HOLIDAY

 

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Season's Greetings
 

Best wishes to you from ALGBTICAL!  Don we now our gay apparel!  Tis the season to be jolly!  Happy Holidays!  Yuletide Greetings!  Here's wishing you joy and peace during this winter season and much happiness and health in the new year!

 

Jimmy Fallon & Friends: Wonderful Christmas Time

Shawn Hayes: Jingle Bells

Supreme Fabulettes: You Ruined My Xmas

Steve Grand: All I Want for Christmas is You

Seattle Gay Men’s Chorus: Santa Baby

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Lesbian Version

 




Tis The Season to Be Jolly
 

Microsoft Celebrates the Spirit of the Season

100 Drag Queens Making the Holiday Gay and Bright

Dealing With the Family During the Holidays

Chocolate Kisses: Hershey's Holiday Ad

10 Thousand Rainbow Christmas Lights to Defy Homophobic Neighbor

Where to Shop and Not to Shop

Tips for Surviing the Holidays if You Don't Like Your In-Laws

Hallmark Holiday Ad Featuring Gay Couple

Baby It's Cold Outside by Mr. Chase and Chris Salvatore

Holiday Shopping According to Your Values

Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas

Holiday Gift Ideas for Gender Non-Conforming Kids

Holiday Gift Guide: LGBTQ Friendly Kid's Books

Huffington Post: Gay Christmas Songs

 




LGBT Holiday News

Why We Won't Go Back

 




Yuletide Greetings

Indigo Girls & Chely Wright: Wonderful Life

So This is Christmas

Jimmy Fallon & Mariah Carey: All I Want for Christmas is You

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Lesbian Version)

Stairway to Christmas

Chicago Gay Hockey Association: All I Want for Christmas

Melissa Etheridge: Blue Christmas
Coming Out for Christmas

Sarah McLachlan: River
Univ Conn Funky Dawgs: Jingle Bells

 


Mental Floss: Winter Holiday Tradition Origins

Seattle Gay Men's Chorus: Santa Baby

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Star Trek's Picard: Let It Snow

Mean Girls: Jingle Bell Rock

Pentatonix: Little Drummer Boy

Wham: Last Christmas

Leann Rimes: I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

Glee: Baby It's Cold Outside

12 Gays of Christmas

Santa on the Rooftop

 


Surviving the Holidays

A lot of LGBT people hate this time of year.  Holidays are a stressful time.  They tend to be full of obligations, responsibilities and, of course, relatives. Because of the varying views on homosexuality, holidays can be particularly stressful for the LGBT Community.

For some people it is difficult because they are not out. The endless conversations regarding your single status (your not getting any younger you know). Your mother's updates on every perspective bachelor in the county. Endless questions about your "roommate." Or, the separate holiday, where you and your partner head off to your families of origin to be traumatized alone, then return later to exchange horror stories over much deserved cocktails.

For some people holidays are stressful because they are out: the looks, the whispers, the really uncomfortable obligatory hugs, and your father's visibly painful handshake with your "special friend". It can make you tense just thinking about it.
 

LINKS:

 

Huff Post: Home for the Holidays With a Gay Twist
PFLAG: Happy Holiday Tips for LGBT People
When the Holidays Are Hell: Tips for Surviving Family Gatherings
Tango: How to Beat the Gay Holiday Blues
Gay Ole Holiday Stress

For Gays & Lesbians, Holidays Can Be a Time of Added Stress
Gay Couples Confront Holiday Stress

Messages of Acceptance & Hope to LGBT Youth During the Holidays

Homo for the Holidays: Survival Guide
Going LGBT to the Holiday Office Party

Rainbow Blues

LGBT Tips for Holiday Stress

Tips for LGBT Folks for Managing Holiday Anxiety

 


 

LGBT Holiday Perspectives


 

Happy Gay Holiday


London Gay Men's Chorus: Coming Out at Christmas
12 Days of Christmas (Funny)

Queen: Thank God it's Christmas
Indigo Girls & Chely Wright: Wonderful Life

Couple of Misfits

Jingle Bells with Boxer Shorts

Chicago Gay Hockey Association: All I Want for Christmas

Justin Bieber: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC: Hallelujah

Gay Men's Chorus of Boston: All I Want for Christmas is You

Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles: Santa Baby

Straight No Chaser: 12 Days of Christmas
Straight No Chaser: Christmas Can Can
Straight No Chaser: Who Spiked the Eggnog?

Snow Miser, Heat Miser - Old Version
Snow Miser, Heat Miser - New Version
Melissa Etheridge: Christmas in America
Melissa Etheridge: Happy Xmas (The War is Over)

Sean Chapin: I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus
How to Wrap a Cat for Christmas
Silent Monks "Sing" Hallelujah Chorus

Jim Carey Sings White Christmas

 

 

12 Pains of Christmas
Christmas Lights Gone Wild

Kwanzaa LGBT Celebration

LA Gay Men's Chorus: Hanukkah in Santa Monica

Lady Gaga: Christmas Tree

Teddy Pendergrass: Happy Kwanzaa

Aly & AJ: Deck the Halls
KD Lang: Hallelujah

San Diego Gay Men's Chorus: Cool Yule

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Billy Paul Williams: Kwanzaa Song

Incredible Music Machine: Pipe Dreams

Rufus Wainwright: Spotlight on Christmas
Feliz Navidad
Adam Sandler: Hanukkah Song

History of Kwanzaa

 

 

 

Lesbian Christmas Songs

Winter Solstice: Silent Night
Sarah MacLachlan: Prayer of St Francis (Video1)

Sarah MacLachlan: Prayer of St Francis (Video2)
Sinead O'Connor: Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
Winter Solstice: Solstice Bells by Jethro Tull
White Christmas Cartoon Song

Bearforce One: Gay Xmas
Partridge Family: Blue Christmas

Partridge Family: Jingle Bells

If Hermey the Elf Were Gay

Gap Holiday Commercial: Jingle Bells
Gap Holiday Commercial: Baby It's Cold Outside - Selma Blair & Rainn Wilson

Winter Wonderland: Lesbian Wedding

 


Holiday Fun: Make the Yuletide Gay

 

This Holiday Season, Share Your Gay Gifts with the World

Messages of Acceptance & Hope to LGBT Youth During the Holidays

Homo for the Holidays: Survival Guide

Advocate Mag: Holidays - It Should Be So Nice
Eight Gay Jewish Women for Hanukkah

Going LGBT to the Holiday Office Party

27 of the Gayest Christmas Songs
Holiday Gifts for Gays and Lesbians

Black, Gay & Jewish: Discovering Hanukkah
Holiday Gift Ideas for Gay and Lesbian People
Queer Music: Hanukkah Songs by LGBT Artists

Gay Holiday Ornaments
Gay Holiday Cards

Lesbian Holiday Cards

How Gay Are Christmas TV Specials?

 


LGBT Holiday News

Nine Kisses

Proud to Love

 


Holiday Tips: Stress for LGBT People


The holidays can be a stressful time for LGBT people or families with LGBT members, but there are several strategies that you can use to help reduce stress and create a happy holiday this year.  If you have the holiday blues, here are helpful tips for surviving holiday stress and depression from D Gregory Smith, a licensed mental health counselor....

 

Feeling stressed and/or depressed lately? You’re not alone. The Holiday Season is reported to be “problematic” for about forty-five percent of the general population, and there may be added concerns for LGBTIQ persons.

 

There is often so much pressure to be joyous and to share “the most wonderful time of the year”. It can be especially hard for those of us who feel wounded by the various Ghosts of Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa Past. Family and work dynamics can be hard at the best of times, during the holiday season it can reach a torturous crescendo:

 

--I can’t stand so-and-so, and they’re going to be at Grandma’s for dinner.

--I do not want to go to church with the family, but I’m more upset by the thought of dealing with the fallout of not going.

--I just know that Bible-thumper at work thinks I’m going to hell. The office party is always a nightmare.

--I’m going to have to fend off all the questions of why I’m not married.

--If they knew the truth, I’d be fired (disowned, disgraced, etc.).

--I’m bringing my partner, and this is the first time. I’m worried that they’ll say or do hurtful things.

 

 

Yep. All familiar. But there are some things to keep in mind when dealing with the stresses of the Holiday Season….

 

Remember, you’re not alone. “Forced Fun” with co-workers, family and extended circles of families and friends happens to everybody. Many people, straight, gay and otherwise feel that they aren’t part of the celebration because they don’t feel particularly festive or “in the Christmas Spirit”. The pressure to have fun, be nice and ignore grudges and difficulties can result in the completely opposite effect. Not out to family, co-workers or friends? This can dramatically increase holiday stress. Maintaining a front and keeping secrets is hard.

 

Mostly, our day-to-day lives are lived with people who care for and support us emotionally. We’ve created our own families. We’ve created routines that encourage and nurture us. We’ve developed our own beliefs. The holidays can totally upset that. Even the mentally healthiest among us can be challenged by relatives and parents, regardless of acceptance or support. Ram Dass once said, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your parents.”

 

And even if we are out, during the holidays we’re often surrounded by people who may be biologically related or who share the same work, but who do not support us, or who are even openly hostile. Whether this is true or simply a suspicion or feeling, it still causes anxiety, which causes increased stress levels which often leads to some very depressing thoughts. A very slippery slope mentally….

 

What to do? If your particular situation seems to be causing problematic stress or depression, please seek out professional help. But for those relatively-minor-once-a-year issues, below are a few suggestions I have found helpful.  Please feel free to add your own:

 

--Be aware of your anxiety. Notice when your tension levels are rising, and let yourself feel them. Feelings never hurt anybody- the actions resulting from those feelings are the real kicker, and quite often those actions happen because feelings are so bottled up that the pressure forces an explosion. Often, simply noticing and naming the anxiety can calm it.

 

   

 

 --Breathe. Under stress, the breath is often shallow, keeping oxygen levels at a minimum which just adds more stress. As simple as it sounds, three deep, conscious breaths can bring instant relief, slowing the heart rate, reducing hypertension- and anxiety levels.

 

--“Is that true?” That question has been my lifesaver in many situations. My brain can run amok with fantasies of what people will say or do in response to me- things that I can’t possibly know for certain. Anxiety levels rise in the face of uncertainty. This simple question slows my thoughts and brings me back to the facts.

 

--Be here now. Most stress involves either the past or the future- both are perspective distortion agents. Staying in the here and now reduces stress.

 

--Resist the urge to self-medicate. Most people eat and drink more and exercise less than they normally would at this time of year.  If you’re prone to depression already, (and even if you’re not) a hangover and love handles won’t help. Plus, alcohol, a depressant, may seem to help for a while, but usually worsens depression and stress symptoms later on. It also reduces inhibitions, making hurt feelings, disagreements and fights much more likely.

 

 

--Give yourself an out. If you have to spend an extended amount of time with family, work some down time into the schedule. Removing yourself from the situation can be vital, and it can be done gracefully. “I just need some alone time” is something that almost anyone will respect. There are lots of reasons to be alone- get creative. A short walk, a hot shower, a nap, an AA meeting, or even extended time behind the locked door of a bathroom can do amazing things to renew self-confidence, perspective and energy.

 

--Remember, this is temporary. Most of us can survive anything for a few days. If you’re in a situation that you feel you may not be able to handle well, by all means, get out! But if staying will do less damage to yourself and others than leaving, remembering the finite nature of the visit may help.

 

--Take care of yourself. You know what you need to do to be healthy. Eat well, exercise, hydrate, rest, play and give yourself permission to be human.

 

No matter what the situation, my greatest stressor is worrying about something I have little or no control over. Recognizing that is key. People are going to think what they think, and my thoughts or actions will probably not change that in the short amount of time I have to spend with them during the holiday season. Whether they approve of me or not is none of my business- my business is to be happy, honest, kind, and healthy- and I can do it. I do it by knowing myself and taking care of myself.

 

(From D Gregory Smith.  D Gregory Smith is a gay, HIV+ native Montanan; a former priest now making a living as a licensed mental health counselor and Executive Director of AIDS Outreach in Bozeman. He is also a teacher, health educator, activist, poet, theologian, spiritual adventurer, and future husband.  We has an on-line blog called From Eternity to Here and he writes for Bilerico and the LGBTQ Nation.)

 

 

 

LINKS:

 

Huff Post: Home for the Holidays With a Gay Twist
PFLAG: Happy Holiday Tips for LGBT People
When the Holidays Are Hell: Tips for Surviving Family Gatherings
Tango: How to Beat the Gay Holiday Blues
Gay Ole Holiday Stress

For Gays & Lesbians, Holidays Can Be a Time of Added Stress
LGBT Holiday Stress? 7 Tips for Having Less
Gay Couples Confront Holiday Stress

Rainbow Blues
 


Holiday Music: Fabulous Seasonal Tunes

 

 


Artist Direct: Indigo Girls First Christmas Album
Paste Mag: Indigo Girls to Release Holiday Album
Queen: Thank God it's Christmas
Waitresses: Christmas Wrapping (Christmas Lights Mix)
Brandi Carlile: The Heartache Can Wait
Melissa Etheridge: Christmas in America
Melissa Etheridge: Happy Xmas (The War is Over)
Melissa Etheridge: Baby Please Come Home (Christmas)
Melissa Etheridge: Blue Christmas
Sarah McLachlan: Silent Night
Sarah McLachlan: Winter Song
Sarah McLachlan: River
Lady Gaga: Christmas Tree
Wham: Last Christmas

 


Indigo Girls: Holly Happy Days
Indigo Girls Concert: Holly Happy Days Tour

Indigo Girls & Chely Wright: Wonderful Life

Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs
Melissa Etheridge: A New Thought for Christmas
Sarah McLachlan: Wintersong
Annie Lennox: Christmas Cornucopia
Glee: The Music -  Christmas Album

 


Holiday Films: Movies With LGBT Themes

 

The 2009 film, Make The Yuletide Gay, has a particularly relevant theme for LGBT people facing the inherent difficulties associated with being home for the holidays. Olaf "Gunn" Gunnunderson, an out-and-proud gay college student, crawls back into the closet to survive the holidays with his family. He keeps his cool as his quirky Midwestern-hearted parents try to set him up with his high school sweetheart, Abby. But when his boyfriend, Nathan, shows up at their doorstep unannounced, Gunn must put on a charade to keep the relationship a secret. With pressure mounting from all sides, will Gunn come out before the truth does?

 

The 1995 film, Home for the Holidays, starring Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr, is another movie with a plotline that illustrates the holiday dilemma for LGBT people.

 

Taking a different angle, the 2003 London-based film, Love Actually, is another good holiday movie that casually includes, but does not centrally feature, LGBT themes.  Starring Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightly and more, the film follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely and interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in England.

 

Other holiday films with LGBT highlights include The Family Stone (Sarah Jessica Parker ), Holiday Heart (Ving Rhames), and Too Cool for Christmas (George Hamilton, Donna Mills).


LINKS:

Make The Yuletide Gay
Movie Trailer: Make The Yuletide Gay
Movie Review: Make The Yuletide Gay
Home for the Holidays
Love Actually
Love Actually Trailer
Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special
Advocate Mag: Ten Truly Gay Movies for the Holidays
Amazon: Gay & Lesbian Christmas Movies
 


Oh Christmas Tree: Gay Perspective

 

December 2014

 

You can tell a lot about a person by their Christmas tree...or trees. For some, it’s precisely this annual tree-decorating spree that defines who they are. We all have boxes of ornaments in the attic, some with great sentimental value, that, when displayed together, create our own personal narrative. It often begins with that audacious, particularly glittery star crafted in second grade and presented to mom who instantly knew. Of course the old traditional ones are fragile. But even if damaged, they are still hung with care. They recall the time the cat dove into the tree in pursuit of a strand of flickering tinsel. Then there was the time your drunken “ex” picked those Waterford crystal collector edition candy canes off the tree and flung them like little hatchets at your current partner. Ah, memories...


Speaking of cats, a friend of mine has two trees. He’s a cat person so one is covered with cat ornaments. The other is majestically arrayed in red. On closer inspection the decorations are all manner of devils. I’m not sure if it’s a statement or simply the fact that if you want variety with red ornaments you go with devils. He’s an obsessive ornament collector. His trees are up year round with rotating holiday themes. Christmas turns into Easter, then Fourth of July and later, Halloween.

One Christmas, years ago, I visited my priest friend in Connecticut. We went up to his rectory suite to catch up. En route, we passed the opened door of his neighbor priest. Tastefully placed for optimal viewer appreciation on just such a walk-by was a massive snowy white tree lit with blue lights, decorated with oversized blue and silver poinsettias. The neighbor priest, by the way, was also a bodybuilder and rode a motorcycle. Suffice it to say, the tree was enough of a hint. And no, I didn’t notice any choirboy candle holders. But yes, he was eventually transferred to a parish in Jersey.

Of course, someone always throws a trim-a-tree party. The idea is everyone brings an ornament that represents them. At some point during the festivities, hopefully after enough Christmas cheer to make it interesting, each guest ceremoniously presents their ornament with a story about its symbolism. Sentimental? Why not—it’s Christmas! Besides, it saves the bother of going out to buy ornaments and spend the time hanging them. Inevitably, there’s always a good gay range from teddy bears to musical instruments, rosy-cheeked tin soldiers, Santas, celebrities (Marilyn, of course), as well as some unique, obscene or otherwise awkward ones. One should consider: If the host really wants an ornament to fondly remember you by, stick with the classics. Yes, one can argue the holiday’s pagan roots, but the tree itself is enough of a message without your artisan-blown glass cactus from Palm Springs.

I grew up with an aluminum tree, before they were nostalgic. Mercifully, my mother thought the color wheel was too undignified.

 

(From Express Milwaukee, Essay by Paul Masterson)

 


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ALGBTICAL

Association for Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama