Happy Holidays: Mama J.


Listen to the audio recording of this message.

Dearest Adopted Holiday Child,

I come to you with a heart willing and able to give more love. Love, that in the past was given to me, is now my honor and privilege to pass on to you. Holiday times are hard for many LGBTQ youth and adults. It’s a time devoted to fond family memories and interactions. However, some of us don’t have the ability to spend that time with our families. Sometimes it’s because they’ve rejected us, and other times, like me, my parents are no longer with us.

It is at times like this that I look back onto my troubled childhood and remember fondly the cherished times. My upbringing wasn’t the best. I had a mother who couldn’t care for her children properly due to substance abuse, but at the holidays she tried her best. Unfortunately, her best wasn’t enough and I was put into the care of others along with most of my siblings. From the age of 10 on I wasn’t able to share in the holiday cheer with my family like everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I was blessed with the family I had and the holiday trappings, but there was always something missing… My family. As I grew up, and got to be with my new family more, the holidays turned into something magical I had never felt. These people took me into their home and gave me unconditional love. And that love has grown and expanded as the years have gone on.

I am now in my mid-thirties, and twelve years ago I lost my “mom”. She had fought cancer for many years before her passing, but she didn’t let that stop her from living life. The holidays were important to her. They were a time for family and sharing of our love. She still made Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, although it took her longer in her condition. And she always had extra just in case someone came calling to our house. In her darkest hour, the holidays shed a beacon of light and love. That beacon of hope touched everyone around her. And since that day, I have lived my life in her memory, sharing the hope of life and love with as many people as I can. The holidays are about family, whether blood or chosen. And to be blessed as I have been to be her child, I can’t help but to open my heart to you. I hope that you can find comfort in my heart as I found in hers so many years ago. When the world was its darkest, her love was my beacon of hope. She accepted me as her gay son then, and I know now would be just as accepting of me as her Trans* daughter. Come be part of my family and let me help shine that beacon of hope and love on you, and let my mother’s love be passed from me to you, so that one day you can open up your heart and share that love with another.

Blessings and joy to you at this Holiday season. Welcome to my family and to my heart. May you find comfort, peace, and unconditional love there!

Mama J.



  1. alex says:

    Mama J,

    I can’t thank you enough for this letter. I know I’ve never met you, and I probably will never meet you, but this meant so much to me, being able to listen to your message. I’m attending college right now, and I go home for the holidays to a father who tells me there’s “no such thing as queer” and who makes fun of me for the way that I express my gender.

    I really, really appreciate your beacon of love, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep my father from extinguishing it over the next few weeks.

    – Alex

    • Mama J says:


      Why thank you for your kind words. I am nothing special, only someone who wants to share in the love that I was given. I am happy to hear that my words touched you, but saddened to hear about your father. I will pray he eventually comes around. Sometimes people can be stubborn, and sometimes they just can’t nor won’t change. I have lots of love to share and strong shoulders to lean on. Keep your head up. Remember, their words can only affect you how you let them. Think: Water off a duck’s back and know that you are loved by many even if they can’t!

      Shining my light on you Alex so that your dark times will have some light and love!

      Mama J

  2. Peach says:

    Mama J
    my mother also died of cancer, and I was at age 10. after that I spiraled into depression. I discovered who I am, a pansexual. but unfortunately, I could never tell my mom, and i’m honestly too scared to tell my dad until i’m out of his house. thank you so much for that letter. so so very much.

    • Mama J says:


      Thank you for taking the time to write to me. Losing a mom is always hard. Doesn’t matter what age. At 25 I felt CHEATED and begged and pleaded for just a few more years. But I know it was her time, and that she left me with some very valuable lessons and memories. I think your mom knows about you, and loves you just as you are. Our loved ones only want us to be authentically us, and when we are sometimes they don’t understand what they asked for. But deep down, I think your mom knows and sends her love. As for your dad, I hope he understands the wonderful child he has and embraces the authentic you! Keep being you and keep your head up!

      Mama J

  3. Trans Mom says:

    Mama J
    You are true inspiration to us all .. Thank you for your love and warmth that you have so graciously shared with us in your letter. Blessings My Dear!

  4. Mama J says:

    I want to say thank you for being able to be part of this amazing project! I hope that my experience growing up and coming out not only as a gay man, but then as a trans woman, and the love of my “mom” can inspire others and that her love, and my love can be a beacon of hope for many!

    Mama J

  5. Alan H. says:

    Thank you so much, Mama J. This holiday season, and those of the last few years, have been particularly hard for me. I’ve already had to go through being virtually estranged from my parents after coming out as queer, and now I’m struggling with the decision of whether or not I should tell them that I’m trans*. These messages of love have been keeping me sane. Thank you. So very much.

    • Mama J says:


      Yes it can be difficult, but in the end, the ability to be our authentic self is a beautiful and transforming experience! You will do it in your own time. Remember, there is no one other than yourself that you answer to, and if you choose to share the authentic you, do it when you are ready and when you know you will be safest. There is no rush ever in this life, just remember to love yourself first!

      Much love,

      Mama J

    • Mama J says:


      Thank YOU for reading this! I hope you have a happy holidays and are surrounded by nothing but peace, love, and lots of joy!

      Mama J

    • Mama J says:

      Oh my precious Nerd, thank YOU for taking the time to read it. I have a special soft spot in my heart for nerds, and I hope you enjoy the Holidays and get everything you need and want this year!

      Mama J

  6. Lisa says:

    The warmth of your story and the deepness of your love shine through in this letter! Beautiful. Thank you!

    • Mama J says:


      I have truly been blessed to have the love of my mom take such a deep and lasting hold on my heart. It is her love that shines through my eyes and through my actions. At one point I got scared that the message I was trying to share was being lost, but then I receive all these messages and I know her love shone through like I had hoped! Blessings to you and yours!

      Mama J

  7. Shamama says:

    Oh Mama J, thank you for sharing yourself and your mama with us… I feel the love you offer. What a bright light you are for others. Thank you!

    • Mama J says:


      Oh my! Your screenname reminds me of one of my favorite drag queens when I was first coming up in the Chicago circuit in the late 90’s. Her name was Shamama WuzznthisQt! What a walk down memory lane thanks to a name! Hope I don’t offend, but she was one helluva woman and performer!

      Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my life with you. My only goal was to show my mom’s love, and I am thankful I was able to and then some. Sometimes we get into these dark places and need a small light to help us out. Her love was that for me. And I hope her love, my love, and the love of others can be that for you and everyone who reads and listens to my story, which is ultimately her story.

      Happy Holidays Shamama!

      Mama J

    • Mama J says:

      Thank you Jenn! I was so nervous recording this because talking about my mom always chokes me up and brings a tear to my eye. Could be the hormones surging through my veins too, but we’ll just go with her love can’t be contained when I think of her. It was an honor and a privilege to be able to write to you all and to record my message too. I hope you have a wonderful holidays and please continue to read on these messages. They are an inspiration to us all!

      Mama J

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