Well we’re coming up to the holidays and I’ll be spending this Thanksgiving with my extended family. I’m not a big one on spending time with the extended family because our lives are extremely different. I live in the Columbus (Ohio) and I have a white-collar job while most if not all of my relatives live up in the area I was born and our focus on life is different to say the least. It makes it difficult, going back as a 40-year-old gay man, to spend time with people who I don’t have much in common. Most of the time I hang out with the ‘lady folk’ because that’s the best I can do in terms of relating to someone. Even then it’s a little dicey.
So what’s a (gay) guy to do? That’s a great question because I haven’t really figured it out. Normally I go visit my friends in San Francisco and spend the Thanksgiving holiday with them. While there I feel like I have an extended family in which I can relate to everyone. We have a big meal, grace is said, and people sit around talking just like a “normal” family Thanksgiving. I think that’s one of the things that makes this year different. I’m so used to being with that group of people in San Francisco that it makes it more difficult to spend time with my biological family.
So what is it that makes these two environments so different? I can think of one major contributor that makes up these different environments. That one thing would be our work/life environments. You see my family lives in a rural area of central Ohio. Most of my family lives within twenty miles from where they were raised as children. I often wonder what keeps them so connected to that area or more interesting is why don’t I feel that same connection.
I know some people in the LGBT community gather together creating their own family to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas. I’ve done it myself but I do have to admit that I long for the same connection with my family. The thing one has to remember is that you can’t change people. By that I mean you can’t change your family. So that leaves people like me and many others in the position of longing for something we can’t have in our lives. All we can do is be positive and form those healthy relationships so that we have a family like structure to support us in our daily lives.
So chin up and forward facing we march to our drum. Forming our own families to support us in our daily lives. Build those healthy support structures for emotional and physical help every day. Those relationships will carry us forward and into the future. Everyone needs to keep this in mind. If you ever feel alone simply look around. There’s someone just like each of us and whether they admit it or not they are looking to build their own family.
Happy Holidays and build your ‘family’ strong!
- Happy Thanksgiving~What I’ve Learned Over the Years (dreammom.blogspot.com)
- 25 Thanksgiving Quotes and Conversation-Starters (fingercandymedia.com)
- 8 tips for surviving Thanksgiving as a couple (cnn.com)