How to Prepare for Your First Visit Home After Transitioning

If you live far away from your extended family, like I do, it is totally fine to ask other family members to do some of the work of bringing the rest of the crew up to speed. If there’s a trusted family member who volunteers to be your advocate and messenger, you can save yourself some of the stress of repeating yourself a dozen times.

Find Friends Who Will Listen

Confrontation is never fun and avoiding it with family during the holidays is paramount for many trans people visiting home for the first time. You can communicate your boundaries ahead of time, and do your best to enforce them, but conflicts and microaggressions will inevitably occur.

As a first layer of protection, it’s nice to have a friend to whom you can privately vent about the experience — someone who will listen to you express your annoyance with how your family is acting. Maybe someone at home is making one too many borderline comments, or they’re willfully misunderstanding your experience, and that’s where a friendly ear (or a few) can come in handy.

Almost everyone has a group chat these days, so be sure to lean on yours when you’re feeling irritated, but not totally overwhelmed. It’s nice to blow off some steam to stop yourself from boiling over. And one day, when the time comes, pay it forward: Before too long, you’ll have friends who transitioned more recently than you who will need support during their first trips home.

Do Not Be Afraid to Leave

That said, if the situation does become unbearable, you should not hesitate to leave if you can. This may be impossible for many people, but if you have a friend who has offered a place to stay, or if it’s only a short drive to go back to your own space, leaving an environment that is actively hurting you is the best course of action.


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