The holiday season is upon us, but you would never know it watching the evening news. The holidays are a time to rejoice, to celebrate love and life…but recent tragedies and the worst of humanity has been on display recently. Amidst all the negativity and turmoil, I wanted to share something joyful, uplifting and full of the true spirit of the holidays.
A group of 40 moms (and a few dads) banned together under the common goal of sharing their love for LGBT youth in need of it this holiday season called Your Holiday Mom. The moms are mostly straight, some with children of their own and some without. Some have several children and from large extended families and others are single moms with no extended family. Some have LGBT children, some do not. Many of the 40 moms have not met the founder or each other, they simply came together to offer a message of love and to be a stand-in mom for an LGBT youth that may have been rejected by their own family.
Each of the 40 volunteers have recorded a video and written an open letter in which their offer to be a surrogate mom to a lonely LGBT child this season. Youth can sign up to receive emails each day from Thanksgiving until New Years, or they can read the letters online if they wish to remain anonymous.
In case you were unaware, LGBT children are often rejected or become estranged from their families as young teens and many are the victims of religious intolerance. LGBT teens are all too often told to leave their homes or are subjected to emotional abuse until they run away, even as psychologists contend that the greatest indicator of how successful a gay teen will be as an adult is the acceptance and support they receive from their family when they come out. Organization such as Your Holiday Mom or the It Gets Better project are working to offer love and support to these teens yearning desperately to know they someone is out there and someone cares.
And I will leave you with one final thought. Maybe the term LGBT youth is misleading or causes many to fixate on the LGBT rather than the most important part, the youth. The average age of a homeless LGBT youth is 14 years. Thus, thousands of children out there are 11, 12 and 13 years old and living on the streets, homeless. Imagine an 11- or 12-year-old being tossed from his/her home and forced to live on the street. This statistic shocks me, and should shock the public conscience as much as any recent news story. This is neglect, and these children need a voice…you may not be able to do everything, but you can do something…just as the 40 moms of Your Holiday Mom have done. Make your voice heard, give rejected LGBT youth a voice.
“And Tango Makes Three” is a children’s book based on the adorable true story of two chinstrap penguins named Roy and Silo who live in the Central Park Zoo. Roy and Silo are both male penguins, and they adopted and raised a chick named Tango. The story is touching and the book helps parents teach children about same-sex couples.
My personal favorite is the final line of the book:
And like all the other penguins in the penguin house, and all the other animals in the zoo, and all the families in the big city around them, they went to sleep.
Adorable, right? Well, not according to the American Library Association. The book once again topped the list of most frequently challenged books. (It was also number one in 2007, 2008, and 2009.) According to the American Library Association:
A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.
How tragic is it that this book that helps children to understand a topic most parents do not know how to even approach is being attacked and taken off of shelves for being controversial? When are we going to start teaching our kids about inclusion? Why not tell kids about different people? We need to tell our children that is is okay to be gay. Because, if we don’t…we could lose them before they learn that it gets better…
Keep that in mind.
Virginia’s Republican governor, Robert McDonnell has two weeks left to decide if he will let regulations go through that would allow gay adoptions in the state.
As it stands, married heterosexual couples and single people are able to adopt in Virginia. The new regulations (developed by former Democratic governor Mark Warner) would allow adoption by unmarried straight and gay couples that go through state-licensed private and church-run agencies.
Governor McDonnell, do yourself, Virginia, the GOP, and the nation a favor: let the regulations go through. A child deserves a loving home. Ask any child trapped within the foster care system…I’m sure they would not mind being adopted by a gay couple, as long as they were loved.
If you live in Virginia, call McDonnell and urge him to allow these regulations to go through. Virginia children and gay couples deserve each other. Everyone deserves a loving family.
This is a bit dated, but it is well worth viewing. This is University of Iowa student Zach Wals delivering a speech to the Iowa House of Representatives last Monday to explain that being raised by a lesbian couple had no effect on the content of his character. The House passed the bill 62-37.
A Harps store in Arkansas placed this shield over the US Weekly cover of Elton John, his partner, and their newly adopted son.
This makes Harps look terrible! Thankfully, after Internet outrage spread, Harps has removed the shields.
Heaven forbid we subject out children to alternative viewpoints…
As gay rights activists prepare to descend on Washington, D.C., for the National Equality March, one of the highest ranking openly gay politicians in the nation took to Michelangelo Signorile’s radio show to say the whole thing is pointless.
Barney Frank discussed the march, hate-crimes protections, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and the military’s gay ban, but got the most listener response to his rant on the march, saying it won’t likely do anything and that President Obama “doesn’t need any pressure.”
Frank went on to say that gays and lesbians would better spend their time at home lobbying their politicians than making the trek to D.C.
“I literally don’t understand how this will do anything,” he said. “People are kidding themselves. I don’t want people patting themselves on the back for doing something that is useless.”
Listen to Frank’s full radio interview here.