It's about this question:

How to respond to questions at family holiday gatherings without making the asker uncomfortable about my sexuality?

The comments there are already addressed, except for the location tag. Is that really all that's needed to get this reopened?

Or are people still falling over that last sentence, because it doesn't match the edited title any more?

So how do you navigate family holiday gatherings as a queer person?

Can it get reopened if we edit that sentence to reflect the question in the title?

It popped up in my Reopen Queue and I don't want to start a voting war. But without several comments (or one comment that's upvoted several times) it's pretty difficult to see what other people are thinking is wrong with this question...

Please explain your worries here, so they can hopefully be addressed to get the question reopened.


1 Answer 1


I haven't seen the entire history of comments and close votes. However, without passing judgment on whether the question is too broad, I do see how people would see it as broad.

My overall suggestions would be:

  • removing/rewriting the "...navigate..." questions in the body
  • focusing the body from the beginning on how to respond to basic questions that are awkward to tiptoe around

There is really an enormous range of possible interactions as an LGBT+ person at a family gathering. Assuming there are some people who are somewhere in the range from disapproving to hostile, you can get any of these kinds of things, and more:

  • people avoiding you
  • people asking questions they shouldn't ask
  • people making "political" statements that indirectly criticize or harm you (maybe by accident, maybe deliberately)
  • people showing disapproval via facial expressions and body language
  • people directly passing judgment on you

There's some commonality, but they can't all be addressed exactly the same.

There are also a lot of pieces of context that can dramatically affect how everything plays out, and what kinds of responses are feasible:

  • what are the attitudes you'll encounter: are there any allies? reasonably neutral parties? openly anti-LGBT+ people?
  • are there people you're close to who might be able to help steer conversations or otherwise support you? or are you basically alone in this?
  • how large and flexible is the gathering: is it 10 people in a room, so you can't step away, or is it a few dozen spread out in a house so you can potentially excuse yourself, wander around, and stick more with the more tolerant people? (question says "large", unclear how large)
  • are these holiday-only people? are you worried about surviving the encounter, or maintaining ongoing relationships? (this one is addressed)

So I think the title comes across as a summary of a reasonably specific question. But the body doesn't do a lot to keep it narrow. It does mention basic social questions, in line with the title. But ultimately it asks twice "How do you navigate family holiday parties [...]?"

This is borne out by the answers. Jess K's answer very much picked on the "awkward questions" part of the question, but also ultimately relied on knowledge from a past question. Flater's mostly picked up on it too, but also noted that it was making an assumption ("If you mean uncomfortable as in..."). TheTinyMan's suggests one-on-one engagement before the event, and says the only way to address awkward questions is to be evasive, so it seems to be going a bit beyond just awkward questions. And so on and so on: some focus on awkward questions, some digression into general LGBT+ family interactions.

Given all that, I would say that whether or not the question is too broad, it could be improved and made less broad by focusing in on one specific aspect, as described way back at the top of this answer. That's not to say that other variations of LGBT+ family interactions questions aren't useful, just that on Stack Exchange it's best to ask a single reasonably-scoped question at a time.

  • 1
    Thanks for this answer. This pretty much sums my concern: "navigate" is a broad concept, and giving more specific situation will help narrow down what kind of answers that will be helpful.
    – Vylix
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 15:51

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