Disproportionately, LGBTQ folks can end up lonely on holidays because their family isn’t supportive of their status. Some people don’t have the luxury of coming out to family, and some just aren’t there yet. Some have lost their parents and feel alone on family-centered holidays. Even with healthy family relationships, great distances and hectic schedules can still keep you from the family dinner table. Chosen families are a matter of queer survival, and no better place thank Houston to celebrate the loved ones woven into the fabric of our lives than a proper Friendsgiving.

Start a Tradition

Traditions are a deeply anchoring human construct and a perfect opportunity to practice reclamation. Talk to your loved ones and come up with a new tradition this year—wait in line together at House of Pies to get the perfect pumpkin pie, picnic in the park at The Menil Collection, or go see a play at The Alley Theater. It doesn’t need to fall directly on a holiday if schedules don’t match up, so keep an eye peeled the week of Thanksgiving for something that strikes your fancy. Tradition is about connection as much as it is about planting emotional roots, so use this to honor the people in your life and do something special together. Don’t forget to look out for number one, either. Solo traditions are rituals of self-love, so find one thing, however small, to do for yourself that makes you happy. 

Sharing is Caring

A proper Friendsgiving should be a collaborative effort. If you’re going to a friend’s house this year, ask ahead of time if you can bring anything and don’t arrive empty-handed. Organize with your friends as to who is in charge of what, and have a backup plan in place in case things go haywire. Stop at Spec’s in Midtown and grab at least one bottle of wine, hors-d'oeuvres, or snacks. Revival Market in The Heights is a stellar choice for freshly butchered meats. If cooking isn’t your specialty, head to the prepared foods section of Central Market or Whole Foods for something yummy to bring with you. Remember to ask other guests about dietary restrictions, many of which are easily accommodated at Whole Foods!

Go Out on the Town

The list of restaurants open on Thanksgiving is still growing, but there’s already plenty of options for dining out on the town. B&B Butchers on Washington is currently taking reservations for a multi-course meal. Cru Food and Wine Bar will be serving three courses, operating from noon until 9 p.m. From 11:15 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., Rainbow Lodge is offering a unique array in their three-course meal complete with mini to-go containers for a small additional fee. Popular Montrose haunt Poison Girl is always open in the evenings after Thanksgiving, so even if members of your chosen family couldn’t break bread with you during the day, there’s always a chance to catch up afterward.