Amidst the twinkling lights and holiday cheer, there’s often a hidden truth for many in the LGBTQ+ community: the holidays can be bittersweet. Family dynamics, societal pressures, and isolation can cast a shadow on what’s supposed to be a season of joy. That’s why we created the Chosen Family Holiday Party, an event that not only brings people together but also fosters a sense of unity and belonging.
in 2023, over 50 attended – a home without judgment, with open arms, and where every snowflake in the LGBTQ+ spectrum could sparkle without reservation.
The festivities began with a warm and hearty dinner, symbolizing the communal aspect of the holidays. Sharing a meal has a unique way of bringing people together, and in this case, it set the tone for an evening of joy and camaraderie. The menu included a variety of dishes to accommodate different dietary preferences and restrictions, emphasizing inclusivity in every aspect of the Chosen Family Holiday Party.
Bingo transformed into a competitive affair for two sought after prizes. But, it wasn’t just about winning; it was about the joy of letting loose, embracing oneself, and celebrating the unique personalities within our community.
The highlight of the night, however, came with the white elephant gift exchange. We knew not everyone would be able to bring something, so we’d prepared additional gifts, in their name. Watching faces light up as they opened gifts, not knowing if this gift would be to take home or be “stolen”.
As the night wound down, leaving with hugs, well-wishes, and thanks, a profound sense of gratitude washed over me. We had again created something beautiful, a space of acceptance and joy. This wasn’t just a holiday party; it was a place of belonging.
So, as you navigate the holidays this year, remember that belonging doesn’t always come wrapped in family ties or societal norms. It can be found in the vibrant hues of our rainbow flag, in the shared laughter with your chosen family, and in the warmth of a community that holds you close, not despite your identity, but because of it.