Holidays are an excellent time to spend with family, however, what if your family does not accept you and are forced into an uncomfortable position? During the holidays, LGBT+ communities in social media were giving support to all of the members that were forced to hide. I, personally had to hide my sexuality as well for the first time since I came out. As a result, I now understand the pain that comes with being forced into the proverbial closet. And this is what I want to say to every member that went through what thousands of people have to go through... you matter.

You are not invisible, you are not a disease, and you are not a defect. You are wanted and appreciated by your friends that embrace you for who you are and not for who you like. Your sexual orientation and preference should not be a deciding factor for anyone. I know it's painful not to be accepted by your parents, the people you want acceptance from more than ever, the ones that raised you into the person you are today. We can't get what we want and changing their mind takes time and a lot of heartaches when they are not open-minded. Parents should love you and accept you no matter what. It doesn't matter if it's what you eat, what you wear, who you are, or who you are into.

It is painful, yes, to sit at the dinner table and have your aunt or grandmother ask you if you're dating someone whom you are not sexually attracted to and feeling the look of your parents silently asking you to keep quiet about your queerness. An example would be if you're a lesbian and they ask about a certain, special boy. Trust me, I have gone through my fair share of faking it until you make it. However, it is also incredibly painful when you have to sit there and subject yourself to homophobic or queerphobic comments and not being capable of speaking up because you could get kicked out or give your grandmother a heart attack. In other words, it thoroughly sucks.

The holidays are over now and you shouldn't hide anymore. Remember, that in case things get worse, reach out to a member of the LGBT+ or someone that can refuge you. This, of course, applies to everything, from coming out and getting kicked out to the stress of living with your parents that don't accept you.

It is important to keep in mind that while there are many who may not accept you, there are thousands more who will accept you.