Below is a blog I wrote about people who don’t get to spend Christmas with their family of origin because their family is not comfortable with their sexuality or gender. For many not much has changed since I wrote this post in 2014. I hope for some families there may have been some reconciliation. For others there will be ongoing or new separation.
My heart really does break for individuals whose family have made the decision not to embrace their loved one/s. The pain this must cause is unnecessary and directly impacts on the well-being of all individuals involved.
To those who find themselves in this position this year please know that there are people friends and strangers who care about you this festive season. I hope you have founded new framily (friends who become family) who you can spend the festive season with. Most of all I hope you are surrounded by love.
So how many LGBTI people can’t go ‘home’ for Christmas? 40% of homeless youths report as LGBTI, suicide rates are higher in the LGBTI community and 54% face rejection from their family.
Home means something different for everyone but my question is how many can not spend Christmas with their parents and siblings because they are not accepted by them?
We are so lucky! Monique, the kids and I are accepted by our families. We are always welcome with our families, we can always go ‘home’. However for many ‘home’ is different or in other cases completely non-existent. Many in the LGBTI community make a ‘home’ with others within the community and that home is wondrous. It is welcoming, loving and accepting.
Personally I couldn’t imagine not being welcome home at Christmas or anytime of the year for that matter. I would like to hear from parents who may choose to disown their children for being LGBTI and try to understand why.
There are amazing lyrics of songs released in recent years imploring something that I think everyone should remember. We are the same DNA, the same person that you raised and the same little person that you helped to grow into an adult.
Every parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent and other family member, cast your mind back to when the person you have now rejected, was born. You anticipated the birth of that child. As my late grandmother would say, that baby was “a beautiful new person in the world”. If asked, I expect you would have said there is no reason you would abandon them. Take yourself back to that moment and reach out to your family member and give them the unconditional love you gave them then.