A second year college student with a course of Hospitality Management. I love playing volley and badminton. I love to travel around the world.
Go to Disney land.
'Tis the season to be jolly and all that, but for those outcast among the LGBT community, it can be a very lonely time indeed. In modern day society, one would like to think that family and friends would treat the gay people among them with love, equality, and understanding. Although things have More… got much better where I live in the UK, there are still many young people who've been disowned or thrown out, and Christmas can be a time when that hurts the most. Across the world, in places of faith, in the harsh lands of Russia and the recent regime change in Crimea, to the land of the free, LGBT members are being shunned, and we should take a moment to think about that.
For myself, I chose to end Christmas, this after two years of wanting to end it at Christmas. As one departs your teens and climbs the steps of adulthood, Christmas becomes less of an event. It then becomes something for children and families, and not having children or a partner things become very lonely for me at that time of the year. Christmas emphasises family bonding and builds it up into a huge thing. Television adds to this; work colleagues talk about it, it's everywhere you look... and if you don't have this family or love in your life it can become quite upsetting.
I did the exchange of cards; put the brave face on as I attended work dinners, wore silly hats etc, but at the end of the day l'd go home by myself. In later years, having my own place amplified this. I'd do the Christmas meal with the family and then go home to my cold, empty house, and on more than one occasion cried myself to sleep. I kept this to myself for the first few years, and then one year I got a call and talked it over with my mother. I have no idea if this was spread around the family or not, but there was less pressure to conform after this. I know that it had got so bad I thought quite strongly of ending my life at this time of year.
I think it was 2005 when I did my last family Christmas. I was working for local Government then and decided to paint my lounge on Christmas Day, so as to keep busy. I also did a cooked breakfast for six staff who were working that day, and took it into them in foil trays. The day went by and things were better. I had a nice long, slow cycle by the river, but this turned out to be counterproductive, as all I would see were families out playing with their kids and the new presents, couples holding hands on romantic walks. This part actually left me paused and sat by the waterside, looking at the fast flowing stream and branches floating past and wondering what the point of existence was. But I cycled on and for the rest of the day generally kept busy.
Not doing Christmas meant sending no cards, but of course, everybody still wants to give you them anyway. They feel they're being kind by including you, but really it just makes for an uncomfortable moment. Work colleagues were the worst for this, not having seen the emotional wreck I become during my time off, they insisted on being cheerful. It was a very draining time.
Many years later and things are much better. I have adopted the non-Christmas stance fully: what started as a personal defence system is now based on general morals. I'm not religious - in fact I'm more Humanist these days - so celebrating a Christian festival seemed kind of hypocritical, especially if I had no children as an excuse. It always seemed totally mad to spend money you couldn't afford, buying presents for everybody important to you all at the same time of year, presents they possibly wouldn't like. Back in the day this was crippling, taking several months after to repay the debt. It's just totally crazy to me.
This is one thing the Jehovah Witnesses did get right, not doing Christmas, and they simply buy friends and family surprise gifts at random times of the year. This approach sounds much better to me, when it truly is an out of the blue surprise. I still do birthdays though: there isn't any emotive stress attached to those.
Personally, I'm much happier celebrating New Years Eve, an event bringing in a new year of hope and opportunity. Is Christmas gone for good? I don't know... I might one day meet a partner who very much wants to celebrate it, but for now, just me, there's no reason and so I happily give it a miss. •Are you someone who's in pain at this time of the year? Do you celebrate Christmas or choose to give it the finger like Aaron? Or are you crazy for it and just can't get enough? Let us know your thoughts...