‘Tis the season for queer folks to thrive.
The holidays can be triggering for many LGBTQ people — especially if they’re lacking support from family or friends. As the pandemic rages across the nation, some queer people are living within homophobic or transphobic households. This constant stress, along with quarantining, can make this season everything but jolly.
However, there are some ways to ease this discomfort.
A newly released 42-page holiday survival guide from TransLash Media, which produces a podcast chronicling the lives of trans and non-binary people, features curated interviews, poems, and art to provide relief to LGBTQ people facing hardship during the holidays.
Imara Jones, an award-winning journalist, creator, and host of the TransLash podcast, launched the zine last year. The team premiered the guide’s second edition on December 21.
“Deep into this pandemic life, Team TransLash is still making time to create and to envision The Future of Trans,” the TransLash team wrote in a post on their website. “In 2020, trans people showed up and showed out in ways that fill our hearts with joy and hope.”
The post continued, “From legal victories at the SCOTUS level, to unprecedented trans and non-binary representation in political office, to nationwide #BlackTransLivesMatter actions, to the next wave of TGNC storytelling, and breakthroughs in intersex rights: we continue to affirm, celebrate, and defend our own lives.”
The late transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson graces the cover of the zine while wearing a green dress with a string of pearls on her neck. The POC Zine project, a company seeking to increase access to publishing for people of color, sponsored the project. Inside, there are dozens of known LGBTQ poets and artists, including gender non-conforming writer Alok Vaid-Menon and LGBTQ icon Ms. Mojo Disco.
According to the guide, some key steps to surviving the holidays include self-compassion, hope, and checking in on your needs, whether you are in or outside of a triggering environment.
Some of the guide’s top year-in-review highlights include the march for Black Trans Lives, where an estimated 15,000 people, including transgender, non-binary, and gender-non-conforming folks, protested in New York City against the epidemic of violence facing Black trans women and people of marginalized genders. A lengthy list of LGBTQ-specific resources for coping with COVID-19, wellness tips, and a directory of trans-owned businesses are also included.
Research shows relief is needed now more than ever. A report released December 16 from the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), a non-profit policy think tank serving the queer community, shows 66 percent of LGBTQ households are experiencing a serious financial problem as a result of the pandemic, compared to 44 percent of straight-cisgender homes.
Despite the ongoing strife, TransLash is sprinkling in some joy this year.
“We hope the second issue of our zine captures some of the healing magic from this past year and carries you through what can often be a tough holiday season for many of us,” the team wrote in a post.
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