By Lisa Regula Meyer
Holidays are supposed to be happy and joyful occasions surrounded by family and friends, but for those who have had a falling out with their family, or who have lost loved ones through death or estrangement, the holidays can be everything but happy and joyful. All too often, teens and young adults in the LGBTQ community fall into this category. We all know the statistics about LGBTQ youth and suicide, violence, depression, and homelessness, but if you happen to need a review, Lambda Legal, Human Rights Campaign, and PFLAG new York City have some great data sets that are not for the faint of heart. Not that youth are the only ones suffering right now; we also see a bleak picture for older LGBTQ individuals as well.
Now that you’re thoroughly pissed off, depressed, resigned- whatever negative emotion these statistics strike in you- do something about it! The good news is, it’s never been easier to provide support as a part of a community than it is today, thanks to the internet and social media. Granted, it’s not as good as an actual hug, but even reading kind words reminding you that you are important enough to reach out to can be a huge lift during the holidays. Your Holiday Mom is trying to provide just that for LGBTQ youth with a virtual message that can be read as a reminder that people do care and you do matter. For some of us, the holidays are just plain terrible, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can insert all the criticisms of digital communication and community, and cries of “slacktivism” that you want, and at a rational- intellectual level I would totally agree with you. But here’s the thing- humans tend not to be very rational. Obviously, this little bit isn’t going to replace any other holiday good cheer that you might send out, but it’s a small thing that you can do that might just mean the world to someone who needs it right now. I’m proud to say that I know some of the holiday moms already posted, and I hope to be able to include more acquaintances in the list of people-doing-something-great that is the holiday letter site.
I know you care, let someone else know that you do, too.