The holidays can be a hard time for a lot of different reasons — and that is especially true for LGBT people who don't have the support or love they deserve from their families and all too often wind up alone during the holidays. But even though no one can completely make up for someone's family being horrible, the website Your Holiday Mom seeks to give LGBT people a virtual family to spend the holidays with — in addition to lots of love and support. Because no one should feel alone or unloved during the holidays.
The website features letters from real moms — some of whom are LGBT or have LGBT children, many who do not — who write letters aimed at LGBT youth, sending love, support, encouragement, and a symbolic invite into the family's holiday festivities. The site posts a new letter every day leading up to Christmas, and this year has 40 mothers participating.
"Knowing that not every parent is ready to accept her own LGBTQ child exactly as-is (as hard as this is for us to imagine), we have written to extend our love beyond that of our own family," the site explains.
“We are just family members who care and have created a way to show it during the often emotionally difficult holiday season,” writes Your Holiday Mom founder Robin Rice, who lost her brother to suicide thirty years ago because he feared he was gay. The project, which she began in 2012, is part of her determination to do what she can for LGBT youth who may be struggling.
"Isn’t that what the season is supposed to be about—family, caring, and people coming together?" Rice writes. "We may have to do it in cyberspace, but we can still make a difference in someone’s life.”
On the site, the moms describe their own family holiday traditions, their children, and their family, seeking to make the readers feel included in the holiday fun and sending messages of love and acceptance. And pretty much every single one of the letters is basically guaranteed to hit you directly in the feels.
In one letter, Holiday Mom Heather writes, "Although this may not seem like a very merry time for you, I would like you to know that I am a “mom” writing to you to tell you that you deserve to have a Merry Christmas. You also deserve to be happy, Blessed and loved."
"I’m here to tell you that you are amazing," writes Holiday Mom Jennifer. "You are courageous. You are exactly who you are supposed to be. If anyone believes otherwise, well then they are missing out on knowing how incredible you are."
Holiday Mom Sandi, whose family celebrates both Christmas and Hannukah, writes, "Know that although I don’t know you – that I do know you and am there for you. ... Now please pass the potato latkes!"
If you can make it through a full letter without bawling, you are made of stronger stuff than I. So if you or any LGBT people you know are lacking the support and love that every person deserves from their family, just know that there exists a place where dozens of families are willing and eager to share their love. Because no one should feel alone during the holidays.
(Also, seriously, this site will make you cry.)