Going to a family event can be particularly tricky if only some members of your family know you're trans. You may feel anxious about whether or not someone will out you by accident, or unsure about how to address different family members calling you by different names. It's perfectly natural to feel the pressure to be out to everyone, or apprehensive about how to correct your family when they use the wrong pronouns.
"Have a conversation with the family members that you’ve shared your gender identity with about your needs and comfort level with the family you aren’t out to," Phillips says. "You get to determine how you want coming out to go with family and it’s OK to not be ready to share with everyone."
If you're not out to your entire family, checking in with the family who you are out to may help you feel more supported. Ask them to keep an eye on your rude uncle, or to be ready to go on a running-away-from-haters walk at anytime.
Additionally, if you're out to some family members, but not all, it's possible that some may try to defend you by correcting others about your pronouns or name change. However, while they most likely have your best interest at heart, your #straightbutsupportive cousin telling your Grandma that you now use "he/him" may actually be outing you before you're ready — explain this to him ahead of time. You don't need to be out as queer, trans, or anything else, before you feel comfortable.
"If you have the emotional energy, you could correct your family members by saying something like, 'I’m actually using she/her now,'" Phillips says. "If the misgendering continues, ask a supportive family member to speak up for you. If you aren’t feeling like you can ask for this support from family, step out and call or text an affirming friend to vent. Think about who you’d like to be able to reach out to for support and affirmation during family time. Have a conversation with them ahead of time to make sure they are able to be your support person/people and share with them what your needs may be. Be open about your nervousness with family; you don’t have to carry it on your own!"
Knowing who makes you feel validated and supported can be very helpful when heading into potentially uncomfortable areas, like a family dinner party. You have people who love and support you, and if others are making you feel ashamed or are dismissing your identity, you don't have to put up with that. You don't have to be alone with your fear, pain, or even anger.
There's no easy way to handle getting misgendered, especially over the holidays. Having a game plan, restorative events to look forward to, and knowing who you can lean are just a few ways that can help you to make it through the holly jolly (and sometimes painfully-straight) family parties.
Additionally, the Mazzoni Center makes a yearly holiday survival guide for queer and trans people that's packed with tips and resources, and totally worth the read. No matter what, all trans angels are strong and beautiful. You deserve to feel protected, celebrated, and given lots of presents every single day of the year. At its best, the holiday season is a time to celebrate, eat, and be merry with loved ones, but when it comes to gender — the naughty and nice binary is the only one we need.