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Hinge's Love Expert on Finding Your Chosen Family During the Holidays


Moe Ari Brown (they/he) sits down with Out to have a conversation about how to put your mental health first during the holiday season and to find your chosen family.

The holidays are upon us, which means spending time with loved ones. As an LGBTQIA+ person, the holidays can be profoundly lonely when we don't have people to come home to. But don't let that stop you from living a healthy and happy life. Thanks to Hinge's Love and Connection Expert, Moe Ari Brown (they/he), there's a lot we can learn about putting our mental health first and creating a chosen family for ourselves. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), they bring together their experiences as a transgender non-binary person, their years of clinical experience, and all of their creative gifts to help others live their most authentic and connected lives.


Photo Courtesy Hinge

Sitting down with Out, Moe Ari Brown (they/he) answers the Not-so Frequently Asked Question, "I'm not as close anymore to my family and old friends. How can I lean into my found family and prioritize my mental health during this time of the year?"

"The holidays for most people are filled with parties, events, and many intentional moments. If this isn't the case for you, I invite you to pause and reflect on how you wish to foster connection, togetherness, belonging, or community in a meaningful way. Create a plan ahead of time so you can cultivate as many moments of joy as possible," Moe Ari suggests.

Not only that, Moe Ari suggests changing up your routine by getting out of the house and being somewhere new. "Whether you can plan a weekend trip or a weeklong vacation, changing your physical location can drastically change your perspective," Moe Ari explains.

"One of the significant reasons for loneliness during the holiday season is a lack of connection with others. Many LGBTQIA+ people have experienced rejection of their identities by families, friends, and other significant relationships. The holiday season might be a time where the loss of those connections can feel even more present. Spending time with new people can support you in remaining connected to others during this time of year. This includes holidating with romantic interests." Moe Ari states. "On the flip side, think about the people you call first when you want to share important moments in your life or the people who support you no matter what. These are people with the capacity to journey through life at your side."

When you're spending time with your queer chosen family, creating new traditions will not only create some fun for you and others, but also improve your mental health by the bond that is shared with these rituals.

"Creating new ways to celebrate during the holidays frees us from constantly thinking about what used to be and invites us to experience newness and novelty. Exploring new traditions could help you move through any grief that comes with shifting traditions and spending the holidays differently," Moe Ari explains.

If you're looking to find people for your chosen family, connecting over shared values is key to making those connections.

Moe Ari shares that, "Emotional bonds that connect people together are what defines family. Holidays are a prime example of this. As you choose a new family to share your holidays with, determine where you align on values like love, togetherness, gratitude, and celebration."

But what's most important is to engage in self-care. Taking care of yourself and putting yourself first during the holidays is paramount to improving mental health.

Moe Ari suggests, "Take time and treat yourself well during the holidays. Be gentle with yourself and reward yourself for your accomplishments. The holidays can be a time for reflection and goal setting. The more you connect with yourself, the more feelings of loneliness dissipate."

To read more Not-so Frequently Asked Questions about LGBTQIA+ dating and identity or to submit your own, visit

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