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You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
We are an open and affirming, multi-racial and multi-cultural, assessable to all, peace and justice oriented body of faith. We go into the community and God's disciples. Grounded by the teachings of Jesus the Christ, we uplift Christ's goodness, create spiritual community, and care for God's people and God's world. Dynamic hope, incredible compassion, extravagant hospitality, and radical love are our core values.
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LGBT and Home for the Holidays
The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone: travel planning, scheduling time to see everyone you’d like to catch up with, and figuring out menus and gifts can all be exhausting and overwhelming. If you’re LGBT and heading home for the holidays, there may be even more to worry about: maybe your family still hasn’t completely accepted that you’re LGBT, or you’re bringing a partner home for the first time. For some people, the holiday season may be the time they’ve chosen to come out to their loved ones, which can definitely incite panic leading up to the conversation.
If you're #LGBTQ, being home for the holidays may be especially stressful. #PlanAhead Click To Tweet
So how do you manage the holiday season if you’re LGBT and preparing to have some uncomfortable conversations with family members who may still be clinging to ignorance or bigotry? How are you planning to handle questions or hostility? We’ve gathered some tips to help ensure that you’ll have a happy, healthy holiday, whether you’ve been out for years, or you’ve only recently started identifying as LGBT.
1 Stay Positive
You know yourself, and you’ve accepted yourself, and this is the most vital part of the process. Worrying about your family’s judgments and comments is a valid concern, but their issues don’t have to be your issues. Studies have shown that most people do eventually accept and embrace their LGBT loved ones, so give your family members time to work out their feelings and opinions, as long as they treat you with the respect you deserve.
2 Have a Plan
Don’t go into a holiday gathering unprepared: if this is your first holiday “out,” be ready to answer some (possibly misinformed or rude) questions. The best way to combat ignorance is with information, so feel free to give family members some resources where they can learn more. If you’re bringing your partner home for the first time, discuss how you plan to discuss your relationship and show affection while you’re visiting your family and friends.
3 Guide the Conversation
One way to ensure a positive experience is to focus your conversations on common interests with your family members. This can help avoid those awkward questions and comments, and also reassure family members that you’re not suddenly a different person because you’re LGBT. If you’re planning to come out to your family during the holidays, remember that coming out is a process: you may have to have several conversations, and you should prepare what you’d like to say beforehand.
4 Bring in Some Help
No one has to do it alone: if you feel like you need help, contact local LGBT groups or organizations to find out if they have any materials or tips for handling the holidays. PFLAG is an excellent resource for information on discussions with family members. If you have a family member who you’ve already come out to, connect with them during the holidays so you can be sure you’ll have someone there to support and affirm you.
5 Have an Exit Strategy
Even though it’s never pleasant to plan for the worst, it’s always helpful to know you have the option to leave if things get too uncomfortable. Get in touch with some LGBT-affirming friends before you visit to make sure you have somewhere to go if you need some time away. If you don’t feel like you can handle a holiday at home, don’t force yourself to: plan a celebration with some close friends instead.
Most people do eventually accept and embrace their #LGBTQ loved ones. #LoveIsLove Click To Tweet
While many of these tips may not apply if you have a family that accepts, supports, and affirms your LGBT identity, most of them can still be useful to anyone spending the holidays at home (particularly staying positive and having an exit strategy). In an ideal world, we’d all just have to worry about the proper way to cook a turkey or whether we need to buy gifts for far-flung cousins, but with LGBT rights continuing to be such a hot topic, there’s a good chance you’ll have to patiently deal with someone whose views are less than progressive.
How did you handle your first “out” holiday? Any tips for people making the bold choice to come out during this hectic season? We’d love to hear from you!