I want to write to you a letter just as you would want your own mom to write. I hope I can speak to you wherever you are on your journey—this beautiful, challenging journey of discovering your place in the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer-questioning community.
The holiday season is when a whole host of emotions compete for attention within most of us. There may be fear that you will be “outed” to some relation whose reaction you anticipate will be bad. There may be sorrow because you can’t share the identity of the person you love–or anxiety that people you come “out” to will not accept you–or loneliness , when you feel no one really knows you. You might feel especially at holiday time your rejection by your faith group.
I sometimes feel loneliness at holiday time because my family is too spread out geographically. Some may not have the time or money to come to a family gathering. I have to concentrate on the good times I do have, and bring back memories from the past.
I want you to know how proud I am of you. So why don’t we pretend you are here with me, enjoying my favorite time of the season, the midnight church service on Christmas Eve? If you want to, you could sing in the choir with me. You would be welcome there. Or you might prefer to sit with folks out in the main part of our historic building. Come see all the red poinsettias, smell the incense, sing and listen to the familiar carols. Then, if we’re lucky, we will step out of the church after the service onto new-fallen snow.
Come join me and my two daughters in making holiday cookies (we need to do a little time-warping back to the past here as they are much bigger now). If you are old enough and skilled enough you can roll out the dough and cut out the cookies. But we all can ice and decorate the cookies. This is a great time for creativity and self-expression. My older girl is the careful one; each cookie has to be perfect and look beautiful. My younger one is more production-oriented—just spread that frosting on there, put on a few sprinkles, then go on to the next cookie. Recently, my older daughter told me she had become more like her sister —for her now the important thing is getting as many done as possible.
I imagine you in this holiday scene like this: You are so brave in being who you are and accepting yourself. You are finding friends and being active with them; there is even a love interest on the horizon if you don’t have one. You are taking steps to find a supportive faith group, if you don’t have one and that is important to you. There are accepting, open and affirming groups out there, for companionship and for nourishing the spiritual side of you, and I like to imagine you have found one.
Best of all, you realize in coming to our house that you are giving to me, too. Your coming out has had such a good influence on me. You have opened to me a whole new world of interesting people. These are wonderful, exciting, bright, beautiful people whom I might never have known but for you. Another mom I know described it like going from a world of black-and-white to one of color. You open my eyes to the infinite variety of creation: that no two of us are alike, that we are each perfect in our uniqueness, and that we each contribute to the whole creation.
Did you see the movie “The Help” or read the book of that name, by Kathryn Stockett? The nanny had her little children repeat a self-affirmation that I think we should all make a part of ourselves, especially when we feel like we don’t “measure up:”
YOU ARE SMART—YOU ARE KIND—YOU ARE IMPORTANT
Because it’s TRUE.
With Love From Your Holiday Mom, Georgia