We’re just hours away from another joyous turkey-filled holiday. There’s nothing like Thanksgiving to remind us that Diane Keaton would totally play our moms in a movie. Because it’s 2017, and homophobia doesn’t exist anymore, so we’re basically living in a modern-day Bernie-supporting Norman Rockwell painting.
And if you’re not one of the millennial queers lucky enough to be born into the super liberal household as described above, this week is probably stressing you out beyond belief. Sure, orphan holiday dinners are both ideal for our dinner party hosting merit badge and the off chance that going home isn’t an option, but at least once a year, most of us have to take that culture shock of a trip home. Either you’re in the closet and you have to walk on super heteronormative landmines around your family or you’re out of the closet and you have to face being the outdated ‘90s sitcom black sheep of the family.
Regardless, there are bound to be a few unavoidable moments among any red-blooded, artery-clogged American family. Here’s how to deal with them.
When that one uncle says something racist/homophobic/sexist/stupid
Think about the fact that he never went to college and imagine him losing an argument to Trevor Noah. Then, just imagine Trevor Noah’s beautiful South African accent washing over you. This will take you out of the moment enough to fake whatever emotion must be conveyed to appease someone who wouldn’t listen to reason anyway.
When your dad wants to watch football with you
I really can’t explain a concept as trivial as sports in the span of this article. But just remember Ryan Murphy’s The People vs OJ Simpson, the Cuba Gooding Jr parts, not the Selma Blair parts. Recite any monologue from that series, and you should be able to fake your knowledge of football.
When your nephew starts scrolling through pictures on your phone
Whisper in his ear that Santa isn’t real. He’ll be traumatized for at least the next day, enough so that he won’t remember to be traumatized by the series of photos you received from HungBoy69 on Grindr. Then, promptly delete Angry Birds and put a passcode on your phone.
When that one aunt asks if you have a girlfriend
Brenda is clearly either mistaken or trying to reinforce some antiquated ideal of both monogamy and heteronormativity. Change the subject, and ask how [insert name of Brenda’s previous husband] is. This will remind her that she’s lonely, and her mouth will be too preoccupied with a bottle of peach schnapps to ask any more condescending questions for the day.
When your grandmother says you’re too skinny
Although it’s flattering to hear, even if once a year, don’t believe her. It’s a trick. She’s trying to weaken your defenses right before turkey time to fatten you up and make you lonely forever because you’re a sinner.
When your brother-in-law says something pro-Trump
Yes, he violated the cardinal rule of any social gathering. No, your sister probably can’t do any better than him, regardless of what you may want to believe. But do not engage. Engaging in this conversation will mean a rip in the space-time continuum, and the moment will loop forever. Instead, siphon however much tryptophan from your turkey it takes to be put into a brief coma. You’ll wake up in January, and you won’t have to see your family for another 11 months.