Strange Fruit: Going Home Gay for the Holidays

It’s a story we heard several times during WFPL’s Defining Fairness series: a young person leaves his or her rural town for college in a bigger city, meets other LGBTQ folks, and comes out! But for some folks, when the holidays roll around and they head home for Christmas… they have to go back into the closet. 

This week we spoke with Dr. Stephanie Budge from UofL, who recently taught a workshop on coping with the holidays as an LGBTQ person. She says while some families do overtly antagonistic things (like using the wrong pronoun for trans folks, or refusing to let their LGBTQ family member bring a partner to holiday functions), what she hears about the most is simply ignoring. A young person might come out as queer to their family only for the response to be silence, and an unwillingness to acknowledge their identity.

Dr. Budge gave us some coping strategies we can all use during moments of holiday stress and family conflict, how to take full advantage of your chosen family’s love when your family of origin doesn’t support you, and how to tell when things are so bad or unsafe it might be better to skip going home altogether. 

We also spoke this week with porn performer and producer Trick Wolf, founder of Slanted Tendency, about her career, and her goal of creating good porn, modeling good sex, and creating jobs for queer people of color.

In our Juicy Fruit segment we try to figure out what statistician Nate Silver meant when he said he’s “sexually gay but ethnically straight,” and talk about what’s behind the negative reaction to transgender model Connie Fleming looking a lot like Michelle Obama on the cover of Candy Magazine.

We’ll be off next week, so happy holidays from Strange Fruit, and we’ll see you in 2013!

Follow Up:

If you find yourself in crisis mode over the holidays (or any time!): Dr. Budge recommends The Trevor Project‘s hotline. Their marketing is youth-oriented, but they provide support for LGBTQ folks of any age. You can reach them any time at 1-866-488-7386. Stay safe this holiday season!

Laura Ellis

Laura is the producer of Strange Fruit, a weekly talk show focusing on race and gender, and produces other news & feature programming.

@funambulator

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