Project: Your Holiday Mom
40 Moms - 40 Messages - 3 Beautiful LGBTQ holiday seasons
It was a simple concept and a mere $11 investment, yet the YourHolidayMom.com website, which supports our LGBTQ youth at the critical holiday times, found more than 35,000 audio and video views in the first 40 days online.
As evidenced by the beautiful and poignant comments (see below) many lives have changed for the better - some have been saved as a direct result of thees simple acts of love.
Visit YourHolidayMom.com to read our 100+ letters, and see below for a sampling of the beautiful (albeit heart-wrenching) comments that often come through the website and Tumblr over the past three years. And yes, thanks to the amazing work of our volunteers, there will be a 2015-16 Holiday Mom season!
Responses from our LGBTQ Youth
“What a beautiful little piece of the world this is. I've never seen anything that felt more like Christmas. Bless you for giving love to us that need it and I instantly melted through the letters I read. I wanted to cry but seeing as that my parents are just in the next room I couldn't. Just keep doing what you are doing for you give hope to the hopeless and life to those seeking a way to end it. Happy holidays to all of you guys.” ~Michael
“This had me in tears the whole time I read it. Thank you thank you THANK YOU so so much for posting to this blog and letting me feel accepted and loved for who I am. This kind of support is life changing.” ~ Rachael
“I wish I could string words together to help you understand how wonderful it is to be able to read the letters you post. Your words have brought such joy to my heart. Thank you so very much.” ~ Edgar
“Nearly my entire family has disowned me and the few who haven't refuse to really acknowledge me as person, much less as the gender I identify with. I'm a transguy and even though I transitioned years ago, nothing has changed. While I am 22, I feel just as alone and hurt as I did when I was 16 and just discovering my gender. Reading these letters brought me to tears. Thank you for what you're doing.” ~ anonymous
“I just wanted to let you guys know how important and meaningful this website is to me. Currently, I am unable to come out to my family and being able to read your sweet, wonderful letters really puts a smile on my face everyday. Thank you so much for doing this; you have really helped me make it through the holidays and really other days as well. So thank you for making the yuletide gay.” ~ anonymous
“I realize this project is for youth, but it's helping me here in my 30s as well. I recently came out to my mom and she looked at me like I was an alien and not her child, so I'm in great need of some motherly love this holiday season. Thank you for what you're doing not only for young people in the community but for me.” ~ S.S.
“I saw this and had to look. It's strange to think any parent, any mom in existence could be accepting like this... of others and me. I hate the holidays, year after year is hate and pain and yelling. It's being forced into dresses and if not being subjected to so much direct hate. But the idea of this place, you guys it made me happy enough t o cry. So thank you for doing this, for being here and making holidays welcoming again to people like me who only know hate. Thank you so, so, so much.” ~ anonymous
“This is such a powerful and important project…my mom had terminal cancer and did not accept my sexuality. Many members of my told me things like "you're making your mom sicker" and "you should have just pretended to be straight." She passed away in 2012 and we never resolved our issues. I found this page and sobbed at the love and acceptance I felt. Thank you so much.” ~ Dawn
“It was so great reading all that you wrote to me, or rather, us. I’ve been going through some really dark times lately, beating myself up internally for simply existing, but your words have made me feel wanted, accepted, and necessary. Thank you so much.” ~ Cham
“Thank you very much for your letter. It gave me the hope to continue with my life. There have been times that I tried to “end it” because I don’t know how to live life anymore. I came out to my parents that I was bi and they didn’t take it very well. And that was 3 years ago. So, I kept a mask on always to hide myself from them. It’s because their happiness is important to me. Seeing them smile instead of being happy myself is fine for me but I am getting tired now. I am in college now going to graduate in a year now and I keep seeing the happy couples around. My heart literally aches and I find myself whispering: “I will never have that”… I hope that you help others like me through your letters. I will continue living life but I still have the mask on. Happy holidays to you.” ~ Michael
“Thank you for posting this. Very recently I told my mom that I was a transgender FTM and her reaction was to break down crying and just kept repeating how she ‘wanted a beautiful baby girl’ she says she’s trying to accept me, but she only keeps pictures of me around when I was little and in dresses and flinches away from me at times when she thinks I’m not looking, like I might turn into some sort of monster when she isn’t paying attention. My dad has always told me since a very young age that if I was ever anything but straight he would kick me out and disown me, and in a small town, everybody pretty much thinks I’m a freak including the majority of my friends. My family isn’t big, there’s only three of us, and I wish I was there for the holidays because it seems now more then ever that I’m going to be spending the holidays alone. Thank you for doing this, and reaching out to those of us who don’t have friends or family to support us.” ~ Casper
“Thank you sooo much for this letter. As soon as I started reading I started crying. It means so much to know that there are people like you who are so caring and supportive. It means the world to me and many others. After reading this I feel more accepted and at ease. It’s been a really tough year for me and tonight I really needed to hear this. Thank you so so so so much.” ~ Ashlynn
“I am so grateful to you for this project. I have had many strong instances of homophobic behavior in my household that made me afraid to come out, and when I finally did, things only got worse. Long talks where my father told me he pitied me for my bisexual orientation and both directly and indirectly told me I’m going to Hell have stunted my spiritual growth and made it hard for me to pursue relationships with people in real life without fear of judgment. I want to thank you so much for giving queer kids an opportunity to feel loved, if from afar, this season. You’re doing an amazing thing for people who really need it- me included, I think- and helping to foster a real sense of community. Happy holidays.” ~ Sarah (20)
“I’m 25, but this site has really touched me and I would like to thank each of you virtual moms. My own mother no longer speaks to me after I came out to my family last year. I grew up in a very conservative family and knew it would be difficult but really couldn’t have imagined the isolation, the letter from my mother telling me the stress I have caused her has been detrimental to her health and therefore she can no longer speak to me. Last Christmas season my father called and asked me not to return home for the holidays the day before my flight left. It has been difficult to not only initially weather the loss but to realize this will likely be the rest of my life now. I found this site through autostraddle.com and my girlfriend looked over to see me openly crying with gratitude today… your letters have genuinely touched my heart this holiday season and I cannot thank you enough.” ~ Katy