Your Holiday Mom: Lori

lori and sam

To hear Lori read her letter to you, click here.  

Dear Holiday Child,

Please allow me to step in over the holidays and in some small way fill the role of “mom.” I am just a regular mother of two teenage boys, one 16 years old and one 14. Both are in high school. The youngest is a natal female, but is transitioning into his true gender as a boy.

We live in the Nation’s Capitol, a very urban environment. Yet we have lots of wonderful holiday traditions (we celebrate Christmas), including the White House Christmas Tree, trees representing all the states down on the Mall, and the Capitol Christmas Tree. There is ice skating at the Sculpture Garden (just off the Mall), as well as in Georgetown. In fact, Sam (my youngest, in the picture) will be headed to an ice skating birthday party Thursday with friends from his school. So even though we live in a city, there are many outdoor activities around the holidays here.

We’ll be having most of the family over on Christmas Day. They are a very silly bunch, bringing a lot of laughter, goofy jokes, and good-natured teasing for all. They will bring food (my oldest brother Rob is great at smoking turkeys, his daughter makes delightful pies and cakes, and his wife Marianne bakes the best Christmas cookies on the planet). And they will arrive late. They are always late. Maybe this year I’ll invite them an hour earlier than I really want them to arrive (!) Also on-hand will be my mother, and two other brothers and their families. Plus I invited the graduate student who lives next door; she can’t travel home for the holiday. It will indeed be a full house.

The holidays to me are about pausing just a moment from our busy lives to look around and be grateful for what and who we have in our lives. I am proud of you, holiday child, for being true to yourself and having the courage and conviction to live an authentic life. I admire and respect your ability to know yourself deeply and recognize what life means to you, even when your path is different from that of most. That takes guts.

I hope you find a healthy way to surround yourself with love and laughter over the holidays. Wrap yourself in the warmth of true friendships, and perhaps reach out and help others who can use a hand.

I will pause over the holidays and think of you, wish you well, and hope you are enjoying the precious company of good friends.


Your holiday mom



  1. Tyler says:

    Mom Lori, you have no idea how much it makes me smile that you accept your youngest son’s transition as well as you do. My parents refuse to acknowledge my gender or that I’m their son, so hearing someone be so accepting, even when nobody’s really watching, makes me happy beyond words. Thank you so much.


  2. Casper says:

    Dear Holiday Mom Lori,
    I just found this website because of some friends of mine on instagram. Well, reading your letter… you give me hope. My own parents actually kicked me out just last week when I turned 18 because of my gender and sexuality choices. It hurts very much and I’m not sure what to do but you give me hope. I’m very thankful for people like you… the way you fully support your youngests transition. Not many people are like that. I’m working at McDonald’s and hoping to be able to have a place for the holidays coming up.
    Thanks for the hope,

  3. grayha says:

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday. I smiled while reading this, and it brightened(damn LA teacher making me use creative verbs[i think that’s a verb…]) my day.
    My parents are homophobic and love meat, while I’m lesbian and vegetarian. They find me a complete failure even though I haven’t come out. I’m glad that there are people out there that have never met me, but still accept me for who I am.

    • Lori Hall says:

      Dear Grayha (interesting pen name!)

      Yes, there are people out there who will accept you for who you truly are. You know the saying: It gets better. And it does. In the meantime, try to connect with a local PFLAG or other LGBTQ group, especially for young people. You need support. Thinking of you, Mom Lori

  4. Payton j. says:

    Today is an extremely hard day for me. Four years ago today both my parents died in a car crash. After that, I was sent to my abusive uncle who still tries to sexually take advantage of me. Today is the day suicidal thoughts hit me most. I have nobody who truly cares for me. I have no friends, or true family. I often feel alone and I feel like if I died, nobody would miss me. But reading this actually made me feel wanted in the world. Thank you so much. Tonight I’ll be able to put away the pills for another year. Even though on Christmas my uncle will go out and get drunk and leave me alone, I’ll have you in my heart. I won’t be alone this Christmas because of you. Thank you so much. I’m crying right now, but it is tears of joy

    • Lori Hall says:

      Payton J. – I so wish for you that you can find a way to connect with someone — at school, or maybe a nearby church — who can help you find a life away from your uncle. Make that a priority for the New Year — a new life.

      Mom Lori

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