Holiday Mom: Tammy


To hear Tammy read her letter, click here!

Dear Holiday Child,

It’s getting chilly here in Colorado. Do your snowboots still fit this year? Have your feet stopped growing yet? If your body has stopped getting taller, how about the rest of you? How’s your understanding of the world, of people, deepened? If you’re trans and you’re taking hormones, how has your body changed? Does it feel new and strange, or newly familiar?

However you’ve changed or stayed the same, we love you. We want to hug you and ask you too many questions and feed you all sorts of good things. Tonight, we’re having venison and veggies and holiday cookies with wayyyy too many sprinkles, because little hands helped make them. We want to decorate our house with you and your two teeny sisters. We want to go out at night to admire all the decked-out houses in town. It will be dark and quiet, and we’ll be able to see our breath. Our boots will crunch over the snow. To me, those lights reflected in your happy eyes are about as close to magic as anything.

Here, in this tall blue-and-white house with the lock that sticks, we like to celebrate Christmas. We’re not particularly religious about it. We celebrate the idea of family and togetherness. (With you this year! We are so excited!) The littlest girl is too young to really understand. The preschooler gets pretty dang happy, mostly about gifts. I love every tiny detail of it. Corey gets annoyed sometimes, because the pressure to buy, buy, buy intrudes on his wish to just be close to the people he loves. Do you prefer to celebrate Christmas, or another holiday? What’s your favorite way to put some joy into this cold, dark time of year? What repetitive Christmas carol do you hate the most? Ha!

I remember the first time I visited my mother’s house for Christmas after moving out at eighteen. I was so excited to go back. Even though the house had changed, it was still my permanent address, still what I thought of when I thought of home. But, going to sleep the first night back, I knew something was wrong. Something had been irreversibly altered. I cried, not knowing why. Soon I realized what it was: by going out into the world, learning new things, meeting new people and considering their viewpoints, I had gotten bigger. I didn’t fit as neatly anymore, into my family or my concept of home.

A few years later, having finally come out to myself and my friends as bisexual, I scraped together the courage to tell my conservative-Christian mother as we took a brisk walk around the park. I was visiting home once again. She listened intently, frowning a little, as I told her how the first person I’d ever “liked like that” had been the little neighbor girl when I was four. How nothing had “turned” me, how I’d always felt this way. How growing up in gay-condemning churches had torn me up inside. How I couldn’t even admit to myself that most of the people I wanted to date in high school were girls. How could I? My mother would have lost her job. Our family would have been ostracized. But now I was free. I could tell the truth. She was not pleased, but she tried to be kind. She explained that she would always love me and pray for me (funny how prayer can feel like a weapon), but that if I ever brought a girlfriend home, she would not be welcome in Mom’s house. So there it was—another fracture in the idea of home. Home had gotten just a little bit smaller, once again.

Yet, a funny thing has happened since then. As I’ve grown and expanded into the world, my idea of home’s grown too. It helps that I have my own house now, where I live with Corey and our two little girls. You’re welcome here. But more than that, you BELONG. You belong in this world. It’s YOURS. Your home. Your place to build a physical home when you’re ready, and make it the best, most inclusive place you can. Your family home, however cramped it’s been feeling lately, has no power to diminish that truth.

So darling, stay here a while. It’s warm. You’re loved. The girls want to play Legos with you, and Corey and I want to talk. When you leave, remember that this is your world as much as anyone else’s. Whenever you’re feeling broken or lonely, come back and listen to my words. When you want someone to help you celebrate good things in your life, come smile along with me. Come feel the warmth of my love. You deserve every little bit of it.

Your holiday mom (and dad and sisters!)

Tammy, Corey, and the girls


  1. alaina says:

    hi holiday mom 🙂

    I’m Alaina!

    reading this letter made me cry a lot if im being honest, but happy tears at the feeling of being completely loved and accepted by a mother figure. I too am bisexual in a conservative family but I am in high school and I don’t know if I could ever come out to my family, ever. I am too afraid that they would disown me and cut me off. I don’t like to think about it much, and instead I will think about Christmas with my holiday family instead.

    The holiday you described sounded absolutely blissful, and it warmed my heart. I would absolutely adore to hang out with your little girls and I would love to help you and Corey wrap presents. I would love to drink hot chocolate and watch movies and sing Christmas songs ridiculously loud and dance and laugh and spend the holidays in a household that is warm and accepting.

    I hope you would not mind me listening to showtunes and ALWAYSB wanting to play in the snow, since we don’t get much of that in Texas. And I hope you would love spending the holiday with me as much as I would love spending it with you.

    your holiday daughter 🙂

    • Tammy says:

      Alaina! Hi, Sweet Pea!

      I, too, am a happy-crier. Your little sisters think it’s dumb, which makes me laugh. I just tell them, “Grownups do weird things sometimes. ” That’s true in your situation, too. I can’t imagine why a parent would ever want to disown a child, and I hope yours never do. That said, it does happen, and I want you to know that no matter who rejects you throughout your life, your worth remains exactly the same –immeasurably great.

      On a lighter note–I am at the window every single time it’s snowing, because I grew up in Texas, too, in a crummy little town off the I-10. And I like showtunes, especially if you’re singing them. Corey will grumpily roll his eyes because he’s probably part bear or something ;P He gives great bear hugs, though!

      Take care, dear. Love,

      Holiday Mom Tammy

  2. Cassidy says:

    Mom –
    Thank you for your letter. To answer your questions, I’m glad to be done growing (being short has its advantages!) and I’m starting to get tired of hearing Carol of the Bells nonstop, although it is one of my favorites.
    Thank you for sharing your coming-out story; although it didn’t go perfectly, the absolute bravery that must have taken is inspiring to me. I’ve been wanting to come out to one of my friends as genderfluid lately, and I think I’m going to do it this week!
    The people I consider my family aren’t blood-related to me, and the ones who are I’d love to get away from the minute I get the chance. Sometimes I stay after school for cubs I’m not really interested in just because it seems better than going home. But it’s always a relief to see these letters, because I know I have someone who really does accept me. Thank you.

    • Tammy says:

      Hi Cassidy!

      I’m so happy to hear these letters bring you a moment of relief 🙂 I’m even happier you’re going to come out to a trusted friend! That’s going to feel so good, honey.

      I’m sorry to hear you and your blood family don’t get along. When you can get some distance, it’ll feel easier. And I dunno about having “absolute bravery” or anything–I think it was ordinary bravery, the kind you have lots of!

      Take care! Enjoy your family-of-choice this holiday! Love,

      Holiday Mom Tammy

  3. Manning says:

    Dear holiday family
    Thanks for being so welcoming. I honestly don’t think you can have to many sprinkles on holiday cookies if we’re being honest. I love looking at the lights this time of year. It’s something that never changes, there are always lights. I know my family is struggling with me being trans and I don’t know if we will ever have a real Christmas again but thanks for being so generous to share this splendid time of year with us

    • Tammy says:

      Hey Manning!

      I love the name you’ve chosen 🙂

      I don’t know if all of you will have a proper Christmas again, but YOU, my dear, will have many real Christmases. It’s probably just going to be weird for a few years. You follow those lights, glimmer to glimmer, year to year, until you get to the holiday you want.

      We’re privileged to share Christmas with you. Love,

      Holiday Mom Tammy

  4. Amelia says:

    Hey Holiday Family,

    Thank you for all the hugs and sprinkles this holiday season. It’s hard in a new city and hard family. I love that all of you have written letters for all of us LGBTQ kids. Personally my fav Christmas carol on repeat is We Three Kings.


    • Tammy says:

      Amelia! Merry Christmas!

      What’s the first thing that struck you about the new city? The people in it? Is there anything you’re looking forward to doing there that you couldn’t in your last home? I’ve lived in several different states and it can be hard to make new friends when everything feels so different. If you don’t get along with your family, it can be isolating. I’m so glad you looked us up.


      Holiday Mom Tammy

      PS Ooh, We Three Kings leaves me all shivery 🙂

  5. Angel says:

    Dear Holiday Family,

    I want to thank you all for welcoming me into a home that even through a letter, makes me have a sense of belonging in this world that treats to different so unkind. I have come out to my parents as panromantic asexual, but after that, they’ve been so cold to me. I wasn’t even going to bring up that I feel like I’m agender. I’ve always been mocked by them on what I listen to, how I dress, even because I’m learning Russian. On top of my depresssion and everything else, it gave me no hope for anything.

    This is my first year here and it has brightened up my holiday so much. Here, I feel like I actually belong here and that I can be myself.

    Thank you all so much.

    – Your Holiday Daughter/Son/Human, Angel.

    • Tammy says:

      Angel, love,

      You sound fascinating! I just got off the phone with a Russian-American friend, oddly enough. How cool that you’re learning the language! That’s not something to be mocked. You should tell me about your favorite music and style, too 🙂

      To be honest, I’d never heard of panromanticism or agenderism until a couple of years ago. I hope your family eventually realizes that these are valid parts of your identity, that there’s nothing wrong with you and that you’re not going to change. I struggle with depression, too, and day-to-day unkindnesses can feel like they’re eternal and inescapable. But of course that’s not true. Please come back here as often as you like to remind yourself of that.

      Shine bright! Love,

      Holiday Mom Tammy

      • Angel says:

        Dear Holiday Mom (and Family),

        To tell you about my favorite type of music, I really love metal. Black metal, nu metal, thrash metal, it does not matter to me. Thrash is my favorite though. I listen to a lot of rock too. Lots of alternative stuff. I’m really not one for rap or pop. But I dress like a normal person would, they just think it’s off because of my Slipknot shirts (that I bought and paid for). They think I do all the thing I typical metalhead would do. You know, like, do drugs, commit acts of violence, get in loads of trouble. They blame my music when I get depressed, when in reality, it really helps me forget about the lead blanket on my shoulders. I don’t know what’s more painful, not being accepted by own family, or carrying around that blanket with matching slippers.

        Your last reply really helped me by the way. And tell the girls that I love them. The same to dad.

        – Angel.

  6. JJ says:

    Dear Holiday Family,

    Hello! Christmas is such a beautiful time of year, I can’t wait to see the lights and our breath as it freezes midway out of our mouths. I have never particularly enjoyed Christmas dinner and such, to many people asking if I got a boy friend and useing the wrong pronouns because, they don’t know I am genderfuild.

    I am not really sure what Colorado is like, I have never been and I really want to see the snow there cause I never have seen snow before.

    In terms of Christmas music, I can not stand White Christmas, because like I said,I have never seen snow. I do love all of the songs from nightmare before Christmas, as that is my favorite movie and I ador Tim Burton.

    My family is like yours as well, when I broke my arm two years back I said God damit and got grounded for a month, when I rooted for a gay man on a TV show I got a lecture on how sinful he is and that we should pray for him, my mom saw me kiss a girl on the cheek, I got slapped, grounded, starved and told never to do it again. The priest of my town then came around and ‘relived me of my sins’ some times religion sucks.

    Tell my holiday sister thanks for the extra sprinkels cause I have a bit of a sweet tooth and that she better hid some cookies or I will eat them all!

    With thanks and love,
    JJ your holiday son

    • Tammy says:

      JJ! Merry Christmas!

      Honey, it breaks my heart that you were so mistreated. I sincerely hope you have gotten out of that abusive situation. Nobody deserves that. If not, please consider telling someone in person that you’re being abused. I’m awfully far away.

      I remember missing snow so badly when I lived in Texas. We got about 3 flakes of snow a year there! White Christmas annoyed me then, too. We don’t get a ton in this valley but we can drive up into the mountains! Can you believe I still don’t know how to snowboard? I tried once and broke my tailbone on the bunny slope so I switched to skiing badly instead D: I’d love to drive up with you and flounder about together! Or who knows, maybe you’d pick it up right away 🙂

      We’ll save you some sprinkly cookies, dear 🙂


      Holiday Mom Tammy

  7. Ryann says:

    Hello Holiday Momma,

    My name’s Ryann and every single time I read one of these letters, I cry because of the love I feel in each one. It’s so wonderful to be welcomed and accepted somewhere. At home, secrets are everywhere and none of my family knows I’m genderqueer. It’s a huge burden, compounded by the fact that my faith and sexuality also aren’t exactly welcomed in my strict catholic house. There’s a sad amount of hate and lies in this house, and I’ll take any love I can get.

    As for holidays, I prefer my own quiet yuletide celebrations. I celebrate with my 14 candles and my pomegranate wine, as well as with my little puppy. My least favorite carol has got to be Rudolph. My dad ruined it a long time ago and the song became so hateful.

    Your words and thoughts are always so welcome, and the sentiment behind them is beautiful and cherished.


    Your holiday child

    • Tammy says:

      Ryann sweetie! Thanks for writing, hon.

      Oh my gosh. I am an emotional crier too. Your little sisters look at me like I’ve got two heads when I do that; they don’t yet understand the concept of crying for joy or relief. They pile on me for comfort, which is really kind. I hope you’ll imagine yourself under a pile of chubby sweet sisterhood as you read and sniffle!

      The only secrets I’ll ask you to keep are who’s getting what for Christmas (and don’t peek at your own gifts either! I secretly opened a racoon puzzle when I was four and let me tell you, it really sucks to fake surprise on Christmas morning).

      Your celebration sounds wonderful. I can see that you’ve taken the reverence and appreciation for ceremony from your Catholic upbringing, and made it into something sacred and happy for yourself. That’s a really great way to cope and I’m proud of you.

      Much love,

      Holiday Mom Tammy

  8. Doria says:

    Hello Holiday momma!
    It means so much for a little support from you! I’m bi but im still in the closet, I’ve told my other lgbqt friends that i am, but my family doesn’t seem the type to support me at all.. My friends would love this account since they do not get accepted by their families, i know this is a short comment but thank you so much Holiday Momma, I love you x.

    -Doira x

    • Holiday Ciocia says:

      Hi Doria,

      I’m sorry to hear your family and your friends’ families aren’t the most supportive, but I’m happy you are part of our little family here. We all love you as you are.

      Your Holiday Auntie

    • Tammy says:

      Hi Doira!!

      I understand where you’re coming from for sure. When you feel you can predict rejection from one group of people (in your case, your family) but acceptance from another (your LGBTQ friends), then sometimes it just makes sense to surround yourself with love and skip the drama for a while.

      Please direct your friends here! I’m so happy you dropped by! I’m a hugger, so….*hughughug*

      Holiday Mom Tammy

  9. Doria says:

    Hello Holiday momma!
    It means so much for a little support from you! I’m bi but im still in the closet, I’ve told my other lgbqt friends that i am, but my family doesn’t seem the type to support me at all.. My friends would love this account since they do not get accepted by their families, i know this is a short comment but thank you so much Holiday Momma, I love you x.

  10. Caolan says:

    Hi mumma Tammy!

    Reading these letters makes me really happy. I love little children, I wish I could meet my Holiday Sisters! I haven’t really owned snowboots in several years, but I do ride horses when I can, and I have a nice hefty pair of western boots. They rub on my heel, but with the right socks they don’t bother me so much. My feet stopped growing a long time ago, about in seventh or eighth grade, so I don’t worry about finding new shoes. If anything, over the past couple months I’ve shrunk. I’m not on a diet, unless you consider “starving college student” a diet. I’m trying to learn that people can be kind, but it’s hard. I still cry whenever someone does something nice for me. I just don’t feel like I deserve kindness all the time.

    I love solstice celebrations. I’m a spiritualist, but some Pagan practices make me feel whole, so I participate in them with my boyfriend and his largely Pagan and Unitarian Universalist family. I like candlelight services and ceremony, but I also read Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, as is tradition, and if I can, I bake Christmas scones. My least favorite Christmas song is definitely “Baby it’s Cold Outside.” It just gives me the heebie-jeebies.

    I worry I don’t belong back in my family home. I grew my wings to leave the nest about three years before I was ever able to leave it, and as such, there’s a lot of resentment in that household to me. While they think I hold resentment towards them, and they say they love me, they’ve shown me nothing but hatred the entire time I’ve been gone. Unfortunately passive-aggressive social media stabs are all too easy these days. I don’t resent them. I love them, but I fear them and what they might do to control me.

    But I don’t fear that with you. I can sense the care and the love and the acceptance of whatever I do, and that’s something I need. Thanks mumma Tammy. I love you.

    Your Holiday Child
    Caolan (it’s Gaelic, so it’s pronounced kay-oh-luhn)

    • Tammy says:

      Coalan! Thank you for writing! I didn’t expect to get such wonderful letters in return 😀

      Thanks for telling me how to pronounce your name. Naming oneself is so important, especially when you’re trans. Gaelic, eh? I noticed you say mumma instead of momma, and I’m wondering where you live. I have some Irish blood in me, as you can probably guess by my pale skin and freckles, but blood’s as far as it goes. I don’t know a word of Gaelic!

      Your comment about not feeling you deserve kindness socked me in the gut a little. I struggle with the same feeling. I end up putting a lot of pressure on myself to be “productive,” which backfires because I work best slowly. My husband and friends have to take me by the shoulders and tell me, “Calm down. You’re doing great. It’s okay to relax and be happy.”

      I don’t know how that feeling manifests itself for you, but I want to pass on that kindness and take you by the shoulders to say, “Be calm, be happy. You’re doing great.” I’d have to reach up a little to do that though–you’re two inches taller than I am! I’m pretty proud of my little biceps but I’m sure you’d trounce me in a friendly gym competition 😛

      Speaking of which, I’m so proud of you for finding ways to be proud of your body and happy in it until you have the chance to take hormones.

      Sometimes reinventing oneself, or being your best self, is hard in a home where you don’t belong. I got very sick a few years ago, and had to quit college and a promising internship to move back in with my mother and recover. She took tender care of me, even though she didn’t approve of my dating decisions. Family is so complicated, isn’t it? I’m happy to have moved out now and to be making a home for you. Now, you’ll have to excuse me, because your youngest sister appears to be practicing free throws with chicken nuggets while eating her ketchup as an entree.

      I love you.

      Holiday Mom Tammy

      • Tammy says:

        Oh no! I’m sorry, Caolan and Marshall. I combined both your letters in my head, since I read them one after another. Please forgive me.

        Caolan, I lived on that lovely starving college student diet for a while, too. I’m wishing you lots of fruits and veggies and protein in the near future! If you were here, you’d be eating chicken with white wine sauce on pasta, with spinach. And you would have to eat the spinach whether you like it or not, so suck it up, buttercup ;P

        That last paragraph about it being hard to be one’s best self in a home you’ve outgrown was for you, my love.


        Holiday Mom Tammy

        PS Omg I hate “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” My friends and I call it The Date Rape Song. I much prefer your musical selections!

        • Caolan says:

          Just saw this, and looking at Marshall, I’m actually three inches taller than you! I managed to find some cream cheese in the back of my fridge, which I ate on some chips, and it actually tasted really good! I love spinach, especially with a little dressing, and I’d eat it all up because I’m just so hungry all the time these days! Especially for fruits and veggies. I miss fruit and veggies.


          • Tammy says:

            Mmm, cream cheese and chips is delish. I’m glad you found something good to eat!

            I don’t know if visiting a food bank is an option for you, but I hope it is. I’m worried about you and you’ve got to nourish yourself to do well in college! I’ve experienced malnutrition and it’s no joke.

            With love,

            Holiday Mom Tammy

            PS Thanks for understanding my mistake, hon.

      • Caolan says:

        Dear mumma Tammy:

        I live in America, but I have a very strong, multicultural heritage, including Scottish, French, Irish, and British roots, as well as some Dutch, but I embrace the Celtic in me. I’m fluent in French, and I’m learning Gaelic. I’ve always been a big fan of fantasy stories. To my ears, Gaelic has always had this magical sound to my ears, and I named myself Caolan because it sounded like some manner of elven name. It means “shining light” or “slender and fair.” I’ve also seen people say it means “young boy.” It’s a gender neutral name; I picked it because I’m genderfluid, and I like it. It’s a name that respects my little bit of magic in me. 🙂 I guess I started using the name “mum” for mothers because it suits my dialect a little better, and I use “mumma” when I really want to sound like I love them. So you’re my mumma Tammy now. <3

        I love you,

        • Tammy says:

          I agree, Gaelic sounds like magic. I love languages, and I hope to eventually speak both French and Gaelic, but it’s hard when there’s no one to practice with. How do you overcome that? For now, I speak a little Spanish along with my English.

          Which fantasy stories are your favorites? I’m looking for extra inspiration right now, since I’m usually a poet but I’ve been working on some fantasy fiction. It’s new territory and I have NO idea what I’m doing. I’m sure I’ll rewrite it at least ten times before I’m done!



          • Caolan says:

            Well, I started learning French in high school, and I found a website to learn Gaelic this year. I also was raised in an environment where we spoke a lot of casual French, so that helps a little. I’m told Duolingo, the app or online website, helps a lot. Gaelic and French are really pretty similar in pronunciations and some cognates, so it wasn’t too hard to pick it up.

            As for fantasy stories, I was started early with Narnia, Harry Potter, and Magic Treehouse. Of course, those aren’t really my favorites anymore, but I do love Game of Thrones and the Bartimaeus Trilogy quite a lot. I also respect video games as a viable storytelling medium, so I love games like Skyrim, Dragon Age, and more recently Undertale. I’ve always loved Legend of Zelda, too. That was one of my first games. I’m also a writer — I’m writing a series I hope to publish one day, called “The Clairvoyance Project.” It might wind up one book, or three with some companion stories, I’m not sure yet. I think my biggest inspiration all the time is dreams. People dream a lot in fragments, with images they can’t quite pinpoint, and words and such. I keep a sketchbook where I doodle the images I have in my dreams and they go into my stories. I even have a deity in my story called the Oracle, who represents my sleeping self. It helps me to put every fantasy story I write into the same world, so I know what’s going on with the politics of the different nations.

            And believe me, I’ve already written and rewritten parts one and two (called the Professor and the Crow, respectively) and I’ll probably write them several more times too!

        • Tammy says:

          Caolan, I’m replying here because it won’t let me reply anymore at the end of the thread. I can’t stop thinking about what you said about dreams, about assembling the fragments into one coherent universe. I have the most wonderful, strange dreams, and I never know what to DO with them! Your strategy is a really good one.

          I sincerely hope I can read your books when they come out. I’m excited about them already and so proud of you for all the thought and work and revision you’ve put in!


          Holiday Mom Tammy

  11. Marshall says:

    Hi mom Tammy!
    I’m your holiday son, Marshall. Thank you for welcoming me into your home. I’ve grown quite a bit, due to my basketball class for my gym credit and cross country as well as track. My biceps are massive compared to what they used to be, and my pecs are still sore from all the pushups I’ve done. Since I am unable to take testosterone and transition in my current state, this is probably the closest I will ever get to transitioning. II’ve also grown emotionally as well as mentally. My bed no longer fits me very well, at 5′ 3″ my feet tend to hang over the footboard. I’d be glad to walk around the nieghborhood with my sisters. Also, I’m bringing my own legos, complete with all my sets. I don’t use them anymore, so my sisters can have them. I can teach them how to build a tower with multiple floors. I’ll talk with you and Corey happily, telling you all about my adventures (including sneaking into the local middle school to use the bathroom during a run), I’ll tell you about what worries me and let you go all mother on me. I’ll play with my little sisters, teach them some new games and such. Thank you so much for welcoming me into your warm and cozy home.
    Your holiday son,

    • Tammy says:

      Marshall! Thanks for writing home for the holidays!

      As you may have seen, I put my foot in my mouth and combined my letters to you and Caolan. I do that a lot. I’m really good at saying the wrong thing, maybe even better than you are at basketball! Btw, that bit about being proud of you for finding ways to be proud of your body and happy in it until you have the chance to take hormones–all for you, son.

      I would really, really love to hear about your adventures, and maybe get a little advice on how you motivate yourself toward the end of your runs. I have trouble with that, sometimes!

      Thank you very much for the Legos. Your five-year-old sister would be especially interested in learning how to build multi-level structures. She’s always getting frustrated that her stairs are unstable. I’m sure you could show her some pointers!

      With much love and hugging,

      Your shorter-than-you momma,


      • Marshall says:

        Hi mom!
        Your reply made my day. I’m really not that good at basketball, but I’m pretty good at free throws once I get into a rhythm . Running is more my thing. As for finishing runs, well, being a high schooler who is always eating, food is my main motivation. Also, music.
        And for my 5 year old sister, it may take more Legos, but be sure to double brick it, meaning supporting all the bricks from the back. Thank you so much for helping me be proud of my body.
        Hope to keep in touch,

        • Tammy says:

          Oh man. My ipod’s a relic from your childhood and it won’t even charge anymore 😛 I’ve gotten out of the habit of listening to music while I run. Guess I’ll start again.

          Thanks for writing back, honey!

          Holiday Mom Tammy

          PS I’ll suggest double-bricking!

          • Marshall says:

            Hi holiday mom,
            My coach is a little crazy (he’s one of those people who you can never tell if he’s joking) and I recently found out that we really aren’t allowed to music while we run. Probably for the better though, I once ran a 3 mile tempo run race pace because I was running to the best of the music.
            I realized I haven’t told you the origin of my name, which is kinda interesting and has made it’s way into a few of my poems. I chose Marshall because my parents had considered the name before I was born, and it would have been my birth name if I had been born in a boys body. But now, here I am, a boy. So I chose Marshall, also after the islands in which my grandfather fought during WW2.
            Much love,

          • Tammy says:


            That’s so cool! You found a way to incorporate your family’s history into the man you’re growing into 🙂 Thanks for telling me about it!


            Holiday Mom Tammy

  12. Annabelle says:

    Thank you for welcoming me into your home for the holidays. Please give the little ones hugs and kisses for me. I’m bi to but still in the closest. I would love to play with the Legos with the girls

    Your new holiday daughter

    • Tammy says:


      What a pretty name! I had a beautiful doll named Annabelle when I was a little girl. My grandmother made it for me 🙂 I bet you’re even more lovely, inside and out!

      I’m so happy to have you as my new daughter, and imagine the wonderful things you’d build with your little sisters. Love to you!

      Holiday Mom Tammy

  13. Joanne says:

    Good afternoon Tammy and little ones!

    I have only just learned of this site, so thought I would come over to take a look. To read your letter, wow!

    We in the UK are getting ready for the celebration season too. It’s getting colder, but still no snow. This is the first year I have questioned my sexuality, and I feel rather lonely at the one time of year that is supposed to be about togetherness. It came at me from nowhere, and I’ve spent the last few months musing on the idea and seeing if I identify with the label. Referring to myself as it in my head, seeing if it feels right. I feel a little bit like I imagine my peers did at fourteen or fifteen, first noticing they were attracted to people. I never really understood that. Now I’m 26, and realising the same, that there are people I am attracted to. Part of me worries that if I ‘come out’, my friends etc will suddenly be looking back at that, or at things I’ve worn in the past and think ‘oh yes, that makes sense’. How the hell can it make sense to them, when it doesn’t make sense to me? Its not as though I’ve felt like this all my life and I’ve been hiding it, its all new to me. Who gave them the right to judge?

    Despite this, I’m still looking forward to celebrating the season. The decorations are up. Quiet evenings in a cosy home. I am really rather fortunate. I hope you and yours are looking forward to the season too!

    • Tammy says:


      Merry Christmas from across the Atlantic! Our snow has mostly melted (read: the snowman’s head has fallen off, hahaha) so you’re not really missing anything at the moment.

      I’m really glad you’re able to take your time and feel out your identity. There are so many subtle variations when it comes to sexuality. Sometimes when you don’t know the right thing to call it, it’s hard to enunciate even to yourself.

      I was actually outwardly anti-homosexuality until close to the time I came out in my early 20s. The taboo was ingrained so, so deep, Joanne. But you know what? Most of my friends just kind of shrugged and hugged me. They didn’t care. They were glad I was happy and feeling more like myself, but had liked me all along, regardless of what labels I used. I’m certain however your friends react, you’ll end up with a great group of people who like you as you are–however that is!

      I’m glad you’re here, and that you’re comfortable for the holidays. Love,

      Holiday Mom Tammy

  14. Avery says:

    Hi Mom,

    Thank you for your kind words. I find this really relevant to me right now, at this point in my life. I’m 19 and still live at home while I attend community college, but starting next year I’ll be making a big step and moving out to go to university. Even though my new school will only be two hours away, I’m scared. It’s something completely new and honestly I’m not sure I’m ready for it yet.

    I was really touched by your coming out story. It’s similar to how my parents are. While they both still love me, I know they’ll never except that I’m trans. I’ll always be a girl to them, and it tears me up inside. While I still consider myself a Christian, I’ve begun to move away from the church. It’s just hard to surround myself with people who I know don’t accept me, both for being trans and gay.

    The holidays tend to be a bad time for me, since this time two years ago I was dealing with both depression and realizing my gender identity. But it really helps to know there are people like you who are willing to invite me in with open arms, and make me feel like I’m not so alone.

    Thank you for being here for me. Give my best to the rest of the family 🙂


    • Tammy says:


      You’re so welcome! I remember going off to university–I had culture shock, no kidding. I’d had a summer living away from home and being a camp counselor before I went, but the camp was only a few hours from home and university was thousands of miles away. It feels scary. But you know what? You’re awesome and you can totally do this.

      You know what else? You’re going to BLOOM. And it’s going to be awe-inspiring. Thanks so much for letting me be a part of your life, son.

      You’ll be in my thoughts as you remember hard times and look forward to new developments. It’s hard to live in the in-between spaces, in between past and future, between finishing one thing and starting the next, between childhood and adulthood, between female and male. But remember there’s a reason the great figurative sculptors so often make their statues in contrapposto–in that stance poised between stillness and movement. It’s a beautiful moment and you’re beautiful too.


      Holiday Mom Tammy

  15. Lara says:

    Hey Mom,

    I really loved this. I felt so happy.
    I don’t come from a loving home, I am not accepted.

    Thanks for making me feel welcome. I prefer to celebrate Christmas!! Especially with the tree.
    Also I hate ‘Most wonderful time of year’ haha. But my favourite is Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’.

    Thanks for sharing your coming out story. Coming out is never easy. I know that too well. Also, the whole ‘girl next door’ crushes are adorable.

    Your house sounds lovely!! Thanks for making me feel more belonging, in a place where I am not.

    Thanks Tammy, Corey and the little ones, all my biggest hugs from New Zealand,
    Lara 🙂

    • Tammy says:

      Hey Lara!

      I’m so glad you wrote me. As with most of us moms, I wish I could just reach out and fix all your problems for you. I’m so sorry to hear your home isn’t loving. You deserve much more than that. *hughughug*

      You know, I love both of those songs, but I promise I’ll hit ‘next’ when Most Wonderful Time comes on. I get a little overenthusiastic this time of year, and play Christmas music at high volume until Corey rolls his eyes at me, ha!

      Each time I look at our Christmas tree, I’ll think of you. If you were here, you would have helped your sister decorate it!

      Take care, dear.


      Holiday Mom Tammy

  16. Nick says:

    Thanks, Holiday Mom

    I’m feeling a little lost this year as I struggle to fit into another new town. My family is like your mom… my dad is a pastor, and I get prayed for a lot. It can feel like a weapon, yet from others, the words “I’ll pray for you ” are soothing. It’s nice to know you and Corey are the second type.

    Thanks for having me for Christmas!! I love sprinkles, so cookies with too many sprinkles sounds right up my alley. 🙂 Tell my holiday sister I said thanks for helping make them extra yummy. My favorite Christmas carol… hmmm… do I have to pick just one?? I’m one of those people who will randomly play Christmas music at any time of the year, and Christmas movies are always good. My favorite movies are A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart and the claymation Here Comes Santa Clause…I think that’s it’s name, anyway. I can see the cover, but can’t remember the name. Sadly, I had to give those up to keep the lights on. However, I have a job again, so things are looking up!! Maybe next year I’ll have new copies and can enjoy them with you guys. Gotta keep the kids in claymation and horrible 70’s art!! lol

    Thanks again for letting me spend Christmas with you,


    • Tammy says:

      Nick! Merry Christmas!

      I’ve lived in Massachusetts, Texas, Tennessee, and Colorado, and I know that feeling of being new. Maybe you even feel self-conscious when you walk around town, like everyone can tell you “don’t belong.” But I’m confident you can make a place for yourself. I believe in you.

      And yes, our prayers are just encouragement to be your best self and hopes that kindness and opportunity follow you wherever you go. I hope the thought soothes you this evening, or whenever you read this!

      In answer to your question — no, you definitely don’t have to pick just one Christmas carol. I can’t pick just one. I just asked to get you talking, because I love to hear what you have to say. I don’t play Christmas music all year, but it’s the weirdest thing — every year in July, at half-Christmas (is that a thing?), I suddenly find myself belting out “White Christmas” or some such song in the shower or the car 😛 Never fails.

      Congratulations on your new job! I’m sure you’ll work really hard and learn a lot. I wish I could be there to see the smile on your face the first time you’re able to buy something frivolous again. It’s hard to practice the self-control that you must when you’re broke. But I’m glad you made responsible choices and kept the power on. I’m proud of you.

      Thanks for spending Christmas with us!


      Holiday Mom Tammy

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