Flourishing in the festive season as a LGBTIQA+ person
The festive season is a time to connect with people and celebrate the year, however for many in the LGBTIQA+ community it can mean dealing with unsupportive family members and communities.
Marathon Health are encouraging LGBTIQA+ people to find ways to ensure they are looking after themselves and their mental health during the Christmas period.
Fox Fromholtz, Marathon Health’s Project Support Officer says one of the most important strategies is to surround yourself with, and put yourself in situations with people who make you feel safe, comfortable and validate your identity and feelings.
“As much as possible, try to avoid encounters with family or friends that invalidate your identity and feelings. It’s ok to take some time out and go to a quiet place where you can be alone and collect your thoughts after a non-affirming or uncomfortable situation, or even changing the subject in a conversation if you feel unsafe.
I’d also encourage people to reach out to a friend or family member who they trust for support and affirmation, if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation,” Fox said.
Setting clear personal boundaries is also a helpful tactic for situations with non-affirming family members. Try to set and maintain boundaries about what you are comfortable talking about, and how much time you are happy to spend with a non-affirming family member.
Fox says that most importantly, the key to making it through non-affirming and uncomfortable situations is by looking after yourself.
“It is really important to take some time for yourself after a difficult encounter. Get some fresh air, take some deep breaths and do something that brings you comfort.
Remember that your safety comes first and your feelings, identity and emotions are all valid and important. Be kind to yourself,” Fox said.
If you need support over the holiday season you can contact:
- QLife on 1800 184 527 or https://qlife.org.au/
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
- Lifeline on 13 11 14