Reposted here from my Facebook page:
To my dearest and queerest, my LGBTQIA friends, brothers, sisters and siblings
I wish you all the happiest of holidays. I know that this can be a hard time for many of you, and I want you to know that you are in my thoughts.
To those of you who are not out to your families, and who have to spend so much time now pretending to be someone you are not, I understand how traumatic and painful that can be. To answer questions that are inappropriate or make no sense, to play a role, to hide your true self from those around you, for fear of what might happen if they find out.
All I can say is be strong, and remember that your identity belongs only to you. Even if you have to hide it, for your own safety or comfort or whatever reason, that identity is still yours.
To those of you who are out to your families, and who have to endure their disapproval, and quite possibly their blatant and hurtful prejudice, I feel for you. Having to sit there while the jabs are made, subtly or unsubtly, and not being allowed to react or defend yourself or even show typical human emotion. To hear that “it’s just a phase”, or that you’re “confused” or whatever other hurtful and invalidating nonsense you have to endure. Or perhaps even worse, to just have everyone pretend that you’re something you aren’t, no matter how vehemently you protest.
You are strong, amazingly strong for facing up to such adversity. And however close any of these people are to you by blood, they do not know you like you know yourself. Don’t let them shake you or make you waver. You have so much to be proud of.
To those of you who spend these holidays alone, or without your family – either because it is too painful to be with them, or because they have cast you out and made you unwelcome. For you who have had to sadly learn that even love that should be unconditional sometimes isn’t, and who have tasted the bitterness of rejection by those closest to you. And for those of you who cannot bear to hide your truth, and who would rather avoid family altogether, even at a time like this when so many are so vocal about celebrating with loved ones.
You have wronged no-one. You have nothing of which to be ashamed. Every human being is entitled to dignity and respect, and the freedom to live honestly. Some of us fight harder for that than others, and some of us pay a price for it, as you have. Remember that true family is linked by love and not by blood.
To all of you, my beautiful wonderful fellow human beings, please remember that you are special and amazing and that you are loved and you are not alone.
I hope and dream that one day, love will be strong enough to conquer all. That we will not have to harbour fear or anxiety, or face rejection or abandonment by virtue of who we are. That we will be valued and cherished instead of shunned, hurt, feared, thrown out or killed.
Until that day comes, please look after yourselves. If you have support structures, please use them. Exercise self-care and be kind to yourselves. Remind yourselves of your value and your worth and of how much you have to share and to give and to experience.
Happy holidays to you
With all of my love
Happy holidays to you all!