As long term readers know, when I finally came out I was accepted and supported without reservation by my parents - I endowed a scholarship for LGBT students in their honor - but many LGBT individuals are not so lucky. Indeed, 40% of homeless youth nationwide are LGBT, the majority of whom have been rejected by their families who place their perverted form of Christianity, Judaism or Islam over their own children. This time of year my heart goes out to all those in the LGBT community who face family rejection and may find themselves spending Christmas alone. A piece in Huffington Post looks at this sad and, in my mind, tragic circumstance. Here are excerpts:
[S]itting with friends and talking about our Christmas wishes and the one recurring wish was "to see my family."As noted, the cause of all this heartache and emotional pain is ultimately religion, one of the most evil and perverse forces in the world. I wish I could take in all the LGBT youth who have been discarded by their "godly" parents and families.
Hearing this was heartbreaking for me because it became so clear that I wasn't alone in my emotional rollercoaster. You see, earlier this year, I made the most difficult decision of my life. I had to choose between staying in a homophobic country where my life was being threatened as a lesbian with no help from authorities and leaving my family behind to migrate to a country where I could live my life without persecution. I made the obvious choice!
As we speak, there are thousands of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender folks from across the world who are not able to spend Christmas with their families this year. They have been beaten, cursed at and made to feel like they do not belong, leading them to say goodbye to their family and friends.
I could write a list of wishes to Santa for health, wealth and success, but my only wish for this Christmas is for all the men and women, who were forced to leave their countries because of their sexual orientation, to see their families.
As you celebrate Christmas with your loved ones this year, remember the families who are without their mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends because they decided to be true to themselves. Let this be a reminder of how our attitudes tear families apart and leave hearts broken. May this Christmas bring love and acceptance for all!