Holiday Daze - A survival guide for GLBT Students

Exclusive to O&AN
by Barron Whited, MS.Ed.

As the holidays rapidly approach and students head home for break, many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students who are not out to their families will be facing emotional challenges and distress.

Students may feel obligated to act a certain way, avoid difficult conservations, and isolate themselves from family to cope with the lack of acceptance. Here are some suggestions to help the GLBT students through the holiday season.
Tip #1: Be yourself (have confidence in who you are as a person).
One of the stressors for many GLBT students may be pressure to act a certain way in front of their families because of their views on homosexuality. The thought of having to portray oneself as straight, less feminine or butch can be very uncomfortable, but because they want to keep the peace in the family, they feel obligated to keep up the charade.

Rather than putting pressure on yourself to fit in, relax and let it go.
Tip #2: Have a positive outlook and stick with it.
GLBT students may be confronted with difficult conversations like; “Are you dating anyone?” “Who do you hang with?” or “What do you do on the weekends?” While the questions may be innocuous, to a student hiding their sexual identity, they can feel like attempt to elicit a confession, increasing their uneasiness.

Rather than focusing on the meaning behind every question, focus the conversation on lighter or fun stories.
Tip #3: Give yourself a breather if you need to take a walk, nap or visit a friend
It seems easier to hide in your bedroom and watch TV, than encounter the awkward and uncomfortable situations that may occur during the holidays. But it’s not fair to you or your family to ostracize yourself.

Rather than avoiding situations, take a break, regroup and come back to it later
The holidays are stressful enough with all the responsibilities, obligations, and relatives, but for GLBT students it may seem even more overwhelming and insurmountable. Thoughts of going home to a homophobic environment can cause anxiety, panic attacks and depression.

If depression is left untreated, it can lead to suicide, which is the leading cause of death among gay male, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual youth according to the most recent statistic (National Lambda Foundation, 2000). It is vital for the GLBT student to surround themselves with love, encouragement and trust during the semester break. Having a supportive friend to call, email, IM or text during this trying time can be a way of coping with the holiday season.

Barron Whited, MS.Ed., earned his Masters of Science degree from Duquesne University in Education in School Counseling and is Certified as a K-12 as a School Counselor. He also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in Biology and Communication. Barron has 14 years of experience in elementary, secondary and higher education which includes: The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, ICM School of Business & Medical Careers, Franklin Regional School District and Penn Hills School District. “Barron has been featured on “Pittsburgh Today Live” on KDKA (shown below) and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less