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Strange Fruit: Going Home Gay for the Holidays

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Even under the best of circumstances, the holidays can be stressful. For some queer folks, they also mean deciding whether to go home to a family who doesn’t fully embrace them.

This time of year, we like to listen back to a conversation we had with Dr. Stephanie Budge, who has taught workshops on coping with the holidays as an LGBTQ person.

She said while some families do overtly antagonistic things (like using the wrong pronoun for trans folks, yelling, or refusing to let their LGBTQ family member bring a partner to holiday functions), what she hears about the most is simply ignoring. A 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 unhealthy or unsafe it might be better to skip going home altogether.

If you are experiencing a crisis, The Trevor Project can help. Call their lifeline at 1-866-488-7386 or visit the website for instructions on how to text them or chat online. Stay safe, Fruitcakes. We love you.

In our Juicy Fruit segment this week, we continue to indulge in our end-of-the-year-list mania with 2014's top Google searches, both nationally and globally. Last year, everyone was asking Google how to twerk. This year, we really just wanted to know whether we had Ebola. Also on the list was Ray Rice, Ferguson, the Sochi Olympics, the missing Malaysian airliner, and the World Cup (a sports competition that doesn't involve Wade Davis, Britney Griner or Michael Sam, so we don't know much about it).

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.