Read time:7 minute, 59 seconds

OutNewsGlobal’s agony aunt Heidi’s Gammon’s Christmas column is here to wish you all a happy holiday season! 
Yes, Heidi loves a bit of Christmas cheer, and it is the time of love and happiness, not to
mention the parties and family get togethers. But some just dread the season that is supposed to be full of the festive spirit. Heidi is here to help as always.  

Hi Heidi,  

You’re super cute by the way.  Being single, Christmas is a lonely time for me. It is hard to believe as I am really outgoing, work out and take care of myself. But Heidi underneath that outgoing persona I am painfully shy, so it is hard for me to ask anyone out. It looks like this Christmas I am going to be on my own again, but my wish is to be with someone next holiday season. What can I do Heidi? 

Belinda, Manchester  

Oh Belinda, so many of what I would call ‘diamonds’ in life are sparkling on their own and you sound like one of those. The problem is people are just terrified of rejection so do not make the first move. If you’re glittering away and wearing a mask of Miss Confident, it can be so hard for others to approach you or meet the real person. 

The buck starts with you Belinda. Let’s start with you loving yourself. As Ru Paul says,  

“If you cannot love yourself, how you going to love someone else?” Get some  

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and look at the roots of your shyness. Alexander Technique can also help with anxiety and confidence. 

Then look at setting yourself a small goal, such as speed dating or join one of the many LGBTQ groups and just meet people. Or my favourite, ask a friend to introduce you  to someone casually (Blind dates are often too stressful).  Oban Lesbian Weekend events are a great way to meet people.  They also do speed dating. or join the Facebook group HERE. 

Mum’s and Christmas presents

Hello Heidi,  

Not really an LGBTQ problem as my mum is a champion on that topic. Her best friend is gay, and mum loves me and my wife of seven years. It sounds like she is the ideal mum, but she is a nightmare when it comes to Christmas presents! Mum has what we call “present face”. If she does not like the gift, either she makes us take it back or there is a mood for hours. 

Mum is a little addicted to drama and it is fair to say that many a family event she can make into a Netflix moment. She was fuming when her bestie pointed out that drama was her drug of choice last year.  Really it is time for this to stop, but what can I do with her?  

Love Paula. Halifax  

Hello Paula,  

Don’t we all love our mothers but so often just want to scream at them? Your mum sounds a hoot, but you are right, there is only so much we should have to put up with.  

Now let’s start with the “present face”. Some mums do not want their kids (no matter how old) splashing out on them. Then there are the present face mums. I know my friend was telling me the nightmare she has with her mum, once even hiring a personal shopper and after two hours they still could not find the right gift. The shopper said, “How difficult is this woman?”  My pal replied, “It is my mum so very difficult”.   The best remedy is to sit her down in May and tell her that as adults, it is time to stop the present buying. Maybe make it a token or donate to a charity. Tell how you feel about the Christmas present face. Seeing her bundle of joy happy should be the perfect gift. But Paula I am not guaranteeing the outcome, it should work but then again it is mum so results may vary. 


The next section I will touch on as it is worthy of a whole column. People get addicted to drama: it is no different from being hooked on drugs, alcohol, or sex. It is not only destructive to them but often devastating to those around them.  Many often come from a childhood steeped in drama and that is where they are most comfortable. Just like many addicts, they will have moments of calm only to be triggered to drama. Often when pointed out, just like any addict, denial and anger will kick into place as it has in your mum’s case.  I will make it a point in January’s column to answer in more detail. But maybe in the back of her mind (after her friend pointed it out) she might be ready to discuss it at family counselling.  Remember it is coming up to that time of year where festive joy with family groups can lead to drama. So, try and keep the drama to Netflix. Maybe sit her down now and tell her, “NO TO DRAMA MUM!” sooner rather than later.  

Love you, Heidi.

Let’s keep the snow at Christmas to real snow


Dear Heidi,  

My other half and I have a great relationship; we like the fine things in life, and we have what we call naughty weekends every so often.  That means we do a little too much alcohol and, shall we call it, party favours. I love it but not at Christmas. His best pal comes over after lunch and they both do more powder than Lapland. This year I want a drug free Christmas, but I feel that if I put my foot down, he will think I am boring. He is younger than me and I worry he might leave me. What can I do?  

Love Mike, Richmond  

My darling Mike, what a shame. Reading your letter made me really feel for you.   

The reality is (reading between the lines) you are not that happy, are you? Being in a loving, secure relationship means compromise and trust. You should not need to put your foot down; you’re not managing a company. Tell your partner how you feel: if it is a real relationship based on love, he should respect how you feel and want to make your Christmas special too. 

The fact that you mention the age difference makes me wonder if the naughty weekends are an attempt to keep up with youthful dalliances?  Maybe you’re frightened to be on your own. But Mike if you need to put your foot down it is with YOU, as we all get older and even the odd weekend full of party favours can damage our health. Many couples have an age difference, but they feel secure and happy, and that’s what you need. 

It might be time for you to take charge of your life. Tell your partner it is a no to anything but real snow this season. Let’s hope 2024 brings you the love and happiness you deserve.  

With my partner, not my “wee pal”

Dear Heidi,  

Happy Christmas to you. This year I am going home to Glasgow to see the family and taking Scott, my partner. My mum said, “Oh that will be nice, bringing a wee pal up with you”. Heidi, three years ago I told the whole family I was gay, and the reaction was laughter, then they went back to watching tv. 

And just incase I was in any doubt that they are blind to it, mum called back and said, “Your sister Kathy is staying over at her friends for a few nights, so you boys do not have to bunk up”.  

Honestly Heidi what can I do to make them wake up?  

Mike, Bermondsey  

You are a star, Mike. What a situation to be in; it is almost a comedy show if it were not so personal.  Maybe they just do not want to know that you’re gay or cannot accept the truth?  

They sound like a loving family. Problem is Mike, if they really have not got the message,  

maybe the holiday season is not the best of times to make it a focal point.  

What I would suggest is to go up with Scott and maybe book a hotel. Tell mum you want your own space but do all the traditional things with the family and let them meet Scott. Or another option is to stay with them and sleep in separate beds (it is not the end of the world). 

Then go up a few weeks later and have a chat. Your family knowing the authentic you are important. Just a thought, they might be cool with it, have always known that you’re gay and that is why they laughed and went back to the tv.  They love you full stop. 

Everything in life is compromise. Have a great Christmas Mike.  

P.S.  Please message me and let me know how it goes.  

About the author

Heidi Gammon

Heidi Gammon is a qualified integrative counsellor incorporating CBT, Person Centered and Psychodynamic theories and has excellent knowledge in issues such as: adoption, LBGTQI+, bereavement, relationship issues, trauma, anxiety, infertility, stress and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest articles