly, this makes holidays increasingly difficult. Often, people find themselves in one of three positions. They are either keeping their true identity a secret from their families, they are spending time with family who will not accept them, or they simply spend the holiday alone, unwelcome at home because of who they are.

All three of these situations are unfortunate and often devastating. On a holiday where we should be sharing our gratitude for all that we have with those we love, it is heartbreaking that anyone would not be welcomed and accepted for simply being their true self.

If you are a member of the LGBTQ community or have friends and loved ones who are, you can help make this Thanksgiving just a little bit better for those who may be struggling.

  1. If you are hosting, extend an invitation to those who may not have plans or who may be anxious about where they will be going. Don’t assume that everyone is already “booked” for the big meal.

  2. If you are going someplace and cannot bring along a guest, consider hosting a casual Thanksgiving Parade Viewing Party.  Honestly, an inexpensive bottle of champagne, a container of OJ, a pot of coffee, and some donuts are the perfect accompaniment to the floats and bands on your TV.  Watch for old favorites while providing a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for a friend.

  3. Consider “Friendsgiving”. Host a fabulous holiday meal for your friends. If you are tied to your family for the actual holiday, you can do this the Wednesday before or the Friday or Saturday after.  Celebrations are about people, not specific dates and times.

By offering a welcoming and comforting place to celebrate, you can show those who are important to you just how much you care about them. And, you can help bring a little more love into their holiday season.

Face it, holidays are not perfect. We have all experienced arguments around the dinner table about almost everything. While we may be frustrated about these interactions, we need to recognize that they are minor inconveniences when compared to the disapproval, hate, and ostracization so many in our community will face.  

Let’s all be thankful for what we do have and step up to make the holiday just a little bit better for those in our community who are not as fortunate. Thanksgiving is about friends, family, and gratitude.  Together we are better.