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How to Dodge Homophobic Statements from Your Family This Holiday

How to Dodge Homophobic Statements from Your Family This Holiday

How to Dodge Homophobic Statements from Your Family This Holiday

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I live in San Francisco, so it’s no surprise that I know a ton of LGBT people. Although I know literally hundreds of gay/queer individuals, I only really know a handful of people who are actually in a family that has zero bigots.


For most of us, our immediate family made an immediate adjustment after we came out, and after time your family could cut out all the bigoted comments. Maybe it was because you had enough conversations pointing out how awful their comments were, or maybe it’s because they became informed and educated. Whatever the case, many people don’t hear homophobic statements from their families.


Unfortunately, that’s not the case with extended family members — and in my experience, this is especially true for queer women. Now, I’m not trying to make any claims, but I do believe it has to do with the fact that gay men still have male privilege, whereas queer women don’t. So for some fucked up reason, people don’t say bigoted shit directly to men (they probably do behind their backs), but feel perfectly fine doing it to women.


Unless you’re in the handful of lesbians who has the most inclusive extended family in the world, you’ll likely hear some bigoted shit during the holidays. Here’s how to NOT be a total asshole when shutting down the bigotry.

1. "You’re too pretty to like girls."


This is likely going to come from your creepy uncle who just discovered you’re out, and apparently thinks his opinion is warranted. You may kindly respond by saying, “my looks have absolutely nothing to do with my sexuality.” Mmmk. Thanks!

2. "She dresses like a dude, so she doesn’t 'have to get pretty' like the rest of us."


I always hear straight women say this about androgynous/butch women. Although this statement does call out the fact that men and women have different societal expectations, it others them as being so different that they can't be considered a woman amongst feminine-presenting women. If someone tells you that to you, just say, "Ouch, I didn't know that being gay meant I can't be considered a woman to you anymore," to make them rethink how offensive their statement is. 

3. "Your Mr. Right is out there. Don’t worry."


This is completely inappropriate if you’re already out; especially if this person has met anyone you’ve been dating. The easiest way to answer this without having to get in a debate or get incredibly emotional is to just say, “Yeah, Mrs. Right is out there and she doesn’t have a penis,” and walk away. That will shut them up.

4. "Are you still hanging around with 'your friend'?”


This isn’t as bigoted as some of the other things people choose to say to queer women, but you should correct them and say, “Yes, my girlfriend (or my partner) and I are still dating and she’s doing x, y, and z for the holidays.” Don’t directly call them out, but make sure to answer back with the feminine pronoun, to show you're not afraid of publicly acknowledging that your partner is of the same-sex. 

5. "When are you going to settle down and start making babies? You only have so much time, you know…"


They might not mean to offend, but they are basically saying you should sleep with men and make babies. One way to deal with this is to bring up how expensive IVF is, or how long the process of adoption can be. I hope that, your family member will get the hint that you aren’t going to be having babies just by having sex.

As much as you'd like to call people names and start crying about how bigoted they are, try and keep yourself together, and don't Nicki Minaj them.


What other sort of bullshit have you heard while visiting for the holidays? Tell us in the comments!

Briana Gonzalez lives and works in San Francisco with her girlfriend and their two pugs (Irie + Tootzy). You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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Briana Gonzalez

<p>A proud, queer, Latina, identical twin with a penchant for brash humans and things that make me cough laugh.</p>

<p>A proud, queer, Latina, identical twin with a penchant for brash humans and things that make me cough laugh.</p>