Holiday Mom 2016 Starts With Love From Shamama!

To listen to this letter, click HERE.

m20161123Dear Holiday Child,

Oh, what a year. Not one of our best in the United States, if you ask me. But here we are, in our fifth year of letter writing over the holidays. Moms from all over have once again stepped up to make sure you know that you are loved and so very accepted just the way you are.

We moms here – we are of a feisty nature. Already we are taking stands for you out in the world. As the mom of a transgender child myself (he’s now an adult), I’m going to worry about him and all of you until we once again get back to progress for all our LGBTQ family members.

Here is what I know about the holidays, at least for me: They are supposed to be one thing, they are “sold” to us as so wonderful, but if you feel you are in the wrong place, you can ache inside through every Christmas Carol and dysfunctional family gathering.  That is why we created this space here for you. Walk into our virtual living rooms, pull up a chair to our virtual dinner tables, and be with us.

In my case, right now, I invite you to sit beside me on my virtual office couch – the green two-seater you see here – and listen to this tale of love I would give to you if you were right here and my very own:

My Holiday Child – I wanted you from before you were born. I wanted you to be on this earth with me. Truly, I did.

I had dreams for you from the moment I knew you were coming into existence – every bone, every feature, every personality trait, every aspect of you was precious to me. Yes, that includes your TRUE sexual and gender identity.  That was just going to be part of you and it was as beautiful as everything else!

I was curious about you, excited for you, and could not wait to see you! I wanted you just as you are, too – because while you would not be perfect, you would be perfectly you.

Please feel this is true: I wanted you to exist even before you did. I wanted you to grow and give yourself to our world, and allow this world to give back to you. I wanted there to be a place for you everywhere you went, and I started working on making that space as best I know how.

Like any good mother, I worry about you. Not that you can’t take care of yourself – I know you can. But the world isn’t what it ought to be, and so I admit, I sometimes become afraid for you (let’s face it – for all of us). But I know we are more than this fear. We can love, and that is no small thing.

I have faith in you. You were born for a reason. It may seem random that you are here at this time, but don’t believe that for a minute. Not a second! While I don’t blame you for sometimes feeling that way, staying in that place won’t get you where you want to go. You can hold on to my faith on this when you don’t have any of your own, because I know you being you is exactly right. For you, for me, for the world.

You’re a brave soul to come as you are to this world as it is. I just want you to know I SEE that. I FEEL that. I SEE and FEEL you, even if I’ve never met you in person. My soul can feel you out there. See if your soul can feel me out here, too.

Anyway, I’m getting long-winded here. So I’ll close by offering you some virtual cookies because they are the only kind I know how to make!

Good talking to you, as always. Love, Shamama

PS: Don’t tell, but I got your brother a set of dishtowels for his new apartment that say “God Save The Queens” on them for under the tree. I thought you’d get a kick out of knowing before he does!

PPS: Come back here to every day all season – we are here daily through New Years Day, 2017! Lots of moms will be sending love your way.


  1. Richie says:

    Thank You Mom,
    As I’m writing this, it’s New Years Day and I am crying in my room because I didn’t even realize how much I needed to hear this. This is my first year, first day knowing about this site, and I am so glad I found it. I came out as a trans man to my own mother in mid october, and she was not happy to say the least. She has never liked or understood transgender people, but I did not expect her reaction to be so terrifying. She didn’t use any slurs, thank god, but she did tell me that she will never, ever accept me. Hearing you say that you love me for who I am, that you did before I was even born, struck a real cord with me, because I am not used to that kind of acceptance from an adult. Thank you so much for being such a wonderful person. I am so grateful to have been able to hear your message. I love you mom.

    • Your Holiday Ciocia says:

      Hi Richie,

      We all love you too, just as you are. Happy New Year, I hope this one is better for you.

  2. Marissa says:

    Hi Mom,

    You have absolutely no idea how badly I needed to hear this today. This is my first Christmas which I have been out as gay. My father was always very abusive and my mother has virtually shunned me for, well, for being myself. She condemns everything about me. Thus, this holiday season has been incredibly difficult for me. I have felt alone, and have even begun questioning if there is really something wrong with me. It has been a long and exhausting week. Whatever holiday obligations I did attend, I was aching on the inside knowing that none of them, especially not my mother accept who I am. I try to be as gentle and loving as possible. All I wanted was a home that reciprocated that love and affection. Your words touched me more than you will ever know. I truly feel loved, even if we have not met. I feel as if I know you, and that I do truly have a home this holiday. I was directed to this page by another lgbt student at my university, and take heart that we both found great solace in your words. Thank you from the bottom of my heart from your kindness and your love…it means more to me than you know. All the best and I wish you a merry and restful holiday. Thank you.
    Peace and Love

    • Shamama says:

      I am sending you so much LOVE dear Marissa, and your friend as well. While I am so sad you are feeling alone in your family, you have a place with us here. YOU are the reason this letter writing exists. I’m so glad you can feel us here, we feel you. Hugs, Shamama

  3. Elissa says:

    Mama I’m really sad this holiday season. My dad was a pastor in the Lutheran church, and he died about 5 years ago from cancer. I recently came out as lesbian to my close friends, and I feel like my dad would be so disappointed in me. I know he would still care for and love me, but I think he wouldn’t be happy. My mom abandoned me last summer to move, so I live with my grandparents. While they’re wonderful, they are serious Lutherans as well. I can’t tell them either. I feel very miserable and sad. I just want a family. Even more, an accepting family. I love this project… I wish I could get a handwritten letter or talk to one of the moms myself, but I realize there are a lot of us LGBT+ youth out there. It’s sadly not probable 🙁 But thank you

    • Shamama says:

      Hello Elissa… I’m so sorry that you have to both miss your dad and feel he would not be happy with you. That is soo hard! I know this platform is only virtual, but the energy behind it is pure love, and I hope you can pick up on that. LOVE you so much dear one!!! Shamama

    • Marissa says:

      Hi Elissa
      I am so sorry to hear what you are dealing with. You are so strong and courageous. Know that you are not alone. I recently came out as a lesbian to my mother and family. They were incredibly cruel and terrible. It was hard to reconcile what they were saying with my own spirituality. I feel incredibly unloved and hated…but I also know that is not true. We are not accidents, we are deliberate and so loved. I am always here for you as well. You are so strong and bask in the love of these moms. They are my moms this holiday, and I could not feel more loved. Feel that love and know you are so worth it. Love and peace and strength

  4. Rebecca says:

    Thank you so much for this message and this project. Thankfully I have a loving, mostly supportive family but that doesn’t mean I don’t see transphobia in my life every day. The other day a woman who runs an online support group I was a part of, bullied me out of the group for SUGGESTING that we try to be gender-inclusive and not use cissexist language. I have been distraught since that incident 3 days ago. She told me that this world will never accept people like me and to stop being so “selfish.”

    So thank you, thank you so much for this, I needed to read this. I need to know that there is hope, that there are people, adults, parents out there who ARE accepting of us, who will love us unconditionally, and who will fight to make this world safer for us. I love you Shamama, and all the other holiday moms.

    • Shamama says:

      Dear Rebecca, I am so sorry for that experience. Some are just not ready for the reality of our world. And it IS a reality emerging before our eyes – gender inclusivity I mean! We moms send our love to you across the miles!!! Shamama

  5. Holly says:

    Hi Im Holly I stumbled across this site on accident but so glad I did enjoyed your letter so much. I’m a transgender woman 41 been out to everyone for three years now but my family still has problems with it. Which leaves me out of the holidays which has become a very depressing time for me. my ex wife has turned my kids against me for being true to myself and finding a happiness in myself finally. So while my family enjoys the holidays I’m left to sit in my house all alone Listening to your letter gave me a sense of calming and a soothing feeling so thank you. Caring people like yourself mean so much to someone like me who feel like we’re all alone in this world.

    • Shamama says:

      Dear Holly, I’m sending you big hugs from across the miles – I can’t imagine how hard it is to be alone like this but just know we moms are here… truly, we are sending so much love!!! Shamama

  6. Brittany says:

    I just discovered this site last night and I’m going to share it to everyone I know that needs it. I have, what I believe to be, a somewhat unique situation. In their words my parents are accepting of me being bisexual but in their actions it’s not that way. I have been in same sex relationships before but until a little over a year ago my family didn’t know my sexuality and I was with a boy when I came out. I have been with my girlfriend for nearly 2 months now and I felt nervous saying anything because I knew their reaction would show how they really felt and not just what they say they feel about it. Without explicitly saying so, my mom doesn’t want to talk about it. When I first told her I had a girlfriend, she said “oh?” and when I tried to talk about her at all Mom didn’t reply at all. I try to talk about things my gf and I do like I would have with a bf but all the conversations are always cut short. The holidays have started and Mariah isn’t being invited like they have in the past years for boyfriends. He’ll last year on Christmas, he wasn’t even my bf when my dad and stepmother practically demanded I bring him. The holidays have just begun but I know it’s going to be a more difficult year than in the past. Thank you for the time spent writing and recording your letter. It made me tear up.

    • Shamama says:

      Sending BIG hugs and hopes that your parents see the TRUE YOU in time… I know it’s hard now, and I’m sorry for that. So glad you found us! HUGS from Shamama!

  7. Gabby says:

    Dear Mom,
    I’ve been waiting all year for this!!! I discovered this amazing site last year and I’m so happy it’s back. This one brought me to tears. It means so much to me to hear this as I’ve never heard anything like it from my biological mom. Thank you so much!
    Love, your holiday daughter, Gabby

    • Shamama says:

      Hello Gabby! Your bio mom doesn’t know what she is missing! YOU… but I can feel you and we are here for you… So glad to have you back! Hugs, Shamama

  8. Ann says:

    Living on a extreme Catholic family and being who I am it is extremely hard, my mom had always been the only one that loved me really and that accepted me the way I am.
    She recently passed away and now I feel so alone in this house, in this world, like I have no purpose even.
    But your letter put a smile to my face, it was like she was talking to me through you so I thank you, I thank you so much. And I love you, I love you so much… dear mom.

    • Shamama says:

      Oh Ann, that is just what I had hoped – to put a smile on your face! I am so glad your mom could speak through me – I can feel that is true in some amazing way. Dear Dear child, you are love, and you will find your way! The world is making itself ready for you even now. And you are here to contribute! I just know it… Love to you, Shamama on behalf of mom…

  9. Paula says:

    Hi shamana, i have to reeeeally thank you for this letter. It made me cry, a lot. I should cpnssider myself a lucky person, really, ‘cuz every person i ever told (including friends from college and most of my family) axcepted me, trully accepted me. It was hard for my mom, but after time it was all right. But when you, shamama, wrote about i do ‘t have to think i’m randomly here at this time well… That touched me. Because of my sexual orientarion (lesbian) and bc of am abuse i sufferd when i was 12, i’ve been struggling with suicide thoughs since 7 yeaes ago. Forgive me for any mistake in this letter, i’m from argentina but i try my hardest to learn english so i can read you all and, finally, after 3 years, write you. Thank you for the words, and i will accept your cookies

    • Shamama says:

      Thank you dear Paula, for writing, for being you, for being HERE at this time… I am so sorry for your abuse. I hope you stay here and help our world become more beautiful, like you! I truly do. Big hugs, Shamama

  10. Catherine says:

    Hey mom,

    Earlier today I was getting extremely down because the holidays and I do not get along very well and was hoping you guys would start putting these letters up and lo and behold you did! I am very grateful for you all <3 I've been following these letters for the 3rd year now and they never fail to make me happy.

    A little about me; I'm a sixteen year old DFAB nonbinary person (that isn't out to their mother yet), who is grey-asexual and panromantic. I have a DFAB agender boyfriend/datemate who my mother refuses to acknowledge as such (she called him "that person") and knowing that you guys are here for us really makes my heart swell.

    I must admit that you had me in tears after only three lines and I am sending you loads of virtual hugs! <3

    love always,

    • Shamama says:

      Hi Catherine! I’m so glad you are back and so VERY glad that you can say JUST who you are to us, and we love you and your datemate (I had not heard that term, love it)! We are here for you all season… stop on by any time! Love, Shamama

  11. Adrian says:

    Hi holiday mom,

    This letter made me very happy. I always love reading all of your letters. My parents somewhat accept me as a trans man but are still struggling a bit and you always say the things I wish my own mother would say and that really means a lot to me!

    • Shamama says:

      LOVE to you dear Adrian! Just imagine me giving you a big mom hug and saying all the things you want to hear! With so much warmth, Shamama

  12. chriss says:

    hey, mom

    thank you so much for this letter. what a peaceful way to kick off the (ever-stressful) holiday season! this year has been more stressful for me (as a closeted polyamorous/polyromantic lesbian still living in her parents’ very closed-minded home) than years prior. aside from all the pain i’ve felt for my siblings in the community, it’s just been… difficult. i’m starting to question myself, which sucks a lot because deep down i KNOW i deserve to be loved but it’s hard to really feel that. my environment is very religious and VERY conservative. the friends i have who know about and accept the real me are few and far between. i won’t go into gory details but in short it’s preeeeetty bad.
    but thats beside the point, because im so excited for this next few weeks of virtual love! already my spirits have been lifted, if only slightly. i started subscribing to these letters last year so i know for a fact what power they have, and that’s something that truly brings me joy. so yes, mom, i’d love to sit on your couch and eat your cookies. i will gladly take all of the acceptance you can give. i’m so, so grateful.
    hoping you have a lovely holiday,

    • Shamama says:

      Hi Chriss… I am soooo sorry for how hard it is. This world is not ready for you, but we are! When you said you know DEEP DOWN you deserve to be loved – well, that is where the truth lives, deep down in us! So tap into that often. It’s real and it’s YOU. I’m so glad you are here with us this year again. Love coming your way every day! Hugs, Shamama

  13. Cassidy says:

    Holiday Mom –
    Thanks for writing! I’m so excited to be spending the day with you and the holidays with so many other compassionate people. Your love means the world to me.
    My extended family is driving here from the east coast today and will arrive any minute, and tons of homophobia has been going around, along with racist jokes and the like. After my cousin got married to another man, instead of things getting better, it seems like they’ve gotten worse. I can pretend to be not bothered by what they say for a few days until they leave again, but I’m apprehensive about the whole thing.
    After the election, I’ve been coming out to people as pan to prove a point almost recklessly, so I’m hoping I can bottle it up around my family if possible. Worse comes to worse, I know I have you.
    Happy holidays to you!
    ~Your holiday child, Cassidy

    • Your Holiday Ciocia says:

      Hi Cassidy,

      I’m sorry to hear things have been getting worse. I am proud of your courage for being able to come out to more people.

      You are always welcome and loved here.

  14. Chelsea Rae says:

    Hey mom,

    I know we haven’t spoken in a while, but thank you so much for the letter. I love receiving them and I love you.

    best holiday wishes and a Happy Thanksgiving

    Your Happy Little Girl, Chelsea Rae

    • Shamama says:

      Hi Chelsea – so glad to hear from you… so glad you are here happy little girl! Hugs! Shamama

  15. Celeste says:


    I admit I completely forgot about Your Holiday Mom until I saw your letter in my inbox this morning, and I couldn’t have gotten it at a better time.

    My LGBT identity isn’t the reason for my trouble with parents, though it is something my mother and I pretend I never mentioned seven years ago, and that means there’s a lot she doesn’t know about me.

    That said, last year, these letters provided me comfort at a time when my mother refused to speak to me, I was isolated from my partner and friends, and beginning to have a less than stellar relationship with my dad.

    This year, so much has changed. I have a safe, happy home and a job I love; I just adopted a kitten; I live with my partner of eight years and we are planning our wedding for perhaps next winter.

    This year, I reconciled with my mom as much as I ever could, and then cut my father out of my life for my own well-being. I think that relationships with either of my parents will just be complicated forever, but I’ve learned a lot about being myself and putting my needs higher on my priority list, even when it’s difficult to do so.

    I’m really lucky to be having all my closest friends joining me tonight and tomorrow, and so lucky that I am able to provide a safe LGBT space this Thanksgiving for some of them who would otherwise not have one. I’m thankful for the chance to reflect on all of this after reading your letter, and realize how far I’ve come.

    Christmas and Hanukkah will be hard this year, as we’ll be visiting our families who may not even have it in them to celebrate this year, and though I’m excited to see them, it will mean a week of hiding who I am again after becoming so accustomed to my new life here.

    I don’t know how I would have gotten through last winter without your website, and I am so comforted to see it back to help me through the highs and lows to come this winter.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you are doing, for all of us.

    • SImone says:

      Having participated in this most inspiring project, I am filled to the brim with gratitude for you and all of the people that this project touches. It is truly a labor of love. Bless you and keep living your authentic self.

    • Shamama says:

      WOW WOW WOW – that is such wonderful news! HUGS to you, the family and your kitten! xoxox Shamama

  16. Aiden says:

    hey mama! i completely forgot that i was still subscribed to this since i am in a much better place in my life now, but my family still isn’t like i’d like it to be. that’s why im looking forward to this again, to give me the strength to get through the holidays, even when my family is acting crazy again.
    i’m glad that this is still happening and that so many people are willing to participate and cheer someone else up.
    much love, aiden <3

    • Shamama says:

      Hey Aiden! Much better place – I love hearing that! A little more love this season will do us all good. So glad you are with us! Love, Shamama

  17. SImone says:

    Oh Robin, How do you do this every year? I do know how. The tears that this brings every year are always there. I love that you have such an enormous heart and spirit to offer all of us a piece. My love to you and all you do, as well as to all of your loved ones. <3

  18. Valerie says:

    Hello holiday mama,
    I’m so glad the holiday season started again, mainly because of these letters, I got so excited when I checked my email!

    I wanted to tell you that I got a lot more confident and that I’m not afraid of being who I am at school anymore and that I’m organizing a lgbt+ spirit day at school (purple friday, a day where everyone wears purple to show they’re accepting of all gender identities ans sexual orientations).

    I’m really looking forward to every day from now on, thank you so much 🙂

    • Shamama says:

      Hello Valerie! Wow, that is awesome – your confidence becomes you, I am sure! Thank you for your leadership – I’ll wear purple myself to celebrate virtually! xoxox, Shamama

  19. Katy says:

    I am so thankful that you’re going to be doing this again this year. This is the third year that I’ll have holiday mum’s to help me get through this time of the year, and I feel that this year I’ll need it more than ever. I can’t thank you enough.

    • Shamama says:

      Hi Katy! I can’t thank YOU enough for showing up and being a part with us. Sending BIG hugs to make your season truly bright! Love, Shamama

  20. James says:

    Hi Shamama!
    This is the second year I’ve found refuge in this website now, and although it may be agreed that I might be part of the newbies here, I also wanted you to know that when I got the notification that you posted something new, I nearly jumped out of my chair out of excitement and joy. What you are doing for people like me, like us, is so important, and the love I can feel through each letter give me hope and warms my heart, helping me get through every day. Thank you so much for all that you do, I don’t think the LGBT+ community could ever repay you enough.

    • Shamama says:

      That is so awesome about jumping out of your chair James! No repayment for love ever, but you are more than welcome to share the love forward – we need it now more than ever. HUGS to you, truly, Shamama

  21. Abigail says:

    Dear ma, I’m so happy to see this on the day I’m leaving to go spend Thanksgiving break with my dad’s bigoted awful family.. They have their suspicions about me and it’s so exhausting to have to constantly pretend life the disgusting way they talk about LGBT people is okay, and playing along is even worse. I’m scared they’re catching on to me and my girlfriend, and I don’t want to see anything happen to Us. I don’t know what he would do if he found out, he’s so volatile it scares me. I know one day when I’m in the military I won’t have to deal with this, but in the mean time I’m so worried. I’m glad to see your letter here so that I can read them during this time and try and not think about the people left and right of me. Thank you. I love you.

    • Shamama says:

      Ugh, awful family is awful! I feel for you. Think of me here, hugging you, saying it’s great for you to be just who you are… be wise, stay as safe as you can, and know this won’t be forever… Love to you, Shamama

  22. Daniel says:

    Dear Shamama,
    I’m so happy you all are doing this again, I was getting worried about how I was going to get through the seasons again. This is the same Daniel from last year, and I’m doing much better than last year, but I still have my ups and downs. I’m still at my job that makes me work on the holidays (starting tonight) and I just celebrated my one year work anniversary. I have a doctor who accepts me for who I am and is helping me become more comfortable with myself. I’m on a depression medicine now and I’ve been feeling much better. Also I’m a fresh 20 now!
    I’m so happy you all are here to help all of us through these difficult times and I will reply as many times as I can. Happy holidays! -Your little Daniel

    • Shamama says:

      Hi Daniel! So glad to have you back, and to hear that you are doing better! Really, that is awesome. I think we all have our ups and downs though. That is wonderful with the work, the doctor, and your reaching 20! So very glad you are here. Special hug sent your way! Love, Shamama

  23. Marshall says:

    I’ve been looking forward to these letters since Halloween. They make my day. A lot has happened over the year. I have become the youngest (and first trans) president of my school’s gay-straight alliance. I ran in my first varsity cross country championship race, and I got my hair cut short for the first time in my life, as well as coming out to my own biological family as trans. My sisters took it well, though they do get a little mad when I correct them on pronouns. My parents on the other hand, well, it didn’t go well. My mom got wasted and started saying things that I’d rather not repeat. Other than that, it’s been a pretty decent year for me!

    • Shamama says:

      Hi Marshall… so glad you have been looking forward – me too! I am so very proud of you for your leadership at school. And coming out, and all of it! It took me a long time to get the pronouns right every time – just old memory stuff. You are right to correct though, it helps if you do it with warmth and understanding. So sorry your parents did not go well – at least you do have us moms here and we accept you just as you are! Hugs to you, Shamama

  24. danielle says:

    Thank you Mom,
    I received your first letter of the Thanksgiving season. 🙂
    I love you.
    Thank you for being my virtual mom that I could say that to.
    I am so much older than so many others right now, and still so scared to ‘be me’… I haven’t told you this before, but I started sharing with my wife about my inner girl feelings, and there is some tolerance, in the context of maybe wearing some girly tops around her, but nothing else… she freaked about talk of such things as bras, dresses, heels, makeup.. I know she is scared of losing me, no matter how much I tell her that the danielle in me is a lesbian… but then of course, she is not supportive of any LGBT…. oh well…
    I wish that you lived closer to me, that I could get some of your real life mentoring in mannerisms, hair, makeup…. go shopping…
    anyway… I just wanted to say thank you, and I love you mom.

    • Shamama says:

      Danielle, I am so glad you can say you love me too! So much change going on, and it is hard for people, but please know we moms are here to love you as is, no matter what your age! Sending HUGS and virtual shopping dreams! xoxox Shamama

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