Captain Awkward at Vice and other links.

I wrote a piece for VICE about taking good care of yourself during holiday visits with family. We’re at work on the sequel about hosting holiday visits that people won’t have to write to internet advice columns about.

The therapist I spoke with for the Vice piece, Rae McDaniel, is a delight and had so many quotable bits besides “Discomfort is not harm” and “You’re not going to be able to buy groceries at the hardware store” that had to be cut for space. Lott Hill, a former colleague of mine quoted in the article, also had some beautiful things to say during our interview that we couldn’t include. He and I talked a lot about college students who were in the process of coming out or exploring gender identity and sexuality and who felt afraid to go home,  and this is one piece of advice that sticks with me about what parents can do to affirm and welcome their kids:

“Encourage any parent at any opportunity to tell their children that they are proud of them and appreciate them. If something terrible happens that’s unavoidable, like a relative goes off despite being told what’s unacceptable behavior, a parent can check in later and make it clear to their child that they don’t agree even if they couldn’t speak up in that moment: ‘I don’t agree with what your Grandma said and I love you very much.’

Remind parents that for the majority of their child’s life, they’ve been protective of that child in whatever setting that child is in, don’t forget that you’re still in a position that you can protect your child with as much strength and awareness and compassion as you’ve always protected that child. You don’t have to speak for them, but you can intervene and protect them at a very vulnerable times in their lives.”

❤ Imagine a holiday celebration where everybody tells everybody else: “I’m proud of you and happy to see you.” What a wonderful world it could be.

On a related topic, this Asking Bear column: “My home is unsafe for me to explore my gender. What do I do?” is extremely good. I completely hate that it’s necessary to strategize and work at “surviving” a situation, but S. Bear has very good advice for getting through.

It’s also a good day to mention that Scarleteen is offering donors a preview of their ADORABLE and HIGHLY USEFUL sex ed zine. Need an affirming, funny, safe way to articulate just what the heck it is you even think about sex? This is a great tool for that and a great cause.

Hope everybody’s staying warm and that your holidays are the good kind of awkward. I’ll be back to regularly scheduled advice programming very shortly.

4 thoughts on “Captain Awkward at Vice and other links.

  1. Love the being authentic about self ie sexuality/gender in the vice article. So hard to hide what is essentially and part of your life.
    I remember when I was in my early to mid 20’s a friend who was very hung up on marriage with an even more so family banned me from discussing where I lived as it looked bad that I’d moved out of home. Hard to chat when ones expected to hide what I’d been up to in my away from family home area, flat share and rental apartment stories. Now I would have said no I won’t hide I’m living out of home as I want chat about interior decorating, my flat mate and local activities!!

  2. “so many quotable bits … that had to be cut for space”

    I’m now visualizing the “Deleted Scenes” DVD Extra, with green-screen still in. 🙂

  3. Can I just say I REALLY appreciated how you wrote about Rae McDaniels. I already know you know how to write about non-cis people but also it’s so refreshing not to see sentences like “[Trans person], who was born [deadname] and now prefers [pronouns], said [the stuff that is actually relevant to the dang topic].” You just…use their pronouns in the proper spot?? Introduce them with their topic-relevant job instead of their surgical history?? Why is this so hard for journalists at large????

    Anyway, THANK YOU.

    1. This community showed me how, so, THANK YOU. But maybe lets…go back to…not calling attention?

      And I feel like Janet in The Good Place: “Not A Journalist.” 😉

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