- Holidays are a great time to reconnect and have fun in different areas. Whether you go shags, overseas or even within Nairobi, one needs to be extra careful. There’s a higher rate of robberies, murders,rapes and other alarming incidents around holiday time since we’re more carefree or absent minded.
- If you travel, ensure you know whether your destination is LGBTIQ friendly. Some countries have outlawed homosexuality and are generally hostile. Read up on your destination before hand.
- In areas that are conservative, you will need to be discreet about your affairs. This means no public displays of affection as these are considered offensive. Different laws and customs dictate different actions. Observe all the rules to stay out of trouble.
- Be careful when meeting people( new or old) in different area codes, no matter how long you’ve been chatting or have been friends, you never know what could happen to you. Ensure you’re sober and consent to every single thing that happens to/ around you or your body.
- Cons, cons, cons everywhere. Beware of con men during this season. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You could be involved in blackmail case or have the authorities extort money from you in an entrapment con. Question everything.
- Check hotel/booking terms and conditions. Some hotels don’t allow same sex couples to sleep together nor do others accept bookings from same sex customers. Always check and be sure.
- Look out for LGBTIQ friendly travel deals where tours and expeditions are organized for the community or even organize one amongst yourselves with trusted members of your group.
May the spirit of Dezemba/Drinkscember/Drunksember be with you! I hope you’re letting loose and making merry where-ever you are. It’s a wonderful time to reconnect with loved ones and let off some steam especially with the year we have just had. However, even with all the good cheer, holidays can be an extremely stressful time for LGBTIQ and MSM folk. With the pesky relatives and intrusive questions about ‘your lifestyle.’ It can be just that much more harder to catch a break and just relax.
Here’s a little list of things to help you stay sane over the holidays:
If you’re invited to a gathering or function, you seriously don’t feel great about going then don’t. You don’t have to attend. Maybe you’re not on talking terms, you didn’t like the crowd at the last gathering or haven’t visited your family since they kicked you out. You don’t need to be at every single gathering. Opt out of it and seek out an environment you like instead.
Have some me- time to decompress. This me time is a great opportunity to re-evaluate goals and reflect on where you are in life. You don’t have to be around people especially if it stresses you out. Take walks, create reminders around the house of your best attributes and really enjoy your company. How about making vision boards and gratitude lists over a nice beer on Christmas day?
If you do end up spending time with family, find neutral topics and games that will help bring you together without conflict. This will help decrease the likelihood of being offended by your kin.
Donate foodstuffs and your time to others. Spending time with others instead of being overindulgent or being in hostile environments can be a great alternative to the usual holiday traditions. Create this and other traditions with your fellow tribe.
If for whatever reason, you get anxious over the holidays and agonize over what to wear, who to see and what to cook try lowering your expectations this year. Ask for some assistance from friends and family to ease the burden. No one’s perfect or getting out alive enjoy yourself while you can.
Holidays can be a rough time. One can feel sad for no reason or even hate holidays altogether. Holidays can also remind of us our inadequacies, we can feel like such trash. Fret not. Seek help from various toll numbers or support groups when the load seems to heavy. Find a friend or two to confide in and share the holiday with.
Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!