Happy Holidays: Surprise! Holiday DAD Burt

Listen To The Audio Recording of This Message

Dear Adopted Holiday Child:

Hi. I’m the honorary Holiday Dad. Moms get nicer cards on Mother’s Day, but dads have hearts, too. Or at least some of them do. Maybe your fathers weren’t as accepting of your lifestyle as you’d hoped. Maybe you’re feeling alienated…isolated…alone. Let’s talk, OK?

I want to introduce you to somebody very special in my life: my son. He came out to us six years ago, at age 14. After he made his announcement, he said he noticed a sad look in my eyes. I assured him it had nothing at all to do with him and everything to do with the way I knew the world to work. But I don’t call my son the apple – nay, the orchard – of my eye for nothing. He has navigated his path with grace and assurance. He’s a strong, caring young man who attracts friends easily with his big smile and warm, outgoing personality. He’s benefitted from having supportive parents, of course, but he’s made his own way in the world. 

I don’t know exactly what you’re going through in your own life. I grew up in a time when religious prejudice was far more pronounced than it is today, so I know something about being an outcast. You have your own story and all I can say is if I were there I would want to listen to that story. Not to preach or judge but listen. With my heart as well as my ears.

I admire you so much. Your big, generous soul moves me. Your search for love and acceptance inspires me. As your Adopted Holiday Dad, I can’t truthfully tell you that things are always going to go all right, but I can assure you that you will not be alone. You are loved and appreciated by more people than you can possibly know, people whose names you may never learn. I’m proud to be one of those people. I’m proud that you’ve selected me as a Holiday Dad.

I don’t know which holidays you choose to celebrate, so I wish you a hearty Happy Everything. My son told me to tell you that he sends his love, too. May the coming year bring you peace. May it gladden your heart and expand your circle of loved ones. May darkness stay far from your door and may the holiday spirit find an enduring place in your life. Bless you, Holiday Child. You’re my hero.

Your Loving Holiday Dad, Burt



  1. Cindi says:

    Hello, I’m not sure if you still read these but I would like to say thank you. You see I was always a daddy’s girl, but then he got abusive. I had to detach myself from feelings and I was cold and distant to everyone. But slow as time went by I got lonely. I wish to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your son is very lucky.

  2. Anakin says:

    Holiday Dad, Burt

    I know this letter is a few years old, but it means so very much to me. I lost my dad very suddenly to a brain aneurysm in November of 2008, just a few days before Thanksgiving. Most of the time I’m okay and have nothing but fond memories and lingering happiness from a gloriously happy childhood. But sometimes there are moments when I miss him so much I can hardly breathe. And not having him here for the holidays just isn’t the same and it never will be.

    I never got to come out to my dad (but then I hadn’t fully realized, understood or really yet figured out that I was trans and gay until around this time last year) so I don’t know for sure how he would have taken it.

    But what I do know is listening to your letter and all the wonderful, kind compassionate things you had to say and your earnestness in wanting to LISTEN and try to UNDERSTAND with patience and unconditional love reminded me SO MUCH of my own dad. It reminded me of just a couple nights before he passed when we were on our way home from my sister’s graduate recital for her vocal music degree and the way he excitedly lauded my sister’s performance. How he told both my sister and I how very proud he was of each of us and how much very much he loved us and couldn’t wait to see where we would go and what sort of interesting and wonderful and exciting things we would do with our lives next.

    So thank you Holiday Dad, Burt. Thank you so much for having brought back one among many a wonderful memories and sentiments and reminding me how that kind of fatherly love and care feels (even if it made my whole face leak terribly for a while). Because of you I’m now more sure than ever that, whatever my dad may have felt in concerns to anything LGBTQ, I know he would have put those feelings aside and done his utmost to talk with me and to LISTEN. Learn. Understand. Then eventually accept because he loved me.

    Thank you, and a hearty Happy Everything to you as well!

  3. Joy says:

    Dear Dad,

    I’m not very good with words. I never have been, but I’d like to thank you for your kind and soft words. I needed them. I love you very much.

    Love Your Holiday Child,

  4. Jess says:

    That last line made me absolutely bawl. My dad doesn’t know that I’m gay, and never will. My relationship with him has always been heavy in emotional abuse. He’s never laid a hand on me, but there are definitely scars on my mind. I work nearly full time minimum wage, and am putting myself through school. I work extremely hard, and am successful, and he tells me that I’m lazy. That I’m not doing much of anything at all. That none of it’s important. He hates Christmas, and does everything in his power to cast a shadow over my favorite time of the year. So reading this kind of love and acceptance has made my heart a bit lighter for the time being. It’s so good to know that there are parents like you out there. Thank you so, so, so much. I hope you have the best holidays.

  5. Angelica says:

    Dear Dad,

    I can’t begin to describe how this letter touches me. I’m not sure if I can stop my tears. Though I am smiling as well! You see I never grew up with a Dad of my own. (He died when I was four.) However he came from a catholic family whose views are clear. Having never gotten to really know him I worry often what he would think about me and if he would love me. For me your words make me feel a bit better about what he might think if I got to tell him I am Bi. If I introduced a girlfriend instead of a boyfriend.

    Thank you so very much.

    Your holiday Daughter,


  6. Steve says:

    Wow. Thank you. I am far from coming to terms with who I am or beginning to share that with other people beyond the anonymity of the Internet. So to read this, hear your voice, it means so much. I know my father will not give me the same response – having a holiday dad will have to suffice for now. Thank you.

    • Burt says:

      You’re very welcome, Steve. You’re not in a race to decide who you are. Take all the time you need. I think you’re going to be very happy with whom and what you find. My heartfelt wishes for a wonderful holiday for you.

  7. Morgan says:

    Dear Dad,

    It feels really nice to say that word, dad. My own father never had much time for me in his life, and it really means a lot to hear someone I can call my dad, even just for the holidays, say what you did.

    I’ll probably never experience some of the problems that most of the LGBTs face, but as an Asexual I face my own set. My friends, are the only accepting people in my life right now. They mean a lot to me, but they can’t fill that void my parents left. My mother still denies that I can’t no be sexual, and refuses to listen to reason. She has effectively “outed” me to the rest of my family, and it has become a running gag whenever I hear from them to ask about my love life or refer to me as part plant. Then my father, I hate to say, is as ignorant as they come, and my stepmother along with him. He feels that people make a choice with their sexuality, and that anything except “straight” is just a cry for attention and will be punished in hell. Which is why I’ll never be able to tell him I don’t like boys or girls, and I don’t want to either. The holidays I spend with him is a pain for me, since I may only be eighteen but he is already seriously asking about boyfriends and grandkids and from me to assure him one of these days I’ll bring home an acceptable man for him to meet.

    This void has been filled a little because of you, my holiday dad (and hopefully my amazing sounding holiday brother). You’ve given me the strength to sit through those Christmas dinners and lunches without worrying about breaking down. This upcoming season won’t be so sad with your words in my heart.

    Even though we’ll never meet, and you don’t even know who I am you’ve given me more acceptance and love than I’ve received from either of my parents.

    I’m really proud to be able to call you my holiday dad this year. If I ever met you I’d be sure to give you a big hug, and one of the badly made scarves I’m knitting for Christmas.

    Love your holiday daughter,

    • Burt says:

      Morgan, I’d love one of those scarves! Yes, we’ll probably never meet, but I want you to know that I care very much about you and it won’t stop on New Year’s Day. And there are plenty more who send you their support and love. So, yes, make it through the holidays with your head held high, and keep it there January 2nd and beyond. Your Holiday Dad will be thinking about you.

  8. Sean says:


    It is amazing that you are so supportive and have raised an amazing child to boot. I am still in the stages of coming out. I have not found myself yet but I am working very hard to do so that I can finally be happy. Your kind words to everyone in the LGTBQ group, those that have no where else to turn during the holiday’s when we need someone the most is very honorable. Thank you for your kindness!

    • Burt says:

      Your happiness is very important to me, Sean. You have my support and deepest wishes that you’ll find yourself. You deserve to be loved and respected for the wonderful person that you are. Happy holidays!

  9. Trent says:

    Dear Burt,

    Thank you for your kind words. Your son should be proud to call you “Dad.”
    The holidays bring about a lot of negative feelings, mostly because it’s the one time a year where I am forced to reflect on all that my parents are missing out on in my life. While I am not gay, merely trans, it has been an up hill battle in attempting to mend the relationships with both of my parents. I would have loved for my dad to be my best man at my wedding. I would have loved for my mom to meet my wife. And now, it pains me to think that they will never see my children…
    But you Burt, you and your son give me hope and inspiration. Heck, if more parents had just a grain of your big heart LGBT youth would be so much better for it.
    So, while I take in all of the holiday hoopla, I will be thinking of you and your son and the kindness that emits from you.


    • Burt says:

      And I’ll be thinking of you, Trent. I’m sorry your parents are missing out on such wonderful milestones in your life. Wishing you and all who love and accept you for who you are the best possible holidays. Thanks so much for writing me.

  10. Rich says:


    I posted on Hollie’s message earlier, you actually hit on a similar chord – with worrying about how the world is rather than thinking there is anything wrong with your son. As I said there, I’ve already come out to some of my family (my parents, an aunt, and a cousin know so far) but I’m nervous about telling my grandparents about me for that very reason, that I’m more afraid they’ll be worried about me and how other people will react, than that they won’t accept me. You can go over there and look at the whole post if you’d like to see the whole story, but the point is that your message, and particularly that part of it, really hits home with me and I’m glad that there are moms (and dads!) out there that understand and are there to support not only their own children, but others as well. It gives me hope that one day everyone will be as accepting and that things will get a lot easier for the whole LGBTQ community, and everyone in every community.

    • Burt says:

      I join you in hoping for that lovely day, Rich, and pray it arrives soon. In the meantime, let’s extend the hand of support and friendship to those who need it most. I’m really happy you wrote me.

  11. fay says:

    thank you so much, burt. i am not a lesbian, but my father never accepted me anyway. for him, i was always wrong. i tried my best to win his love, but he never, ever told me anything that came from his heart. he loves me, i guess, but with an infinite sadness and harshness, whithout a smile, a nice word, a hug. i don’t rememeber when he touched me for the last time. maybe i was 8. now i’m 35 and i find very hard to love someone. he never told the word ‘love’, never, he never smiled or laughed with me after i turned 13. i guess your son is very lucky to have someone like you. i guess you two maybe quarrel sometimes, but you know your love is strong. that must be precious. please keep loving each other! love is the strongest thing on earth. thanks for listening to me, and for making me feel like a loved child. happy holydays.
    fay, from italy (sorry for my mistakes, i don’t know english so well)

    • Burt says:

      Your letter was beautiful, Fay. Opening ourselves to love comes with a risk: our love may not be returned or returned but not in the way that we wanted. You sense that your father loved you, but was completely incapable of expressing it in any form. Sadly, no one can give those years back to you, Fay, but you have it in your power to see that this tradition of non-acceptance stops with you. I’m sending you love and support and wishing for you the best of holiday seasons.

  12. Michael says:

    i could use some advice. since i never got to come out to my father because he died when i was 8, which was 9 years ago. i;m comming to you for that fatherly advice.

  13. Mom Sue says:

    Dad Burt,
    Your message was just beautiful and as one of the mom’s I just wanted to thank you for your thoughts and kind words.
    Mom Sue

    • Burt says:

      Thank you, Mom Sue. I’m so happy to see that we are making real connections with wonderful people.

  14. Kiki says:

    Thank you for writing this.
    My father was abusive and hardly the parent I needed him to be. I still love him, even though he doesn’t deserve it. And I always wished I could tell him that I am a lesbian, but feared for my safety too much to do so.
    Reading this made me feel so happy. Your son is truly lucky to have you to support him.

    • Burt says:

      You just keep on being you, Kiki, because you are truly beautiful and worthy of love. Happy holidays!

  15. Lindsay says:

    My little brother started coming out to various members of our family when he was a junior in high school. My mom was very supportive and helped me throw a party for him. We were just happy that he could finally show the world who he really was. My father on the other hand believes that he need to embrace a different lifestyle and just choose to not be gay. It is hard to see the lack of relationship my baby brother and my father share. It hurts to know people disagree with my brother having a close relationship with my son. Especially during the holiday season, my heart is heavy with those who hurt. Thank you for being such a loving man to so many, and may the love you have for your son influence the hearts of those who are more closed to people different than them.

    • Burt says:

      I know it’s hard to see the gap between your father and brother, Lindsay, but bless you for being there for him. We can take some consolation in the fact that attitudes are changing for the better, but for those who are hurting the changes probably don;t feel like they’re coming fast enough. Please tell your brother I wish him (and you) the happiest of holidays.

  16. Mariano G says:


    This was lovely and I am glad you took the time to make it. The word ‘LIFESTYLE’ got stuck in my craw thought. Being gay is n orientation and he word lifestyle implies that it is a choice. It is a thing I struggle with quite a bit when people use that term to refer to what is in effect, my life. I hope this feedback is taken in the spirit it was given. I thank you for your recording and being a part of this initiative.

    • Shamama says:

      Mariano, thanks so much for educating US… we are doing our very best to be uber on target in every way, and honestly, we need help sometimes. So you are helping us do that. We take it in the spirit intended… to help us learn. THANK YOU! Shamama

      • Burt says:

        I echo that, Shamama. We’re here to learn and not just to speak. I appreciate your insights, Mariano.

  17. Emery says:

    Thank you Burt, for being here for all of us. I realized when I was about 9 or 10 that I was different from the girls. Most of my friends were boys, I dressed like my brothers rather than my sister, and I found the thought of being with a boy so strange. As I got older I learned there was a word for someone like me, and other people like me. And now, thanks to your words, I know that there is a place for someone like me. In the hearts of beautiful, wonderful, selfless people like you and your son, I will always find a home. Despite not having support from either parent or either of my brothers, I find comfort in this place. My very best wishes to you and your family, Holiday Dad.

    • Burt says:

      Yes, Emery, you and your big, beautiful heart will always have a home. I’m so glad you’ve joined us this season. We will always leave a light on for you.

  18. Holly says:

    I am 17 years old and right now sitting between the walls of a conservative, southern school. I have luckily met a wonderful girl that gives me an outlet where I can be myself. I am having trouble accepting that my dad, if I told him, would never accept me. He is homophobic and whenever my gay cousin comes around, he says terrible things while not realizing that they affect me. It is so wonderfully comforting to know that I have a father out there with open arms. It adds a lot of love and comfort to my holidays that there is a father who accepts me. Please know how much your touching words have impacted. I can’t thank you enough for providing me the fatherly love and acceptance I so deeply long for.

    • Burt says:

      Holly, I live in the South, too, and I have seen first-hand what happens when people react to those different from them with fear and anger instead of compassion. There are lots of adults and peers who would love to accept you. Naturally, parental approval is important to us, but if we can’t find it there, there is the option of creating our own family of choice. Sending you holiday love!

  19. Graciela says:

    Papa Burt, do you still have room in your heart for one more adopted daughter? I have no words, just tears pouring down my face while reading and feeling all the love in each letter wrote in this website. I never had my dad’s support, and reading your letter made me feel so alive and loved. I just want to say thank you, because your words were healing. Your son is very blessed to have you as his daddy. I love you papa Burt!

    • Burt says:

      Of course, I have room for you, Graciela! You are so special and loving, how could I possibly do otherwise? Do me a favor, OK? Go out and have the best holidays you’ve ever had, then let me know about it.

  20. Anna says:

    Thank you so much for that. It means a lot to me to hear from a father as well since both my father and mother are distant from me this Christmas. Your support and admiration means so much to me! I love my father dearly, but I know he will never think well of me for choosing to live my life as ME rather than as a lie. Thank you for brightening my holiday. 🙂

    • Burt says:

      Anna, I’m so glad to have helped bring you holiday cheer, but it’s your courage and essence that inspire me. Here’s a better your, my holiday daughter.

  21. Billie Sage says:

    Thank you for making your Love known Burt. This was a wonderful blessing you gave us, blessed be.

    • Camilla says:

      Thank you for your words. I woke up next to my Gf today and this was the first thing I saw this morning, your message. I was raised by my father who is an incredibly intelligent man. Intelligence doesn’t always leave room for emotion. Logic has no business in this world at times. I came out when I was 12 I was told by my parents that I was confused while one aunt told me not to listen I was who I was and to pursue my own happiness. I am 21 now. Trying to be straight “normal” in my dads eyes but completely foreign and unnatural to me I wound up pregnant. I listened when they said how do you know if you’ve never tried it. I couldn’t keep the baby. I know he or she is in a much better place. so adoptive dad. I’m proud of you. Understanding the unknown to you. I love you because you have given me faith and hope that one day I’ll see my father and girlfriend getting along. Parents if you read this. It’s hard enough to be gay and deal with strangers judging, please don’t contribute. You’re our parents, you’re supposed to protect us and raise us up not bring us down. Though I’m aware each lives to the best of their ability, let’s put it aside and be happy were all alive after all we never know when our time will come.

      • Burt says:

        Camilla, I’m overwhelmed by your letter. I’m delighted that I gave you faith and hope because you deserve both in very large measures. People your age will be the ones to end the mistaken mindset that has brought so much unnecessary tragedy to families. I’m extremely proud of you and send holiday love to you and your GF.

    • Burt says:

      Blessings to you, too, Billie. More and more people are waking up, and I think future holidays may bring more cheer to us all. Be well and thanks so much for writing.

  22. Emily says:

    Thank you. A thousand times, thank you. You are greatly appreciated and loved in return. Happy holidays to you and your family 🙂

    • Burt says:

      Right back at you, Emily. We find our heart-families where we can, don’t we? Have a beautiful holiday!

  23. Burt says:

    Sending love right back to you, Jackie. I want you to have the very best holiday season, knowing that you are greatly appreciated and, yes, loved.

  24. Luca says:

    Thank you, Burt, so much. My father can’t see me as his son and that makes this time of year so much more painful. I’m man enough to admit that I teared up reading and listening to your message. Thank you for your love and consideration. Thank you for your heart. I hope one day my father will have the same open eyes that you have.

    Sincerely, your holiday son,

    • Burt says:

      I hear you very clearly, Luca. Perhaps your father’s heart will eventually be softened after he thinks of all he’s missing, but for now, please know that many people — some of whom you don’t even know — hold you very closely in their hearts.

  25. Amir says:

    Thank you so much, Burt.

    I think I needed this more than I realized since my own father is no longer with me.

    • Burt says:

      But you carry within you all that was most beautiful and loving about him, Amir. May your holidays be filled with blessings.

  26. Felix Emilio Alvarado says:

    Thanks Burt for that lovely and warmth letter. Sure Dads had hearts. I’ve been raised in the Catholic Church, so Christmas is a special moment for me but sometimes I feel sad, guilty and lonely. I tried so hard to be the other way but I couldn’t. Now I have a five year relationship but isn’t easy as I thought. My partner has almost too much homophobia to heal. Anyway that’s part of my history and I feel very grateful for your time and words. Thanks for bring me love and kindness without knowing me. Thanks for be the Dad that I never had. Big hug in this season adopted Daddy,

    Your oldest son, from PR, Félix

    • Burt says:

      It’s my honor and privilege to stand for you, Felix. I deeply hope you and your partner will be able to see each other through this often difficult time. Sending you support and love, my oldest son.

      • Felix Emilio Alvarado says:

        Thanks dear holiday adopted Dad. Your encourage words are at this moment so meaningful. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks.

  27. Antonio Neto says:

    Dear Dad Burt, so great to hear from a Dad! My own Dad respects me, but both my parents don’t accept me. I just had to say I loved so so much to know that a father can have such sensibility and love, things I never expect to get from my family. This morning, here in Brazil, I was going out to a meeting, and when I saw the surprise of a Dad’s letter, I stopped at my doorway and came back just to read your letter. And you have got to know, my day started in a great way and I got a great confident feeling! Now I know that Dads have hearts, and your has a huge size! I am so happy to know that even if I’m sad because of my family, I know inside of me that you will be thinking of me and everyone else that feels just like me. God bless you, your lucky son, and may God give you a blessed time with your family.

    Beijos, your holiday Brazilian son


    • Burt says:

      Your letter made my day as well, Antonio. And you can be absolutely sure that I’ll be thinking of you and holding a place for you in my heart.

      • Antonio Neto says:

        Thank you very much! I am very pleased to have so accepting dads and moms with me! Love you all. Beijos

  28. C says:

    Thank you; this website is amazing. I was blessed with great parents, but who can’t use a supportive word of encouragement here and there! My dad passed away 11 years ago without ever knowing that I was FTM. I often wonder what his reaction would have been as he was a minister. I choose to believe that he has a different understanding of things now, as he probably can see the bigger picture.

    Your words touched me. I’m glad there are holiday dads out there too! I hope these messages remain up even after the holidays as they are so empowering. Something that can make the difference in many a person’s life.

    Much thanks

    • Burt says:

      Thank you with all my heart, C. Your letter brought me much happiness and comfort. We may not always be perfect but we CAN always be there for one another. Happy holidays!

    • Burt says:

      I found this to be a transformative experience. I’m humbled by the response and so pleased beyond measure that I might have been of help to someone. I’ve also been vastly helped myself.

  29. Jackie says:

    It felt so lovely to feel you warm support, Burt. And it’s true…dads have hearts too. By the end of your letter, I had goosebumps! Glad you’re part of this space we’re all sharing through the holidays and beyond. Love to you and every one who reads your letter. Xo

    • Burt says:

      Sending love right back to you, Jackie. I want you to have the very best holiday season, knowing that you are greatly appreciated and, yes, loved.

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