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Pagans at Xmas? Making holidays queerly comfy

Who will play the turkey at your holiday dinner?

Just in time for potentially awkward holiday gatherings, author and civil rights lawyer Abby Dees says go ahead, ask your LGBTQ relative or friend the questions burning inside you. Like “Which one of you is the man?” If you’re queer, she says grin and bear it, even encourage your loved ones to ask those cringy questions.

Dees believes that if asking out of love, there are no stupid questions, they’re all opportunities to broaden understanding. So she wrote Queer Questions, Straight Talk: 108 frank & provocative questions it’s okay to ask your lesbian, gay or bisexual loved one. Hear a bunch of those questions — and how Dees has handled some of them — on this week’s Out in the Bay.

We also hear Dar Williams‘ “The Christians and the Pagans,” about the solstice-celebrating lesbian pagans who drop in unexpectedly on their conservative uncle’s family on Christmas Eve. “Makes me cry every time I hear it,” says host Eric Jansen. “It’s my favorite holiday song!” (Learn about Williams’ songwriting and other workshops, her books, and her new music on her website.)

Year-end request: Please help us keep bringing LGBTQ news, voices and stories to the world by making a tax-deductible donation to Out in the Bay now. We’ve been promised $1,500 from an anonymous donor if we get that much from other donors by January 1st. Thank you!

(This episode – first aired and podcast in 2013 – is still quite relevant. Enjoy the dated terms and references and appreciate how far we’ve come since then!)

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Eric Jansen is a long-time broadcaster and print journalist. A former news anchor, producer and reporter at KQED FM, San Francisco; KLIV AM, San Jose; and Minnesota Public Radio, Eric's award-winning reports have been heard on many NPR programs and PRI's Marketplace. His print work has been in The Mercury News, The Business Journal, and LGBTQ magazines Genre and The Advocate, among other publications. He co-produced the June 2007 PBS documentary Why We Sing!, about LGBTQ choruses and their role in the civil rights fight.