That time of year is approaching once again. Tis' the season for social obligation, and my cousin has already started in about Thanksgiving via text messages. This year has brought a bit of a twist in that she asked me to bring my new partner...
I'm not opposed to spending time with my family, most of them are good people, most were supportive when I came out. But I'm very hesitant to introduce my partner to my extended family in the context of a very large Thanksgiving dinner with 30-50 people in attendance.
My partner and I are both pansexual, and she is transgender. She's a very strong person and is accustomed to the usual nonsense of dealing with folks who are, well, not as polite and considerate as they could/should be when it comes to trans issues. I know she can deal, but I don't feel comfortable putting her in that situation, with that many of my tone deaf family members, for an extended period of time.
I'd like to be honest about why I may not be there, but I don't want to be cold or come across as being disinterested in being apart of the family. I know my cousin is accepting and means well, but I know some of my other family members are not and don't.
I've already hinted at being hesitant to go with my cousin, she seems to understand my hesitation, but she tends to be the pushy sort. She's sort of adopted the matriarch role for my generation of the family, so she tends to be the organizer of family functions and the mama-bear who sees to it that people show up and bring a dish. I'm admittedly worried about alienating myself from the family members who "get it" in my effort to avoid conflict with those that don't.
I'd likely only need to respond to my cousin's invite. As the organizer she tends to disseminate information through the ranks.
I've already talked to my partner about the invitation. She's not opposed to going, as I mentioned, she's tough and knows how to deal with abrasive people (she is dating me after all), but she also understands that it will likely be a bit much.
How does one tactfully decline an invitation in this case?