It may be the season of home and hearth, but thousands of LGBTQ kids will be spending the season feeling rejected by their families. Your Holiday Mom offers these at-risk young people support and encouragement when their own families let them down – and the group is looking for volunteers for the upcoming holidays.
I have often heard well-meaning people talk about all the good they would do in the world if only they could win the lottery. Well, here’s a chance to do something meaningful in the life of a child – an LGBTQ child – and it doesn’t cost a cent. Your Holiday Mom is an effort to reach out via website to LGBTQ kids over the holidays, kids who have been rejected by their own parents – and the group is looking for volunteers to be “family”.
Last year, forty volunteers each recorded a video, and wrote an open letter offering to be a surrogate mom to a lonely LGBTQ kid during the Christmas season. The kids sign up to receive emails each day from Thanksgiving to New Years, or if they rather remain anonymous, they can read the letters online, and reply blog style if they would like to open a conversation.
Unsurprisingly, most LGBTQ kids who become estranged from their families do so as young teens, around the same time puberty sets in. Most are the victims of religious intolerance. And even though psychologists say that the biggest single indicator of how successful a gay teen will be as an adult is the acceptance and support he receives from his family when he comes out, all too many LGBTQ teens are told to leave, or subjected to emotional abuse so miserable they run away.
These are just kids, trying to figure their lives out, and like all kids, they crave the encouragement and assurances of a family they feel cares about them, especially at Christmas time. Your Holiday Mom is trying to fill that very real yearning for parental acceptance too many LGBT kids are denied.
The virtual support group was such a success last year, that this holiday season, Your Holiday Mom is seeking to expand the support community. Dads, cousins, friends, are all invited to volunteer to exchange emails and blog posts with an LGBT kid who really could use a friend. The groups’ goal for 2013 is: “More Moms. More Messages.”
I hope you will allow me to leave you with one last thought on the plight of the LGBTQ teens Your Holiday Mom is attempting reach. Use the term “LGBTQ Youth” and everyone fixates on the “LGBTQ” part of the term, when it’s the “Youth” part that should be our focus. The average age of a homeless LGBTQ kid is 14 years. If 14 is the average, that means nationally there are thousands of 12 and 13-year-olds living on the mean streets too.
It would seem to me, 12-year-olds being thrown away by their own parents should shock the public conscience. There should be a societal demand that such parents be charged with neglect, and we should be rescuing these kids with the same urgency we would rescue a baby abandoned in a dumpster. But until society grows a conscience where LGBTQ teens are concerned, the least we can do is offer these lonley kids a kind word at Christmas.
If you are interested in becoming a holiday friend, you can get more information here.
No lottery winnings required.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.