Dear Prudence

Help! My Family Has Weaponized Holiday Presents Against Me.

Unwrapping little boxes of cruelty is growing old.

A makeup set against a gift box illustration.
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Dear Prudence,

I’m a transgender man in my past due 20s, and for approximately five years after my transition, I wasn’t included in excursion celebrations with my huge spiritual circle of relatives. Recently, my siblings and cousins (who all are outstanding and feature grown to help me) have demanded that I be included. I’m thankful for this, but now I discover myself in an ungainly situation.

The present trade is a huge lifestyle wherein all and sundry is accrued in a large room. Often older circle of relatives contributors will provide me very feminine presents. It’s a bit humiliating to must sit down there and act grateful for gifts which are meant as a jab at my identity. Before transition, I turned into considered a “tomboy,” and I commonly received pretty impartial presents. The state of affairs becomes extra embarrassing because a number of the more youthful contributors of the family or new huge others have only ever known me as “Johnny” and so the absurdity of the gifts turns into a chunk of a joke.

I’ve tried telling people I don’t want any presents as well as inquiring for donations to a local animal refuge as a substitute, however the pink frilly stuff keeps coming. (I donate the ones presents to a neighborhood transgender assist group who skip them directly to trans female people in want, in order that they aren’t wasted.) What ought to I do? I love my own family and my presence at those gatherings became a hard-fought victory. I just wish there was a way to participate with my dignity nevertheless intact.

— No More “Pretty, Please”

Dear No More “Pretty, Please,”

I’m so sorry you’re dealing with those sincerely lousy people. I can’t tell you no longer to spend vacations with them anymore—if that felt easy to you, you would have made the choice already. But I just want to be one little voice saying “being around them isn’t a privilege, and you don’t need to be handled this manner!”

I want you to ask yourself what you would inform a very good friend in a similar state of affairs. Say, a Black friend who changed into followed right into a white circle of relatives whose older member intentionally gave them T-shirts blanketed in racist slogans every year. You’d be horrified, right? I just recognize you will inform that buddy not to place up with it. You’d tell them they were really worth so much extra than that type of treatment. There isn't any dignity to be had round individuals who don’t recognize you or care approximately you—or at the least faux to.

A couple of ideas to ensure you’re no longer uncovered to this cruelty anymore:

1. Rally your siblings and cousins, who seem to be willing to get up for you. Have them send out a message to the older people in the own family that asserts in no unsure terms “Giving Johnny feminine items isn’t funny. If it takes place this Christmas, we're all going to arise and walk out IMMEDIATELY and the vacation could be ruined. Plan therefore.”

2. Host your very own holiday birthday party with only the people who've dealt with you with admire. Make it clean that humans who have mocked you with feminine gifts aren't invited due to their conduct.

Whatever you do, I desire you cross into this holiday season knowing that you are not the hassle, that being round bigots is not a reward, and that they're those who're lucky which you even supply them the time of day.

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Dear Prudence,

I were in a relationship with my “associate” for 11 years. When we first met, he changed into married, but he said he became going to divorce his wife. She’s been in a nursing domestic now for almost 10 years, with out a divorce due to the fact his insurance cares for her. He maintains telling me that he loves me and asking me to grasp in a chunk longer. I moved numerous states and feature misplaced all preceding ties because of him. I take care of him in all approaches, and but he has “mystery” lunches together with his sisters, to which their enormous others are invited, but now not me. I am proper sufficient to host a own family vacation (a.ok.a. me cooking), good sufficient to smooth their residence, right enough to help them move, however no longer good enough to be included. I experience like an unpaid maid. My coronary heart and my head tell me to depart. Should I?

— Does Love Really Conquer All?

Dear Conquer All,

If your heart and head let you know to depart, you don’t need any other input. (But for what it’s well worth, I a hundred percentage agree—you’ve “held on” to this untenable arrangement far longer than anyone have to.)

Dear Prudence,

I am going to be transferred across the u . s . for my paintings this spring. It is a finished-deal, and I am struggling with the process of selling my residence and locating a appropriate one over there. I actually have 3 kids: 23, 19, and 18. My youngest graduated high school closing spring. My oldest has graduated college and works, however nonetheless lives at home. My younger two don’t attend school and most effective have component time jobs. I even have told my kids—they could circulate with me or circulate out. I offered to pay all of the payments for an condominium for the primary six months or year if they could find roommates.

My oldest already has plans to move in with their companion. My youngest hasn’t decided if they're coming with me or moving in with their father and stepfamily right here, however has been calm about the selection. My 19-year-antique is appearing like they may be nine. Outbursts, accusations, and primary tantrums—I “can’t” do this to them, and I am “horrible mother” for forcing them. This is “their domestic.”

My company is shutting down their services here after the pandemic killed the nearby enterprise. A lot of human beings have been laid off. I am very lucky to now not handiest have my task, but to get a say in my new position. My new state has a miles lower price of dwelling and a miles much less insane housing market. Selling here now can be funding my provide for my youngsters who need to live. I even have laid this all out to my children. I can’t simply exit and find a new process here. Not at my age and no longer in my paintings area.

My 19-yr-old will now not receive it and either argues or ignores the state of affairs. They aren’t searching out roommates or a full-time task. They don’t want to move on the house-looking trip I have deliberate in October. They whine and choose fights with me. I love my kid, but this is ridiculous. Baby birds want to go away the nest someday, however this nest is going bye-bye. I’d as an alternative now not pressure the difficulty, but if I ought to, it wishes to be now and no longer a month right into a circulate.
How do I deal with this?

— Mama Bird

Dear Mama Bird,

Your 19-year-old isn’t handling this very well, and I’m positive that’s extraordinarily traumatic as you manage the strain of a huge move. But I can see why they’re having a hard time. I’m guessing they’ve simply slightly completed excessive school, and probably spent the final yr and a 1/2 of what should have been a transition from formative years to adult lifestyles, incredibly isolated and dwelling thru a plague, missing essential activities. Their global likely feels love it’s falling apart, and that is simply one greater important trade. It’s lots to deal with!

You’re proper approximately all of the realistic stuff here (the choice to make the flow, the beneficiant provide to cover hire if they determine to stay, and so on.), however it might be useful if you could acknowledge the emotional aspect of this transition a piece more. Yes, you’re completely making the practical choice! That doesn’t suggest it isn’t scary and unsettling. Let you kid recognise which you recognize that. And rather than just throwing the options at them like an HR representative giving a laid-off employee a severance package deal, maybe you may inform them you’d simply love for them to return alongside and revel in a brand new part of the u . s . a . with you. Something tells me that a few reassurance that they’re loved and desired and that your own family’s life will return to normal will pass a protracted manner towards easing this transition.

Catch up on this week’s Prudie.

More Advice From Care and Feeding

I’m lately married and searching forward to having children within the subsequent 12 months or so. The hassle is, so a lot of my friends—along with the ladies whom I consider my besties—are vehement approximately no longer having youngsters. This might be quality with me—whats up, it’s their desire!—besides they often make remarks approximately finding kids disgusting or repulsive. For instance, whilst a few community youngsters rang my buddy’s doorbell to elevate money for a faculty club, she become irritated and stated them as “brats.” This sort of component is standard with them. They recognize I need children, but those comments have started to make me feel quite horrific. What do I do? Do I need to find new friends?