Christmas Isn't Always 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year' If You're Part Of The LGBTQ Community

Christmas Isn't Always 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year' If You're Part Of The LGBTQ Community

The winter season can already bring on depression, as many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but the holidays can bring a new wave of anxiety and depression.

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Christmas is traditionally called the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by many, but what some don't see or realize is that for many this may not be true. This can especially be the case for those a part of the LGBTQ+ family. The winter season can already bring on depression, as many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but the holidays can bring a new wave of anxiety and depression.

According to Paloma Woo, Senior Crisis Services Manager at the Trevor Project, they state that they have a higher volume of calls to their LGBTQ suicide hotline during the holiday season. Many calls are due to the fact that the holidays means going home to a possible toxic family situation, which can cause a lot of pain for those who do not feel accepted and loved because of their orientation. Some may even have no home to go back to because they are unwelcome back. This, in turn, makes many anxious, lonely, and depressed for the holiday season. Which results in increased therapy visits and extra calls to hotlines for more individuals, especially LGBTQ youth.

Even for those who are not going home to a toxic or problematic environment, there can still be little things that easily weigh one down. For instance, some have to deal with confused families that may misgender them, which can really wear one down and remind them of something they aren't happy about. The family may not even do it on purpose, but it can still affect the mental health of individuals. Others feel the holidays can just be uncomfortable and a burden due to the family not knowing what to say, individuals, fearing they make the holiday uncomfortable, or just feeling excluded.

Thankfully this is not the case for all, some have a very supporting and loving family to spend the holidays with. Filled with their own traditions and their own individual wonderful holidays. Either way, let your LGBTQ friends know you are there for them this holiday season and don't let any of them feel alone. And to those that do, reach out to a trusted friend and know that you are not alone in your struggle.

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People Forget There Is More Than One Type Of Attraction

Sexual attraction is not the only attraction
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One of things I find myself explaining to people most often is the differences between the different types of attraction. Many people I encounter are not aware that there are different ways to be attracted to another person. This fact is disappointing, but is also says a lot about ignorance in our society. Because some believe that attraction is just one, black and white thing, there are many who don’t know how some relationships work within diverse orientations. It leaves room for confusion concerning asexuals, aromantics, and many other underrepresented groups. I’m the sort of person who doesn’t mind explaining things to people, but because there is so little accessible information on human attractions, I decided that it would be a good topic to write about.

1. Sexual Attraction

Sexual attraction: The desire for possible sexual intercourse with another individual

I listed this attraction first because there are people out there who believe that this is the only human attraction. There are other attractions, and other qualities in general, that go into human relationships. Sexual attraction is difficult to pin down because it is not the same thing as sex drive or how one feels about sex in general (both which are common misconceptions). When someone is heterosexual or straight, that just means that they are attracted to the opposite sex. When someone is homosexual or gay or lesbian, that just means that they are attracted to the same sex. When someone is asexual, that means that they are not sexually attracted to any sex. What all sexualities have in common, though, is that their sexuality says nothing about their sex life or sex drive. There are heterosexuals and homosexuals who do not enjoy sex as much as others. And just because someone is asexual, it doesn’t meant that they are sex repulsed. Sexual attraction is not equal to habits and preferences.

2. Romantic Attraction

Romantic attraction: The desire for a possible romantic relationship with another individual

There is not a lot of thought put into the idea of romantic attraction, and yet, it is very important. Because asexuals, gray-sexuals, and demisexuals do not feel sexual attraction at all or right away, the focus on romantic attraction is important. If one understands sexual attraction, then it is easy to understand romantic attraction. It is the same premise, the only difference is is that sexual feelings are then replaced with romantic (non-sexual) feelings. If the same prefixes are used from the last example, then a heteromantic would be attracted to the opposite sex, a homoromantic would be attracted to the same sex, and an aromntic would not be attracted to any sex.

3. Physical/Sensual Attraction

Physical/sensual attraction: The desire to non-sexually touch another person

There is no orientation for this and the last couple attractions, but they are still important in understanding who we are attracted to. When you are physically attracted to someone, you may be willing to hug, kiss, cuddle, or touch them and be touched in other non-sexual ways. This sort of attraction is not exclusive to sexual and romantic relationships. Sensuality can be seen in friendships, among family members, and in other platonic relationships.

4. Emotional Attraction

Emotional attraction: The desire to be emotionally open with another person

Like physical/sensual attraction, emotional attraction can be seen in limitless examples of relationships. This attraction explains why some people are more emotionally open with other people. Your emotional attractions show who you are willing to connect to, open up to, and share personal details with. Some people are more emotionally attracted to other people than others. Like other attractions, the levels of attractions vary from person to person.

5. Aesthetic Attraction

Aesthetic attraction: Appreciating the way another person looks

This is usually confused with physical attraction. The difference between the two, though, is physical attraction involves the want to touch somebody whereas aesthetic attraction does not necessarily involve the want to touch another person. The best way to understand this is by thinking in terms or art. If you are at an art gallery, you can look at a piece of art and appreciate the way it looks. You understand that it is visually appealing but you have no desire to touch it. Through aesthetic attraction, you can have this experience with another person. Though in terms of humans, this attraction can go hand in hand with other attractions. All the other attractions discussed can also be pared with each other. It is important to remember that, although complex, attraction is fluid. The ways we experience relationships are diverse and can change through a lifetime.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.westmetrokidsdental.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/iStock_000028258802Large-4.jpg

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.

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Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.

Ty


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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