Skip to main content
Wednesday, December 08, 2021
2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT

Handling the Holidays in a Non-LGBTQ+ Affirming Environment

The holiday season comes with stress for many people, but it can be an especially triggering time of year for LGBTQ+ individuals. Some may not have a relationship with their family of origin and spend the holidays alone, while others may be pressured to spend extended time with family that doesn't support them. Many LGBTQ+ folks, particularly young adults, are not out to their families and may feel forced back into the closet, an experience that is often exhausting, stressful, and detrimental to an individual’s mental health. 

If you’re anticipating some difficult emotions this holiday season related to your LGBTQ+ identity, you aren’t alone. Join Mental Health America and Sutter Health for this free, 60-minute panel, where we will discuss: 

  • What makes an environment psychologically safe for LGBTQ+ individuals, and the trauma that comes from spending considerable time in one that isn’t;
  • Questions to ask yourself when deciding if you want to see your family of origin over the holidays; and 
  • How to set boundaries and prioritize your emotional, psychological, and physical safety regardless of where and with whom you spend the holiday season. 

This webinar will be recorded and available to the public within one week. We do not offer CEUs, but certificates of attendance will be available upon request after the event. 

Meet the Moderator 

Kat McIntosh (they/them) is a proud Black Caribbean femme living in Trinidad and Tobago and works as the Manager of Global Peer Support at Mental Health America. They promote the IAMNOTALONE platform and Peer Partners program. They are a lived experience advocate for historically excluded communities, including the black diaspora and LGBTQ+ folks. Kat works as a facilitator of a black LGBTQ+ peer support group with Peer Support Space. They identify as living invisibly disabled - having multiple physical and mental health conditions including psychosis, social anxiety, chronic pain, and diabetes. Kat is a multi-published author with their work appearing in Lancet Psychiatry, Our Bible App, and Amazon Publishing.

Meet the Panelists 

Jean-Phillipe Regis (they/them) serves as Associate Director for the All Children - All Families program at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). In their six years at the organization, they have also led much of HRC's work on mental health in BIPOC communities. They have been certified in mental health first aid training and have served as a mental health advocate with a focus on Queer, Transgender, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (QTBIPOC) communities.  

Marissa Howdershelt (they/them) is a fourth-year student at UC Riverside pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy with a minor in Education. Marissa recently found their voice in student advocacy and discovered a true passion for speaking up for themselves and uplifting often-forgotten narratives. As a first-generation college student, navigating this stage of their life is anything but easy, in part because they also have a chronic mental illness. Their work revolves around mental health advocacy, radical disability justice, and a commitment to putting community first. Marissa believes that all policy should be shaped around and inclusive of the community in which it serves - they envision a future that is inclusive and accessible to ALL and addresses the intersections of what it means to live and thrive in a society where all identities are validated.