Every week, Mallory Ortberg answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.
Q. Outed for Christmas: I am 19 years old, and a few months ago I came out to my parents and siblings. Everyone has been very accepting and loving. The problem is this: My younger sister told my uncle and aunt that I am a lesbian. (It was not done maliciously.) They’re top-of-the-line homophobes. They told my grandmother, who is now banning me from Christmas festivities that we celebrate every year.
I told my parents to just go without me and, while reluctant, they would like to go just to smooth things over. As we get closer to Christmas, I am getting depressed at the thought of being alone for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I could go to my friend’s house, but that seems pathetic. Please help!
A: It is not pathetic to spend Christmas with friends. I have several friends joining me and my family for Christmas this year, and I can’t wait for them to get here. I’ve spent Christmas with family in the past, and I’ve spent Christmas with friends in the past, and it’s always been meaningful and joyful.
That said, I think it’s fine if you want to tell your parents that you’re feeling hurt about the prospect of being “banned” from this year’s family celebration because you’re gay. You don’t have to ask them not to go (although I’m inclined to think that they shouldn’t), but you can still be honest with them about how you’re feeling. It sounds like they care about and support you, and I think they’d want to know if you’re having a hard time. Even if they still decide to attend, you might feel better for having stated your feelings out loud to them, and they might be able to offer more meaningful support if they know you’re struggling with this.