Out, Proud and Queer: “40 Moms” inspire hope during the holiday season

Supportive mothers “adopt” members of the LGBTQ community for the holidays.

By Ann Sasala, Staff Writer

Happy Holidays! You can just hear Bing Crosby’s voice bouncing around in your skull. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, but for some reason, you just can’t seem to rouse yourself out of that tryptophan-induced slumber, nor are there visions of sugar plums dancing in your head. Just like that girl with the annoying voice, you “want a hippopotamus for Christmas,” perhaps a new set of L. Ron Hubbard’s “Dianetics,” the latest Richard Dawkins book, or something for Chanukah or Kwanza that isn’t socks!

You want to be able to tell your parents, your siblings, your family and friends something special, you want to share the gift of your true self, to tell them that there is someone special creating that twinkle in your eye. Sadly, you and millions of other queer individuals must remain silent during the time of year filled with “good tidings for all.”

Spiked eggnog is supposed to make you happy, not act as your coping mechanism, but the strain of keeping your secret hidden begins to weigh heavy on you. Rather than holding the hand of the person or persons you love while your family exchanges New Year’s wishes and gifts, your hands are empty.

The holidays can be rough for those of us who identify as queer. Although the United States, and the world, are both moving forward, coming out is still risky business, and can be a surefire way to ruin the holidays.

At one point “all I want[ed] for Christmas [was] my two front teeth,” but now the number one item on my list—and that of many close friends—is to hear my parents, specifically my mother, tell me that she loves and accepts me, that all those times she railed against “those people” are in the past, and that she respects me. I wish that my friends could share their sexual and gender identities and orientations with their parents, and expect a compassionate and loving response.

For those of you out there yearning for something similar, a group of 40 supportive mothers have started the “Your Holiday Mom” campaign. Each day from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day, a different mother who supports the LGBTQ community posts a letter to all who care to read, and says that she loves her adopted children for exactly who they are, and that she is there for them, although their own parents might not be.

Holiday Mother, Mom Annette Marie writes to all of her adopted children: “Think of me as you reach for that holiday cookie or glass of punch. We are there together.”

“If you are trans, you may be feeling down because you can’t come out, and you are getting so weary of always hiding the real you. You may have to get all dressed up in a fancy dress that couldn’t be farther from who you truly are, and you’re tired of hoping for the day that you wake up in the body you know really belongs to you, not the one you have.

Pretending to like the football jersey you find under the holiday tree, when all you really want is a handbag filled with make-up and brushes, gets pretty old. Please remember that there are lots and lots of people out here who understand and appreciate your feelings. They accept you for who you really are! I accept you for who you really are! Your gender identity is real, and you were born with a body that does not match the rest of you. And, you know, I honestly can see the real, beautiful you that is inside. And I want you to take just a moment today to stand in front of your mirror, look yourself in the eye, and see how special you are. Feel my hug as I tell you how proud I am of you for being so brave and never giving up.”

“As my Adopted Holiday Child, I will think of you each day during this holiday season, and wish for you love, happiness, and the knowledge that someone sincerely cares about you and how you feel. There is no one in the world exactly like you, you are enough just the way you are, and you are loved. Most importantly, you are not alone.”

You are not alone and never will be alone. These 40 Holiday Moms are here for you, ALLies Club is here for you, and so are your friends. Take heart, drink eggnog, enjoy the holidays, and as always,
Stay OUT. Stay PROUD. Stay QUEER!

Happy Holidays and a Joyous Winter Season to one and all.

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Author: Jennifer Kiebach

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