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For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Robin Rice   
Email:
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40 Moms. 40 Messages. 1 Happy LGBTQ Holiday
Moms sharing a virtual love for LGBTQ youth this holiday season.

Easton, MD – November 24, 2015: The holiday season can be stressful, especially for LGBTQ youth who are not comfortable in their own families. YourHolidayMom.com provides holiday-themed messages of encouragement to anyone who is not accepted by family members. The innovative online community offers written, audio, and video messages of encouragement. Within its first 40-day season in 2012, Your Holiday Mom had over 35,000 audio/video listeners, 700+ comments, and had forever changed lives for the better. Now in their forth year, additional moms are coming to the project.

The messages received through Your Holiday Mom are hitting home to LGBTQ youth. A receiver of a “Your Holiday Mom” letter wrote; “I wanted to thank you during the holiday season, but it’s taken me a month to be able to read any of your letters without tearing up so hard I can’t keep the screen anymore. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I don’t have the words for how much brighter you made my life while I waited to see if I would be invited to my own home for Christmas. I started reading a letter in the restroom and couldn’t leave until I stopped crying tears of joy at the overwhelming joy and comfort it brought me to think about all these wonderful people in the world, making room for others in their hearts and homes.”

A loving mother wrote; “I am so touched by the work you are doing. I am a mom, too. My daughter (who happens to be straight) is the absolute light of my life. I can hardly bear the thought of any child who feels disenfranchised, and does not know unconditional mother love.” Reader Viktor writes: “Oh. My. God. My heart. Thank you so much. You don’t know how much this means to me, and probably hundreds, if not more, LGBT kids out there… all my life I’ve wanted my mom to sit down with me and have a conversation with me telling me that it’s ok to be different. That different was better. That she still loved me the same no matter what.”

Founder Robin Rice of Be Who You Are Productions, Inc. knew there was a need. “Thirty years ago, I lost my little brother to suicide because he feared he was gay and simply could not live in a world that would not support him if this were true. Today, I still feel that hole in my heart, and so I do whatever I can to support LGBTQ youth,” says Rice. “I started by gifting Christmas Stockings to LGBTQ shelters as a way to say I care, and then last year, I put out an audio recording called Your Holiday Mom. I knew we needed something more than just one voice, so I asked more moms to open their hearts. Supportive moms from all walks of life are out there and this is a story most don’t hear.”

“We are just family members who care and have created a way to show it during the often emotionally difficult holiday season,” says Robin Rice. “Isn’t that what the season is supposed to be about—family, caring, and people coming together? We may have to do it in cyberspace, but we can still make a difference in someone’s life.”

The Your Holiday Mom letters will be posted US Thanksgiving through January 1, 2016. For more information about this heartwarming online project, please visit the website or watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKmf2hsY134

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33 comments

  1. Amy says:

    I found this website on Tumblr and Facebook and decided to look at it because its been a hard Christmas this year. I’ve grown up in a strictly Christian household. At the age of 12 (though looking back now it was obvious from a young age) I discovered I was a bisexual girl. My family had enough to worry about; my moms drug problem, my little brothers autism, ect. And when my gay cousin (my best friend in the world and the only family member who knows about my sexuality) came out his mother was very angry and had a violent reaction. So I decided to stay in the closet where I still remain years later. A few of my closest friends know but I wouldn’t dare tell my family, not yet anyway. I’ve grown more confident about who I am over the years, but this year isn’t the year. The death of my mother is the reason no one is really here for the holidays today. Since I’m alone in my room I looked at this website and quickly began to cry and feel better at the same time. I cried because there is a need for this website, that so many people are unwanted by their families on the holidays only because of their gender identity or sexuality. I was happy because some people care anyway. I read a lot of letters and listened to tons. So even though I’m spending this Christmas alone, at least I wont be sad. Thank you <3

  2. Luke says:

    Hi,
    My name is Luke. I’m 16 years old and I’m transgender (ftm). My family is Catholic so they’re not accepting of anything LGBT+. They say they are but I know it’s not true. I came out to them In June of this year and they were very dismissive of it and after that, they started emotionally abusing me. They tried to pretend it wasn’t real (me being trans) but I came out again in September and they almost kicked me out for it. Now that its Christmas, my super religious grandma is staying with us and the misgendering and verbal abuse is starting to take a toll on me. I wish I had a parent or sibling who would accept me and me me feel less lonely, especially during the holiday season. I heard about yourholidaymom and I thought it was great and it seems to help a lot of people so thank you all for being so accepting and willing to help out!
    Thanks again,
    Luke

    • Jayce says:

      Hey moms, It’s my birthday tomorrow and today I asked my mom not to put my birthname on my cake because I’m trans* and she’s made a big deal about it and said how I’m so annoying and aggravating just for asking her to just put “happy birthday” on the cake. I didn’t even ask her to put the Name I want! I wish you guys were my real moms. This is gonna be the worst birthday ever. She says she’s supportive but she isn’t , I asked her to consider changing my name in our school records. Immediate no. Everything I want she dismisses me. I want to be acknowledged as a boy not some tomboy. She doesn’t make me feel good about myself at all. I have a bipolar mother who doesn’t get me.

      • Matalin says:

        Dear Jayce,

        Happy (very late) birthday to you! I’m sorry that your mom made a big deal about you not wanting your name on the cake, but nonetheless, I hope you had a good birthday. I’m sorry this message is coming super late. I’m sorry that your mother doesn’t support you and though we aren’t your moms, we love you as if you were our own. Keep your head up, alright?

        Love Always, Mom Matti

  3. Caolan says:

    I found this site and didn’t even read a sentence before I started sobbing uncontrollably from all the love. I’m probably going to be homeless this Christmas and I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I know I have lots of moms to help. My mother, about six months ago, tossed me out of the house for a lot of reasons, but the fact I’m genderfluid just put the icing on the cake.

    I love you, every mum on here. You really make me so happy, I have always wanted a mom who didn’t treat me awfully. I’m a child of severe emotional abuse, and some neglect too, and I’ve often sat crying wishing for my mom to be nice to me. I finally found some moms that love me, after so many years, who aren’t lying about it. I… I can’t express how much this means to me.

  4. Nilse Seba says:

    I just discover this site today and I am delighted. ….I am a single mom by choice of 2 wonderful teens boys (12 & 15) and being raising them myself…..so regarding the big numerous family in my side, sadly we are just the 3 of us,……when I made my choices, I knew the hard future I will find emotionally, professionally and with family, but I was hoping my mother later than sooner will understand, after all being a mom myself, I only want the best for my own boys…..my kids finally told me is ok with them just to be the 3 of us, sadly…..because they deserve more……so, what you doing is priceless, knowing that there are people who care specially in the holidays……I enjoy the little I read so far, and and from my heart, I thank you……

  5. Hestelle says:

    I just saw this on facebook, and my heart melted!!
    thank you for this beautiful cause, I’m sure that this will change peoples lives in some way or another. Thank you for what you do and God bless you

  6. Hannah says:

    I love this website so much! I just found it today and I’ve been watching the videos and just want to thank you! Thank you so much, you guys make me so happy! I am so absolutely ecstatic that I can get holiday messages filled with love and support and it means the world to me! Thank you so much

    • Shamama says:

      You are so very welcome Hannah! We are glad you are here so that we can love you back! xoxox, Shamama

  7. Marta says:

    What you’re doing is very wonderful. This fills my heart with joy and warmth. Even though I am not in need of this, it is so heart warming to see these beautiful, wonderful mothers reach out. Thank you so much for bringing light into our world

  8. Brittany Dygowski says:

    These letters are the absolute best thing I have ever come across. I’m pansexual, but my family does not know that, nor do I think, will they ever. My father is very close minded and so is my mother and I don’t think I could ever tell my brothers or sister.
    I have a boyfriend that is very supportive, but it is so HARD sometimes when you know that you cannot tell your entire family. This website everything I never thought I would find, and I am so thankful to you for it.

    • Shamama says:

      Loving you so much Brittany – hope you return this year and find all the love you are looking for on the pages! Big hugs, Shamama

  9. Isabella J Hammond says:

    Hi, I am Bella I just stumbled upon this by accident, or fate one. For whatever reason I have to say seeing this site brought me to tears. I am a 25 yr old who just started my transition. Coming out as a transgender has left me homeless, unemployed and feeling abandoned entirely, the hardest being my mother condemning me to hell and disowning me. So seeing all this beauty and love is uplifting and from the bottom of my heart, thank all of you. Life is a struggle for all, as someone who has been homeless before and as a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I know all to well its challenges. That doesn’t stop that sad truth that it has gotten worse since coming out. This world is hard on anyone in the LGBT community but its people like you and all these supporters, that give us a chance, that one smile that might make us survive the harsh winter.

    Peace, and Love,
    Isabella, J Hammond

    • Shamama says:

      Hello dear Isabella… we send you love and beautiful wishes this holiday season! May you smile again this year with all our lovely mama’s sending you love!

  10. Elentiya says:

    Hey- I am a lesbian teenager, and although my parents are not homophobic, I’m still in the closet and have been feeling so alone recently. Reading your letters is so heartwarming- it makes me feel sort of sad and wonderful at yhe same time. This was such an amazing idea, thank you so much for just being there for other people. It has affected me so positively considering none of its targeted at me.m

    • Shamama says:

      Hello Elentiya! We are so glad you are here… you are exactly who we are writing to… sending love across the waves! HUGS and Love, Shamama

    • Shamama says:

      Thank you Caz! We have all the letters we need this year but sharing is hugely helpful… anywhere and everywhere! Thanks so much, Hugs! Shamama

      • Rebecca says:

        I just wanted to say thanks. I’m a teenaged Asexual, and when I saw this site going around Tumblr I had to check it out. At first I was nervous – there was no A in your LGBTQ and I though “oh no, not again.” I mean, there are some really good sites for my fellows in the Community, but not many for the Aces. Not many people believe in asexuality. My family wouldn’t – they’re all about the “Old South” traditions and let me tell you, it sucks.

        My assumption was wrong. So wrong. This site helped. So thank you. Thank you thank you thank you!

  11. Sky says:

    I saw this website circulating Tumblr and I just wanted to write a Thank You to anyone and everyone who’s involved in this. I think it’s a beautiful idea and could really help improve some people’s holidays. I hope it continues to receive all the support and attention it deserves. You’re all such amazing people! Thank you again. xx

  12. Caro says:

    I just really needed to say thank you. I only managed to get through 2 and half letters before breaking down crying simply from being so overwhelmed by the love and warmth in them. When stares and pointed silences make up your holiday season it’s too easy to forget that people who care do exist out there. Really, thank you so much. I feel so much stronger now and ready to take on another difficult Christmas.

    • Shamama says:

      Hello dear Caro… I am so glad you found us. Good tears at last! We do care, so much. So glad to have you with us. Hugs, Shamama

  13. Wolfy says:

    I came out to my parents as pansexual, and they say it doesn’t exist at all. They don’t believe me, and I have been forbidden from speaking to my girlfriend. Guess this is what you get in the South, huh?

  14. Sierra B. says:

    I wanted to thank you during the holiday season, but it’s taken me a month to be able to read any of your letters without tearing up so hard I can’t keep the screen any more. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I don’t have the words for how much brighter you made my life while I waited to see if I would be invited to my own home for the christmas. I was late to a few classes because I started reading a letter in the restroom and couldn’t leave until I stopped crying tears of joy at the overwhelming joy and confort it brought me to think about all these wonderful people in the world, making room for others in their hearts and homes. I know I’m repeating myself, but I really truly needed to thank you. You give me hope for next year, and hope for all the people less fortunate than me.

    • Shamama says:

      Hello Sierra… I am so glad you were able to write, and I am sorry it took so long for us to reply, we are only on the site during the holidays, but I am so very glad it touched you!!! Robin

  15. Lisa Steele says:

    I am so touched by the work you are doing. I am a mom, too. My daughter (who happens to be straight) is the absolute light of my life. I can hardly bear the thought of any child who feels disenfranchised, and does not know unconditional mother love. Is there a way for me to make a small love offering to help you in your mission? Please let me hear from you. Love and peace. Lisa from Michigan

    • Shamama says:

      Hello dear Lisa… the beauty of this site is that we make no money, and need no money… it is just a gift created out of love and words… but thank you, thank you for your offer. Just give in your comments, more love to go around! HUGS, Shamama

  16. Robert Scott says:

    I wanted to reach out and thank you for this healing idea you had for the holiday season.

    I am a crisis intervention and suicide prevention counselor for LGBT youth and I hear all too often of our youth who feel unloved by their families or churches because of whom they love or how they define their gender. This has a negative impact on the health and well being of children and adults and can lead to addiction, despair, depression and even suicide.

    Your letters on this site are beautiful and healing for those who lost the love of their mom.

    What do I know?? I lost my mother’s love due to homophobia and I found comfort from your website and the healing articles from those who have contributed.

    You are not just an ordinary mom. You are somebody who left this world a bit better by the good you are doing. Perhaps you are a real life super hero and part of an unique group out in the world who turned their pain into power by being of service and helping others.

    I have found if you want to help yourself then help others.

    God bless you, your angel writers and this web site and all the people benefited by it this holiday season.

    Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL mankind.

    Rob Scott
    Chicago, IL

    • Shamama says:

      Bless you dear Rob… we are so glad for the work you are doing in the world! LOVE and HUGS, Shamama

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