LGBTQ INFORMATION NETWORK │ RAINBOW OF RESOURCES

HOLIDAY
 

Pentatonix: Hallelujah

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

Happiest Season: New LGBTQ Holiday Movie

Elton John Singalong: Step Into Christmas

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Sam Smith

Jimmy Fallon & Friends: Wonderful Christmas Time

Xmas Queens: Let it Snow

Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson: Winter Song

Shawn Hayes: Jingle Bells

SNL: Christmas Morning (I Got a Robe)

That's Christmas to Me by Pentatonix

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Lesbian Version

Glee: Baby It's Cold Outside

Drag Carole: We Three Queens

SNL: I Wish it Was Christmas Today

 

 

How Queer People Can Reclaim Holiday Rituals

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Norah Jones

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

Little Drummer Boy by Pentatonix

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Speedo Santas in Boston

Dashing in December: Gay Cowboy Christmas Romance

Jingle Bells with Boxer Shorts

Silent Monks "Sing" Hallelujah Chorus

Steve Grand: All I Want for Christmas is You

Randy Rainbow: New Christmas Music Album

 

Season's Greetings

 

Best wishes and much love to you from the Queer Cafe! Tis the season to be jolly! Happy Holidays! Yuletide Greetings! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Winter Solstice! Happy Hanukkah! Here's wishing you joy and peace during this winter season and much health and happiness in the new year!

 

Happiest Season: Queering Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Mary Lambert

Indigo Girls & Chely Wright: Wonderful Life

So This is Christmas

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Jimmy Fallon & Mariah Carey: All I Want for Christmas is You

Dolly Parton: Hard Candy Christmas

Heartwarming LGBTQ Family Holiday Cards

Supreme Fabulettes: You Ruined My Xmas

Stairway to Christmas

Indina Mansel and Michael Buble: Baby It's Cold Outside

Chicago Gay Hockey Association: All I Want for Christmas

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

Christmas Queens: Let it Snow

Kwanzaa: Queer Black Jesus

Melissa Etheridge: Blue Christmas

Coming Out for Christmas

Your Holiday Mom

Sarah McLachlan: River
Univ Conn Funky Dawgs: Jingle Bells

 

 

Holiday Films with LGBTQ Theme

--Happiest Season - Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Dan Levy, Mary Holland, Victor Garber, Mary Steenburgen, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Ana Gasteyer

--Season of Love -  Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Jessica Clark, Emily Goss

--Dashing in December - Juan Pablo Di Pace, Peter Porte

--The Christmas House - Jonathan Bennett, Robert Buckley, Ana Ayora, Treat Williams, Sharon Lawrence

--Home for the Holidays - Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr, Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning

--Holiday Heart - Ving Rhames

--Make the Yuletide Gay - Keith Jordan, Adamo Ruggiero

--The Family Stone - Sarah Jessica Parker,  Dermott Mulroney, Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton

--Love the Coopers - Olivia Wilde, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei

--Too Cool for Christmas (A Very Cool Christmas) - George Hamilton, Brooke Nevin, Donna Mills

--Holiday in Handcuffs - Melissa Joan Hart

--Scrooge and Marley - Richard Knight Jr, Peter Neville  (Directors)

--Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special - Paul Ruebens, Charo, Joan Rivers, KD Lang, Little Richard, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Cher

 

Happiest Season: New LGBTQ Holiday Movie

Spice Up the Season: Best LGBTQ Holiday Movies

Movies That Queered Christmas

Hallmark's LGBTQ Christmas Movie

Merry and Gay: LGBTQ Holiday Films

Lifetime Movie Network: LGBTQ Holiday Films
 

 

Surviving the Holidays

A lot of LGBTQ people hate this time of year. Holidays are a stressful time. They tend to be full of obligations, responsibilities and, of course, relatives. Because of the varying views on homosexuality, holidays can be particularly stressful for the LGBTQ community.

For some people it is difficult because they are not out. The endless conversations regarding your single status (your not getting any younger you know). Your mother's updates on every perspective bachelor in the county. Endless questions about your "roommate." Or, the separate holiday, where you and your partner head off to your families of origin to be traumatized alone, then return later to exchange horror stories over much deserved cocktails.

For some people holidays are stressful because they are out: the looks, the whispers, the really uncomfortable obligatory hugs, and your father's visibly painful handshake with your "special friend." It can make you tense just thinking about it.

 

 

Mental Floss: Winter Holiday Tradition Origins

Why Some LGBTQ Folks Feel Stressed at the Holidays

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Star Trek's Picard: Let It Snow

Mean Girls: Jingle Bell Rock

Pentatonix: Little Drummer Boy

How Queer People Can Reclaim Holiday Rituals

How LGBTQ Couples Spend the Holidays Together

Progressive Christmas Carols

Silent Monks "Sing" Hallelujah Chorus

Queer Christmas: Documentary Film Celebrates Inclusion

Wham: Last Christmas

12 Gays of Christmas

La Voix and London Gay Big Band: All I Want for Xmas is You

Santa on the Rooftop by Jenna and Ally

Queen: Thank God it's Christmas
Couple of Misfits

 

 

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

Kwanzaa: Queer Black Jesus

London Gay Men's Chorus: Coming Out at Christmas

Straight No Chaser: 12 Days of Christmas

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Washington DC Gay Men's Chorus: Hallelujah

Seattle Gay Men’s Chorus: Santa Baby

Straight No Chaser: Christmas Can Can

Drag Carole: We Three Queens

Boston Gay Men's Chorus: All I Want for Christmas is You

Los Angeles Gay Men's Chorus: Santa Baby
Straight No Chaser: Who Spiked the Eggnog?

Queer Black Christmas

 

 

Holiday Wishes

 

As many people around the world pause to celebrate the holidays, they try to express hope and optimism for today and the days ahead. The past year has not been entirely joyful. It has seen a great deal of despair, suffering, and hatred. But it has also seen growth, opportunity, and progress, and pockets of peace and hope.

 

It's hard to be happy amidst so much sadness. It can sometimes to difficult to convey holiday cheer when you're surrounded by gloom and misery. But, gathering together with family and friends, in the company of those who love and understand you, can be a good start. It can be very therapeutic to connect with those who have shared your grief, and together recall the good times, celebrate the small victories, and be grateful for glimmers of peace and hope.

 

Best wishes to you as you seek joy and choose to carry hope with you today and into the new year and bring peace and understanding to your own corner of the world.

 

 

Queer Tips to Get You Through the Holidays
Starbucks Holiday Coffee Cups Include Same Sex Couple

Holiday Gift Ideas for Gender Non-Conforming Kids

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Heartwarming LGBTQ Family Holiday Cards

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas

Why Some LGBTQ Folks Feel Stressed at the Holidays

Gay Christmas

Survival Tips: LGBTQ Folks Home for the Holidays

Holiday Shopping According to Your Values

Ten Ways to Queer Up Christmas

HRC Holiday Tips: Things to Remember if You are LGBTQ

Holiday Gift Guide: LGBTQ Friendly Kid's Books

Queer Nativity Scenes

Microsoft Celebrates the Spirit of the Season

The Queerest Christmas Songs

How LGBTQ Couples Spend the Holidays Together
 

 

 

LGBTQ Families Celebrate Christmas Too

Supporting LGBTQ Equality During Hanukkah

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

GLAAD: Kwanzaa is the Black LGBTQ Community

Gay Jewish Hip Hop Artist Stands Up for LGBTQ Inclusion During Hanukkah

Eight Gay Jewish Women for Hanukkah

Using Kwanzaa Principles to Build a Strong Black LGBTQ Community

Christmas Morning: Gay Family Values

Celebrating Kwanzaa in the Black LGBTQ Community

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

How Queer People Can Reclaim Holiday Rituals

8 Ways LGBTQ Families Can Deepen the Meaning of Hanukkah

Drag Carole: We Three Queens

Gingerbread Hearts: Six Lesbian Christmas Stories

Kwanzaa: Queer Black Jesus

Queer Midrash: Reimagining Hanukkah

LGBTQ Families Make Their Own Christmas

 

 

Letter to Santa

"Dear Santa, Do you support the LGBTQ community?  And if you can speak to God, can you tell him I love him, and if he loves me for being gay? Thank you. Love, Will."

 

Will mailed this letter to the North Pole, and it's been intercepted by the US Post Office and included in the USPS's Operation Santa. USPS Operation Santa, in its 108th year, takes letters mailed to Santa and shares them online, allowing individuals and organizations to 'adopt' them and fulfill Christmas wishes, which could be for anything from toys to basic necessities. In 2019, more than 11,000 packages were sent to people who wrote to Santa and had their letters adopted.

 

Social media reaction was heartfelt...

--Who is telling these queer children that Santa does not love them?
--That is the most heartbreaking thing. And the worst part is that if this kid is asking this, then there is a huge chance he might not be receiving the love he needs

--Oh my goodness! God loves you with his entire heart! Don't listen to the haters out there, kiddo!
--Dear Will, Santa does support the LGBTQ community because he has special helpers to make sure they know they are loved. I promise.
--With my whole heart, I want to find and protect and give a big hug to Will.
--No one, especially kids, should ever have to question if they're being loved for being themselves.


Other gut-wrenching letters included in this year's program came from little Julian, who asked for more money for his parents as they are having a rough time paying the bills, and Kayla, who asked Santa for a sofa bed for her parents who currently sleep on the couch in their one-bedroom apartment.

[Source: Daily Mail, November 2020]

 

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

US Post Office: Operation Santa

Your Holiday Mom: Video Message

 

 

Holiday Tips for LGBTQ People

The holidays can be a stressful time for LGBTQ people or families with LGBTQ members, but there are several strategies that you can use to help reduce stress and create a happy holiday this year. If you have the holiday blues, here are helpful tips for surviving holiday stress and depression.

Feeling stressed and/or depressed lately? You’re not alone. The holiday season is reported to be “problematic” for about forty-five percent of the general population, and there may be added concerns for LGBTQ persons.

 



There is often so much pressure to be joyous and to share “the most wonderful time of the year”. It can be especially hard for those of us who feel wounded by the various Ghosts of Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa Past. Family and work dynamics can be hard at the best of times, during the holiday season it can reach a torturous crescendo:

--I can’t stand so-and-so, and they’re going to be at Grandma’s for dinner.
--I do not want to go to church with the family, but I’m more upset by the thought of dealing with the fallout of not going.
--I just know that bible-thumper at work thinks I’m going to hell. The office party is always a nightmare.
--I’m going to have to fend off all the questions of why I’m not married.
--If they knew the truth, I’d be fired (disowned, disgraced).
--I’m bringing my partner, and this is the first time. I’m worried that they’ll say or do hurtful things.
 


 

Yep. All familiar. But there are some things to keep in mind when dealing with the stresses of the Holiday Season.

Remember, you’re not alone. “Forced fun” with co-workers, family and extended circles of families and friends happens to everybody. Many people, straight, gay and otherwise feel that they aren’t part of the celebration because they don’t feel particularly festive or “in the Christmas Spirit”. The pressure to have fun, be nice and ignore grudges and difficulties can result in the completely opposite effect. Not out to family, co-workers or friends? This can dramatically increase holiday stress. Maintaining a front and keeping secrets is hard.

 

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

Take My Advice: Don't Come Out During the Holidays

Home for the Holidays: Survival Tips for LGBTQ Couples

Dealing With the Family During the Holidays

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

Home for the Holidays With a Gay Twist
LGBTQ Families Make Their Own Christmas

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

When the Holidays Are Hell: Tips for Surviving Family Gatherings
How to Beat the Gay Holiday Blues
Survival Tips: LGBTQ Folks Home for the Holidays

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Gay Ole Holiday Stress
For LGBTQ People, Holidays Can Be a Time of Added Stress
 

 

Gay Couples Confront Holiday Stress

Homo for the Holidays: Survival Guide
Kwanzaa: Queer Black Jesus

Going LGBTQ to the Holiday Office Party

LGBTQ Tips for Holiday Stress

Tips for LGBTQ Folks for Managing Holiday Anxiety

Drag Carole: We Three Queens

Loneliest Time of the Year

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

Tips for Surviving the Holidays if You Don't Like Your In-Laws

 

Mostly, our day-to-day lives are lived with people who care for and support us emotionally. We’ve created our own families. We’ve created routines that encourage and nurture us. We’ve developed our own beliefs. The holidays can totally upset that. Even the mentally healthiest among us can be challenged by relatives and parents, regardless of acceptance or support. Ram Dass once said, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your parents.”
 

And even if we are out, during the holidays we’re often surrounded by people who may be biologically related or who share the same work, but who do not support us, or who are even openly hostile. Whether this is true or simply a suspicion or feeling, it still causes anxiety, which causes increased stress levels which often leads to some very depressing thoughts. A very slippery slope mentally.

 

 


What to do? If your particular situation seems to be causing problematic stress or depression, please seek out professional help. But for those relatively-minor-once-a-year issues, below are a few suggestions I have found helpful. Please feel free to add your own:

--Be aware of your anxiety. Notice when your tension levels are rising, and let yourself feel them. Feelings never hurt anybody. The actions resulting from those feelings are the real kicker, and quite often those actions happen because feelings are so bottled up that the pressure forces an explosion. Often, simply noticing and naming the anxiety can calm it.

--Breathe. Under stress, the breath is often shallow, keeping oxygen levels at a minimum which just adds more stress. As simple as it sounds, three deep, conscious breaths can bring instant relief, slowing the heart rate, reducing hypertension and anxiety levels.

--“Is that true?” That question has been my lifesaver in many situations. My brain can run amok with fantasies of what people will say or do in response to me, things that I can’t possibly know for certain. Anxiety levels rise in the face of uncertainty. This simple question slows my thoughts and brings me back to the facts.

--Be here now. Most stress involves either the past or the future. Both are perspective distortion agents. Staying in the here and now reduces stress.


 

--Resist the urge to self-medicate. Most people eat and drink more and exercise less than they normally would at this time of year. If you’re prone to depression already (and even if you’re not), a hangover and love handles won’t help. Plus, alcohol, a depressant, may seem to help for a while, but usually worsens depression and stress symptoms later on. It also reduces inhibitions, making hurt feelings, disagreements and fights much more likely.

--Give yourself an out. If you have to spend an extended amount of time with family, work some down time into the schedule. Removing yourself from the situation can be vital, and it can be done gracefully. “I just need some alone time” is something that almost anyone will respect. There are lots of reasons to be alone- get creative. A short walk, a hot shower, a nap, an AA meeting, or even extended time behind the locked door of a bathroom can do amazing things to renew self-confidence, perspective and energy.

--Remember, this is temporary. Most of us can survive anything for a few days. If you’re in a situation that you feel you may not be able to handle well, by all means, get out! But if staying will do less damage to yourself and others than leaving, remembering the finite nature of the visit may help.

 

 


--Take care of yourself. You know what you need to do to be healthy. Eat well, exercise, hydrate, rest, play and give yourself permission to be human.

No matter what the situation, my greatest stressor is worrying about something I have little or no control over. Recognizing that is key. People are going to think what they think, and my thoughts or actions will probably not change that in the short amount of time I have to spend with them during the holiday season. Whether they approve of me or not is none of my business (my business is to be happy, honest, kind, and healthy) and I can do it. I do it by knowing myself and taking care of myself.

[Source: D Gregory Smith, Gay, HIV+, Native Montanan, Former Priest, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Executive Director, AIDS Outreach, Bozeman MT]

 

Christmas Isn’t For Queers

How Queer People Can Reclaim Holiday Rituals

Loneliest Time of the Year

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Survival Tips: LGBTQ Folks Home for the Holidays

Drag Carole: We Three Queens

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Queer Christmas: Documentary Film Celebrates Inclusion

Dealing With the Family During the Holidays

Ten Ways to Queer Up Christmas

Take My Advice: Don't Come Out During the Holidays

When the Holidays Are Hell: Tips for Surviving Family Gatherings

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Video: Your Holiday Mom

Letters: Your Holiday Mom

 

Home for the Holidays and Back Into the Closet
 

In my teens and early 20s, when I was a bumbling little gay trying to comb out my identities in public and private, returning home to see family meant locking up different aspects of myself as I was still in the process of coming out to myself. Even as I eventually came out to friends where I lived, I went home and "played it straight."  I did that thing where you mention you're too busy with school and work to date. I did that thing where you reveal only the lightest sketch of your life to anyone who asks, saying, "I've been busy!" without mentioning with what, exactly. I did that thing where you burble up various thoughts on queerness over Christmas dinner that are perhaps a little too informed for someone who isn't queer themselves. I even did that thing where you bring a straight friend home with you to help keep things in check, to prevent you from spilling all your queer beans, accidentally breaking out of your closet and taking over (and potentially ruining) the holidays for everyone else.
 


These are coping mechanisms; things you do when you feel you cannot be yourself. A lot of this is the effect of homophobia and general queerphobia. Research shows discrimination causes a pile-on, leading to poor mental health and poor coping skills. No wonder our behavior changes: as we become less open about our identities, our stress is likely to increase. Unsurprisingly, we code-switch. Unsurprisingly, we indulge in self-loathing.

This is hard to change. Even after I "officially" came out to my family, I was still uncomfortable fully owning my queerness in front of them. After nearly a decade of being out to my family, it has gotten easier to be myself in their company. Yet, the little nips at my heels to "play it straight" persist. This was definitely true at this past Thanksgiving: I may not have dropped my voice a few octaves or turned to more muted clothing, but I did find that I was frequently erasing the queer details of my life. "Just a lot, a lot of writing," I explained when my father asked about my work, leaving out the specifics of how my writing typically deals with LGBTQ subjects and LGBTQ issues. "Just some friends," I explained of recent trips and travels, leaving out details that these are people who are in my LGBTQ family of choice. I became a queer paper doll (flat, two-dimensional, and way less interesting) instead of the queer human that I am. My opportunity to share all the details of my life, to be realer than real, yielded to maintaining what I felt was the (straight) status quo.
 


This temptation to "play it straight" in uncomfortable environments is so sexy to people like us because, in zones where being LGBTQ is no longer the norm, we do what we have to do to soften the blows of judgment. We're in places where we've gotta field really dumb, accidental homophobic commentary that turn up the volume on our internalized homophobia. In an instant, we can become that fish out of water we once were in these spaces all over again. In these moments, it's easier to pretend you can breathe air instead of admitting you'd like to be back in your rainbow lake.

Going home and seeing family is not easy, my queer friends. My experience has been a long process within a generally accepting family that is not the same for many young and old members of my LGBTQ extended family who have faced discrimination under their own roof. This is perhaps why I have tread so lightly in the department of being myself: there have been few conversations about what my queerness means to my family and if they are connecting the dots between a very homophobic government and my life and the lives of people like us. My hometown and family are lovely, but it's quite easy to see the bruises they left have yet to attend to.

This is why it's easy to submit to straightness, to slip back into an old self as to not distract or disturb anyone around you. These may not be behaviors you are intentionally participating in, but I can assure you: they happen. They creep up on you without your knowledge like a sticky, pale sweatsuit that is your personal ghost of Christmas past. Do not indulge them, particularly in a time when queer acceptance is being tested. Understand that it's a lot of work to not censor yourself and, for some LGBTQ folks, there are certainly risks to putting your queer life on the line — I'm certainly not advocating for anyone to put themselves in a dangerous situation.

 



It's hard to check yourself before you straight-wreck yourself. Find ways to be yourself when out of your comfort zones, budgeting in time for self-care, knowing your boundaries, and having the wherewithal to put yourself out there as the big ol' queer that you are. I've been there, and I've come out on the other side to tell you that you can do this, that the rainbow holiday spirit is alive and well with you. If you trip up, that's OK, too. Recognize this, and do what you can to get back to yourself.

The holidays are only as brutal as we allow them to be. It's up to us to reframe these messes into messages, to know that these affairs are for a limited time only. If queers are returning home, our friends and family must benevolently anticipate that we ain't turning off them sparkles just because we've returned home. If anything, we have to turn them up — and get them to invite a little openness into their heart as they welcome us in.

[Source: Kyle Fitzpatrick, December 2018]

 

Mental Floss: Winter Holiday Tradition Origins

Why Some LGBTQ Folks Feel Stressed at the Holidays

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Star Trek's Picard: Let It Snow

Mean Girls: Jingle Bell Rock

Pentatonix: Little Drummer Boy

How LGBTQ Couples Spend the Holidays Together

Progressive Christmas Carols

Silent Monks "Sing" Hallelujah Chorus

Queer Christmas: Documentary Film Celebrates Inclusion

Wham: Last Christmas

12 Gays of Christmas

La Voix and London Gay Big Band: All I Want for Xmas is You

Santa on the Rooftop by Jenna and Ally

Queen: Thank God it's Christmas
Couple of Misfits

 

Naughty or Nice
 

"It’s all fun and games, until Santa pulls out the naughty list."

 

The story of Santa Claus is probably one of the most repeated stories in history. Generations of parents have been tucking their children into beds at night telling them to be good because Santa Claus knows when you are naughty and when you are nice. From a parental perspective, this was supposed to be a huge motivator for children to be good, obedient, and well-behaved. And, as the story goes, nice children received candy canes and gifts while naughty children received lumps of coal.

 

 

"Dear Santa: Please define naughty."

 

So what does it mean to be nice?  What does it mean to be naughty?  Is nice behavior friendly and polite, while naughty behavior is rude and disrespectful?  Is being nice about being good, while being naughty is about being bad?  Or is is deeper than that?  Is being nice or naughty a matter of whether or not you are moral or ethical or honest or faithful?

 

Nice - To be nice is to be pleasant and agreeable. To be good, friendly, kind, and helpful. To be polite and gracious. Nice means you are considerate, thoughtful, and compassionate to others.
 

Naughty - To be naughty is to misbehave or act badly. To be disobedient, rude, and disrespectful. To be mischievous and rowdy.  To be naughty is to be mean, discourteous, and uncivil to others.

 

Of course, if you want to assess children's behavior in context, perhaps a label like "naughty" might be too simplistic. From a developmental perspective, isn't it just as possible that they're nervous or nice?  Uncomfortable-in-my-own-skin or nice?  I'm-angry-and-I-don't-know-why or nice?  My-impulses-are-beyond-my-control or nice?  I'm hurting or nice?  I-live-in-fear-of-coming-out or nice?  My-family-doesn't-accept-me or nice?

 

 


"Dear Santa: I’ve been good all year. OK, maybe most of the time…. Well, perhaps once in awhile… Oh, never mind, I’ll buy my own presents this year."

 

Adults know that good behavior is not rewarded by Santa, nor does he punish bad behavior.  If a system of rewards and punishments exist, perhaps it is in the notion of karma, the idea that good and bad actions have consequences. As you sow, so shall you reap.  Good deeds bring good karma, while bad deeds bring bad karma.  What goes around comes around. Good intentions bring good results, while bad intentions bring bad results. Karma (or kismet) means that your good deeds bring you good luck or good fortune.  It's a kind of cosmic payback.

 

Ultimately, being naughty or nice comes down to the responsible choices made by mature adults who decide to be moral, honest, and ethical simply because it is the right thing to do, with or without a reward.  Being a nice person is its own reward.

 

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

Take My Advice: Don't Come Out During the Holidays

Home for the Holidays: Survival Tips for LGBTQ Couples

Dealing With the Family During the Holidays

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

How Queer People Can Reclaim Holiday Rituals

Home for the Holidays With a Gay Twist
LGBTQ Families Make Their Own Christmas

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Kwanzaa: Queer Black Jesus

Survival Tips: LGBTQ Folks Home for the Holidays

When the Holidays Are Hell: Tips for Surviving Family Gatherings
How to Beat the Gay Holiday Blues
Gay Ole Holiday Stress

For LGBTQ People, Holidays Can Be a Time of Added Stress

 

 

Your Holiday Mom

Here are some lovely holiday messages to LGBTQ people who might be estranged from their family. For LGBTQ people whose relationship with their parents and siblings is strained or hostile, these posts from surrogate moms might bring some measure of holiday cheer.

 

--Honey, I can’t even tell you how happy I am to have this time with you. Your smile lights my world, and I am so proud of you.  This holiday season, I have many hopes and dreams for you. I hope you will know how precious and beautiful you are inside and out, just the way you are. I also hope you know that you are one in a million. There is no one else on this earth who is quite like you, and you have special gifts and talents to share with this world. And, I hope that you will follow your dreams, and share them with others. This world needs the love, compassion, and kindness that are in you, and I know that it is already a better place because you are in it.

 

 

--You are so loved. Just the way you are, beautiful and whole. A gift to us and this world. Tonight, I like to think about all the good things that have happened.  This year I am thankful for you, my precious child. So look up.  Feel the cold wind on your face, the warmth of my arms around you.  The Christmas lights from our neighbor’s house have colored the snow.  Music and laughter can be heard in the distance and from inside.  Everyone who matters to me is happily under my roof, that includes you.  Tonight, there is nothing but laughter and love.  Tonight there is peace.  This is the magic of Christmas to me.

 

--My darling child, I know this year has been a tough one, and I am so glad that you’re still okay.  I just wanted to take a moment to tell you, you are loved. You are perfect. You are cherished. Life won’t get easier, but you will get stronger.  You are so brave and I just don’t have words to express how proud of you I am. So be at peace my sweet child and know you are loved. Many Blessings for a brighter new year.

 

 

--Dearest child of my heart, this time is special because you are with me and we are celebrating your life. For me, this time of year is about loved ones celebrating life together. I celebrate you and I always will. You are such a gift to this world. You have the ability to give love as only you can, to make a difference in this world. I know it’s been confusing, scary, frustrating, lonely, and so many other feelings that seem too big. I know this last year probably was especially scary for you, because the Earth has been hurting and in some places, very bad people are hurting others like you. I know that there are people in your life that don’t understand the joy that is you. I know that you may not understand why they are that way. To be honest, I never have understood it either. Know that I get you. Know that I see you. Know that I believe in you, support you, and love you just as you are. Love is love and has no boundaries. It knows no gender, race, skin color, religion, age, or nation. It belongs to all living beings. I’m here when you feel alone, I’m here when you need a hug, I’m here when you need to drown out the bad in your head. Hear me singing to you. Feel the warmth of my arms around you as my chin rests on your head while I sing. Listen to my heart beat with the music. Know you are home and safe. Much love to you, precious one.

 

 

 

--For me, the greatest gift of the season is to witness your becoming who you are, such a beautiful soul! Oh, how I love to see your face and notice how you’ve changed since the last time we saw each other.  I love the way you wear your own personal style!  I want you to know that my heart bursts with love to see you develop into the unique person that you are.  Tell me about what you have been doing, what you want to learn about, where you’d like to visit, or do one day. What brings you the greatest joy in life?  I want to share in that with you, dear one. I also want to hear about the challenges and the things that worry you.  You are not alone. I am here to listen with open arms and an open heart.  Please know that on the day I became a Mom, a love deeper than any ocean and wider than any imaginable universe was born in my heart!  My dear child, this love extends to you with so much warmth and acceptance.  I love you always and forever, no matter what and because of everything that you are.

 

 

--I want you to see yourself the way I do, as someone to be cherished, and valued, and nurtured, and protected, as someone who is worthy and worthwhile, as someone who deserves all the best that life can offer. I want you to see the you that can survive being judged, or being bullied, or being ignored. I want you to see the you that has allies and friends and family. I want you to see yourself as someone who is greatly loved. My gift to you this holiday season is a promise: I will fight for you. I will use my voice and my heart to make sure you aren’t forgotten or ignored. I will hold you, and love you, and I will always, always, set a place at my table for you. In a world that’s sometimes harsh and ugly, you are a beacon of light. You are welcome in this family. Always. You are welcome in my life. Always.

 

[Source: Your Holiday Mom]

 

Queer Tips to Get You Through the Holidays
Starbucks Holiday Coffee Cups Include Same Sex Couple

Holiday Gift Ideas for Gender Non-Conforming Kids

Drag Carole: We Three Queens

Survival Tips: LGBTQ Folks Home for the Holidays

Heartwarming LGBTQ Family Holiday Cards

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Why Some LGBTQ Folks Feel Stressed at the Holidays

Gay Christmas

Holiday Shopping According to Your Values

Kwanzaa: Queer Black Jesus

Ten Ways to Queer Up Christmas

HRC Holiday Tips: Things to Remember if You are LGBTQ

Holiday Gift Guide: LGBTQ Friendly Kid's Books

Queer Nativity Scenes

Microsoft Celebrates the Spirit of the Season

The Queerest Christmas Songs

How LGBTQ Couples Spend the Holidays Together

 

 

Queer for the Holidays

The holiday season is a daunting time for a lot of LGBTQ people, especially LGBTQ youth. This, sadly, won’t surprise a lot of people. If you are queer, you know how difficult this season can be. This joyful, celebratory time of the year can often feel anything but, because, unfortunately, we don’t all have an environment in which we can celebrate at home, where we will likely be this season.

We are going to talk about our festive experiences. This is for every queer person who will have to spend time listening to casual homo/bi/transphobia being tossed around over the dinner table, who will shy away from conversations about relationships, or who won’t be around their families at all for these reasons. You are not alone. Us LGBTQ people have survived and endured so much for so long and we have found small pockets of happiness amongst it all, with people like us, in supportive family members and friends and in hope. Keep safe this festive season.

 



Being Out with Family | Ellanora

I am incredibly lucky to have a family in which I know I can be myself. More than anything else I want to express my gratitude on behalf of myself to my own family, and to all the other people who make their LGBTQ family members feel comfortable during the holidays, even when they don’t know they are doing it.

But that’s the thing. My family doesn’t know that they’re doing it because I have not come out to my extended family. And I am not planning on doing so any time soon. Partly because it is scary, partly because it is difficult, mostly because I don’t feel like I have to or that I should have to.

And while I am happy with my situation as it is, it can make the holidays weird. Because most of the time I am more or less out. Not only do the majority of people in my life know about my sexuality, but many of my friends share this identity with me. During the holidays this normal occurrence is yanked out from under me. For a few weeks each year I am not out anymore, I am the same person I am the rest of the year but the people around me don’t know about one of the major things that makes up who I am.

Of course, this is not an experience unique to the holidays or unique to LGBTQ people. But this situation is particularly significant to me because of the importance of my family in my life. This family and the traditions we have are a big part of who I am. And it is weird that they do not know about or understand some of the other biggest parts of who I am.

I am grateful for this family who has given me the childhood that has shaped me, and I am grateful for those who have helped give me the other things that are important to my identity, and I am grateful for the opportunity to someday create traditions that reflect everything about who I am.

 

A Chosen Family Christmas | Amelia

Since I came out at 14 and was told bisexuality is a phase, my sexuality has been a “swept under the rug” topic. There’s an unspoken understanding that I am, shockingly, still bisexual, but it’s not something that is brought up. There’s no “so how is your girlfriend?” (who I have been dating for almost four years).  They know, and they ask about her by name, but never is it highlighted that I’m in a committed and long-term relationship. And I am at the point where I don’t expect there to be.

But it could be worse, and I know this. I have friends who can never come out to their family. Friends who don’t know what will happen once they get in a relationship. I’m incredibly lucky I can be out, and proudly so when I’m not at home.

These friends are what us queers call a “chosen family”. I’ve done a post on them before. This festive season, we’re going to spend New Year’s together, away from home pressures, in a space where we can be who we are, talk and joke openly, and bring in the new year. We’re going to have our version of a family Christmas dinner and watch the fireworks. Have that warm, sweet holiday season that we all deserve but can’t find at home.

I’m so excited for it. I hope you all find at least one other friend like you to do this with, even if it’s just a chat at midnight on New Year’s Eve, reminding you that you aren’t alone, and that this coming year has so much untapped potential for change. That things do change and you won’t always be where you are right now.

 

 

Not Wanting to Rock The Boat |Keira

I’ve only ever formally come out to one person in my life - my mom, four years ago. Since then, I assume that she’s told people in my family, but I couldn’t honestly tell you if that was just my dad or if my whole six uncles and aunts (plus kids) know.  I don’t believe that I’m obligated to have any formal coming-out talk with any of them, mainly because I don’t think heterosexuality should be the default assumption, but also just because I don’t see them enough for it to directly impact me.

I love both sides of my family, but my parents both came from large groups of siblings from which they were the only ones who really split off from the larger group, and the holidays are the only real time I spend time with either side. I guess that, deep down, some part of me doesn’t want to accidentally ruin these gatherings by bringing up my gayness, just in case my image of family holiday ideal of twice-baked potatoes and board games galore is shattered.

I know in theory that both sides of my family are liberal, but I still default to referencing my girlfriend as a friend when I bring her up. It’s just not worth the trouble, and I’m kind of ashamed of that.

The grandparent I was closest to passed away this year, so this will be my first Christmas without her, and I really did hope I’d be able to come out to her at some point in her life. I didn’t. Like it or not, I made the choice to avoid any kind of vulnerability with my family, and I have to make peace with that. Although I’m closer to some of them than others, news travels fast, and surprisingly enough, my family has become more conservative as the years have passed.

The bottom line for me is that Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, and I’m too scared to jeopardize my chance to make positive memories. I’ve chosen to be uncontroversial until absolutely necessary, but eventually that will have to change. I can’t wait to show up in ten years with a girlfriend and less internalized insecurity about my sexuality, to ring in the holigays with the people I care about most.

 

[Source: Amelia AJ Foy, Ellanora Lerner, Keira D]

 

 

Happiest Season: Queering Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Mary Lambert

Indigo Girls & Chely Wright: Wonderful Life

So This is Christmas

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Jimmy Fallon & Mariah Carey: All I Want for Christmas is You

Dolly Parton: Hard Candy Christmas

Heartwarming LGBTQ Family Holiday Cards

Supreme Fabulettes: You Ruined My Xmas

Stairway to Christmas

Indina Mansel and Michael Buble: Baby It's Cold Outside

Chicago Gay Hockey Association: All I Want for Christmas

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

Christmas Queens: Let it Snow

Kwanzaa: Queer Black Jesus

Melissa Etheridge: Blue Christmas

Coming Out for Christmas

Your Holiday Mom

Sarah McLachlan: River
Univ Conn Funky Dawgs: Jingle Bells

 

To Those Who Struggle During the Holidays

I’m not writing this to everyone. I’m writing this to you—the person whose heart is heavy today, the one for whom this day is not merry and bright, the one who doesn’t feel at all like singing.

I’m writing this to you who face subtraction today; who feel the combined attrition of the all losses you’ve accrued this year; the people who’ve died, the ones who left voluntarily, those you’ve had to push away to protect yourself.

I’m writing to you who’ve seen the end of something you loved; the dream that dissolved despite how much you gave up to make it real; all the things that you wish to be true right now and should be true—but are not.

 

I’m writing to those who’ve watched their best attempts to save their marriages (or relationships) not be enough, who are finding themselves no longer half of the whole they once felt securely part of; those who have a different set of chairs around the table—far too many of them empty.

I’m writing to you who are grieving; those sitting vigil in hospital rooms praying for good news; those who just got test results back and have heard the worst; those who are spending this day planning a memorial service instead of a holiday celebration.

I’m writing to you whose personal demons have gotten the best of you; who’ve been visited at the very worst time by depression and addiction and self-hatred—those whose greatest threat to joy right now is an inside job.

I’m writing this to those who are alone today: geographically separated from the people they love, emotionally distanced from those they desire proximity to, pushed by circumstance to the solitary places.

 

I’m writing this to those who’ve been left broken by this year; by its cruelty and bitterness and violence—those of you who harbor more anger, carry more grief, and bear more fear because of what you’ve seen and what you know and how you feel about this place you call home.

Ultimately, I’m writing to you, who for a million different reasons find peace difficult to come by in a time when it’s supposed to be plentiful. I don’t have any magic words to fix what is broken around you or to repair what is broken within you. I can’t simply place a cursor on the sadness you feel and backspace until it’s deleted, replacing it with words like comfort or peace or contentment. I can’t say anything in this small space that will mend what is severed, resurrect what has died, or heal what is ill.

I just wanted these words to hopefully remind you of two things:
 

 

The first, is that you are not alone; that even though you’re uniquely suffering in the specific sadness you’re inhabiting right now—you are not suffering by yourself. The world is filled with people who are not exactly, but still deeply burdened, grieving, angry, hopeless, exhausted. Even if you never see their faces or know their names, rest in the truth that millions of wounded people stand in solidarity with you in this day—and that they get it. I get it.

The second thing I wanted to remind you of, is that though this is your painful story right now, it is not the end of your story. The way you feel today will not always be the way you feel. As difficult as it is to imagine in these painful moments—there will be holidays when lightness returns to you; days when you are cultivating new dreams again, when you once more feel secured in a place where you belong, when you again find yourself embraced by people who see and treasure the goodness in you, days when you are easily pushing back your demons.

There will be holidays when celebration is your default setting. But right now, don’t feel any guilt for the sadness within you. Don’t beat yourself up for not wanting to sing right now. It is okay not to be okay. Just receive this holiday as it is. Receive it as you are, with all the struggle and uncertainty and grieving it brings. I’m not writing this to everyone, but if I’ve written this for you, be greatly encouraged. You are loved.

 

[Source: John Pavlovitz]

 

Queer Tips to Get You Through the Holidays
Starbucks Holiday Coffee Cups Include Same Sex Couple

Holiday Gift Ideas for Gender Non-Conforming Kids

Drag Carole: We Three Queens

Heartwarming LGBTQ Family Holiday Cards

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas

How Queer People Can Reclaim Holiday Rituals

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Why Some LGBTQ Folks Feel Stressed at the Holidays

Gay Christmas

Holiday Shopping According to Your Values

Kwanzaa: Queer Black Jesus

Ten Ways to Queer Up Christmas

HRC Holiday Tips: Things to Remember if You are LGBTQ

Holiday Gift Guide: LGBTQ Friendly Kid's Books

Queer Nativity Scenes

Microsoft Celebrates the Spirit of the Season

The Queerest Christmas Songs

How LGBTQ Couples Spend the Holidays Together

 

 

Queer Epiphany: Three Kings or Three Queens?

Reimagining the three kings as queer or female gives fresh meaning to Epiphany, a holiday celebrating the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus. It is observed on January 6. The word “epiphany” also refers to a sudden, intuitive perception. By looking at the Bible and church history from a LGBTQ viewpoint, people can experience new insights — their own personal “epiphanies” of understanding. New interpretations of the wise ones known as the Magi include:

Queer Magi

 

LGBTQ church leaders suggest that the Magi may have been eunuchs — people who today would be called gay, queer or transgender. Intriguing questions are raised by the artistic tradition of showing the of three Magi together in bed. Female Magi appear in various books, videos and artwork. It one painting the Three Wise Ones embody different races — and some perceive a transwoman among them. Epiphany is also known as Women’s Christmas.

 

Queer Magi for Epiphany: Fabulous Clothing
 

Although they are often called the “three kings,” the Magi stand in contrast to worldly King Herod who sought world domination by massacring the “holy innocents” who might grow up to take his throne. The wise Magi who followed the star to find the newborn Jesus were more likely wizards who provide a higher wisdom or astrologists with expertise in cosmic balance.

The Magi played the shamanic role often filled by eunuchs, an ancient term for LGBTQ people, says Nancy Wilson in her book Outing the Bible: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Christian Scriptures.” She writes:

“They were Zoroastrian priests, astrologers, magicians, ancient shamans from the courts of ancient Persia. They were the equivalent of Merlin of Britain. They were sorcerers, high-ranking officials, but not kings—definitely not kings. But quite possibly, they were queens. We’ve always pictured them with elaborate, exotic, unusual clothing—quite festive, highly decorated and accessorized! 
 

As Wilson pointed out, the Magi are often depicted wearing gorgeous, elaborate attire. Eunuchs and cross-dressers were surprisingly common in the Mediterranean world of the Bible and later.

 


Over time the story was embellished. Each Magi was given a name and a backstory in western tradition: White-bearded Melchior, the oldest, came from Persia and brought gold. Caspar came from India and brought frankincense. Beardless Balthazar, the youngest, had dark skin and came from Arabia or Ethiopia with the gift of myrrh. The Adoration of the Magi became one of the most popular themes in art. As the iconography evolved, Balthazar in particular tended to look especially queer or even campy.

The concept of the queer Magi is amplified by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, author of Omnigender. “My guess is that they were people who today would be termed transwomen,” she writes in the brochure “Gender Identity and Our Faith Communities.”

By happy coincidence, a cross-dressing saint happens to have a feast day on January 5, the day before Epiphany. Apollinaria Dorotheos of Egypt, was assigned female at birth, but put on men’s clothing and entered monastic life as a eunuch named Dorotheos.

 



Queer Magi for Epiphany: Bed Sharing and Shamanic Dreams
 

They also have shamanistic dreams. They deceive evil King Herod and actually play the precise role that many other prominent eunuchs play in the Bible: they rescue the prophet, this time the Messiah of God, and foil the evil royal plot against God’s anointed.”

One of the Magi’s shamanic dreams is recorded in the Bible. The gospel of Matthew says that after the Magi found the baby Jesus, God came to them in a dream and warned them not to return to King Herod. They went back home another way, thus thwarting Herod’s plan to locate and kill the infant Messiah.

The dream of the Magi was a common motif in medieval European art. These little-known images startle today’s viewers by showing the three kings together as an interracial male trio in one bed — sometimes even nude (but always wearing their crowns).

This looks like a homosexual liaison to many people now, but bed-sharing was a common custom in the Middle Ages. Back then people usually engaged in communal sleeping, not sexual activity, when sharing a bed with traveling companions, family members, colleagues and others. Still these historic artworks do provide a visual aid for considering the queer side of the Magi.
 

 

Female Magi for Epiphany


Female Magi have been envisioned by artists in a gender-bending move that sometimes causes controversy. Epiphany itself is celebrated as “Women’s Christmas” (Nollaig na mBan) in Ireland, where men assume the household duties for the day so women can celebrate together at the end of the holiday season.

A multi-racial trio of female Magi visits the baby Jesus and his mother in “Epiphany” by Vermont artist Janet McKenzie. Instead of the traditional three kings or three wise men, the artist re-interprets the Magi as wise women from around the world.

“More than a few people have asked about the gender of the tallest Magi in Janet’s ‘Epiphany’ image. Male? Female? Trans? I find that stunningly wonderful because possibly three minority groups might be embodied in this portrait in the eyes and imaginations of so many viewers!” said Barbara Marian, who commissioned the McKenzie painting.

The unconventional portrayal of the Magi makes good theological sense. Marian explains: “The story of the Magi in the Gospel of Matthew allowed the Jewish followers of Jesus to imagine the unthinkable — God’s grace extending to the outsiders, the gentiles. Who are the outsiders in our world? Can we imagine the favor of God extending beyond the human boundaries of race, class, nationality, ethnicity, religious devotion, and gender?”

 



Marian commissioned “Epiphany” for the Nativity Project, which revisited and revitalized the Gospel with new images of women. “It’s easy to get so caught up in regal images of Matthew’s night visitors that we miss the core message — Christ for all people,” Marian says. In 2015 she donated them to the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

A 2017 illustrated book on the theme is “Three Wise Queens: A Story of the Nativity” by James Allen, with illustrations by‎ András Barlogh. The multiracial trio named Hekima, Sophia and Mingzhi journey across three continents to find a baby unlike any other in Bethlehem.
 

Jan Richardson, an artist and Methodist minister in Florida, also portrays the Magi as women of different races in “Wise Women Also Came,” an image that appears on the cover of her book “Sacred Journeys: A Woman’s Book of Daily Prayer.”

[Source: Kittredge Cherry, Q Spirit, Jan 2020]

 

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

Happiest Season: New LGBTQ Holiday Movie

Elton John Singalong: Step Into Christmas

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Sam Smith

Jimmy Fallon & Friends: Wonderful Christmas Time

Shawn Hayes: Jingle Bells

That's Christmas to Me by Pentatonix

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

Drag Carole: We Three Queens

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Xmas Queens: Let it Snow

SNL: I Wish it Was Christmas Today

Speedo Santas in Boston

Dashing in December: Gay Cowboy Christmas Romance

Jingle Bells with Boxer Shorts

Silent Monks "Sing" Hallelujah Chorus

Steve Grand: All I Want for Christmas is You

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Lesbian Version

Glee: Baby It's Cold Outside

Randy Rainbow: New Christmas Music Album

 


 

Happiest Season: Queering Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Mary Lambert

Indigo Girls & Chely Wright: Wonderful Life

So This is Christmas

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Jimmy Fallon & Mariah Carey: All I Want for Christmas is You

Dolly Parton: Hard Candy Christmas

Kwanzaa: Queer Black Jesus

Heartwarming LGBTQ Family Holiday Cards

Supreme Fabulettes: You Ruined My Xmas

Stairway to Christmas

Indina Mansel and Michael Buble: Baby It's Cold Outside

Chicago Gay Hockey Association: All I Want for Christmas

Young Gay Boy Writes Letter to Santa

Christmas Queens: Let it Snow

Melissa Etheridge: Blue Christmas
Coming Out for Christmas

Your Holiday Mom

Sarah McLachlan: River
Univ Conn Funky Dawgs: Jingle Bells

 

Randolph the Gay Reindeer

We all know about Rudolph and how his nose lights up the night
And Olive, the other reindeer, who helped Santa with his flight
But, there's one who is forgotten from the Christmas songs and rhymes
And I think you should hear about him, yes, I think it is about time

 



Randy was a reindeer who liked to play the reindeer games
But he too, was like Rudolph and the others called him names
Randy, wasn't much at flying, he didn't like going out most nights
Randy, well, he was just different, you see, he was afraid of heights

He couldn't see where he was going either in the day or night
You see Randy needed glasses, he had a problem with his sight
His balance was in question, always falling to the ground
If a reindeer falls in the forest, does that reindeer make a sound?

 

He had a skin condition, he needed special cream to help
The harness didn't help him, in fact, it made him yelp
He was shorter than the others and his stride was a bit off
And when Santa came to see him, Randy had a nervous cough

He didn't like the female reindeer, he liked the males more than he should
Randy was "light in the antlers" and, to Santa, that's no good
Santa couldn't fly with Randy, his name, it was all wrong
It screamed out Broadway not of Christmas, it didn't work in all the songs

 


 

Santa said "you're a strange reindeer, you can't fly, you're blind and gay"
"And if you led my team, well, we'd not be done in just one day"
"I'm sorry, reindeer Randy, I have to cut you from the team"
"They play one side, you're on the other, if you know what Santa means"

So, Randy, he just wanders around the north pole all the while
Bumping into things and falling with his light antlers and strange smile
He's not a famous reindeer, and I think that it's okay
That Santa has a reindeer who we now all know is gay

 

[Source: Roger Turner]

 

Mary Lambert: Seasonal Depression

Take My Advice: Don't Come Out During the Holidays

Home for the Holidays: Survival Tips for LGBTQ Couples

Dealing With the Family During the Holidays

Heartbreaking Letter to Santa From Young Gay Boy

Drag Carole: We Three Queens

Home for the Holidays With a Gay Twist
LGBTQ Families Make Their Own Christmas

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Kwanzaa: Queer Black Jesus

When the Holidays Are Hell: Tips for Surviving Family Gatherings
How to Beat the Gay Holiday Blues
Gay Ole Holiday Stress

For LGBTQ People, Holidays Can Be a Time of Added Stress

 

Queer Writer of Christmas Carols

Christina Georgina Rossetti was a 19th-century English poet whose work ranged from Christmas carols to sensuous lesbian love poetry. A devout Christian who never married, she has been called a “queer virgin” and “gay mystic.” Her feast day is April 27 on the Church of England calendar.

 



Many consider her to be one of Britain’s greatest Victorian poets. Rossetti’s best-known works are the Christmas carol “In the Bleak Midwinter” and “Goblin Market,” a surprisingly erotic poem about the redemptive love between two sisters who overcome temptation by goblins. The homoeroticism is unmistakable in verses such as these:

She cried, Did you miss me? Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises, Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices
Squeez’d from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew. Eat me, drink me, love me.
She clung about her sister, Kiss’d and kiss’d and kiss’d her…
She kiss’d and kiss’d her with a hungry mouth.

Some of these verses were set to music in a choral piece commissioned by the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir: “Heartland” by Matthew Hindson.

 



There is no direct evidence that Rossetti was sexually involved with another woman, but historian Rictor Norton reports that her brother destroyed her love poems addressed to women when he edited her poetry for publication. Rossetti is included in “Essential Gay Mystics” by Andrew Harvey. A comprehensive chapter titled “Christina Rossetti: The Female Queer Virgin” appears in “Same Sex Desire in Victorian Religious Culture” by Frederick S. Roden. Rossetti is also important to feminist scholars who reclaimed her in the 1980s and 1990s as they sought women’s voices hidden in the church’s patriarchal past.

Rossetti 1830-1894) was born in London as the youngest child in an artistic family. Her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti became a famous Pre-Raphaelite poet and artist. Encouraged by her family, she began writing and dating her poems starting at age 12.

When Rossetti was 14 she started experiencing bouts of illness and depression and became deeply involved in the Anglo-Catholic Movement of the Church of England. The rest of her life would be shaped by prolonged illness and passionate religious devotion. She broke off marriage engagements with two different men on religious grounds. She stayed single, living with her mother and aunt for most of her life. During this period she served as the model for the Virgin Mary in a couple of her brother’s most famous paintings, including his 1850 vision of the Annunciation, “Ecce Ancilla Domini” (“Behold the Handmaid of God”).

 



Starting in 1859, Rossetti worked for 10 years as a volunteer at the St. Mary Magdalene “house of charity” in Highgate, a shelter for unwed mothers and former prostitutes run by Anglican nuns. Some suggest that “Goblin Market” was inspired by and/or written for the “fallen women” she met there.

“Goblin Market” was published in 1862, when Rossetti was 31. The poem is about Laura and Lizzie, two sisters who live alone together and share one bed. They sleep as a couple, in Rossetti’s vivid words:

Cheek to cheek and breast to breast, Lock’d together in one nest.

But “goblin men” tempt them with luscious forbidden fruit and Laura succumbs. After one night of indulgence she can no longer find the goblins and begins wasting away. Desperate to help her sister, Lizzie tries to buy fruit from the goblins, but they refuse and try to make her eat the fruit. She resists even when they attack and try to force the fruit into her mouth. Lizzie, drenched in fruit juice and pulp, returns home and invites Laura to lick the juices from her in the verses quoted earlier. The juicy kisses revive Laura and the two sisters go on to lead long lives as wives and mothers.

“Goblin Market” can be read as an innocent childhood nursery rhyme, a warning about the dangers of sexuality, a feminist critique of marriage or a Christian allegory. Lizzie becomes a Christ figure who sacrifices to save her sister from sin and gives life with her Eucharistic invitation to “Eat me, drink me, love me…” The two sisters of “Goblin Market” are often interpreted as lesbian lovers, which means that Lizzie can justifiably be interpreted as a lesbian Christ.

 



Rossetti was an important inspiration to a younger English poet who is also frequently considered queer because of his homoerotic themes: Gerard Manley Hopkins. Fourteen years younger than her, he was a Catholic convert and a priest. They shared a passion for religious poetry and met in person once, in 1864.

In 1872 Rossetti was diagnosed with Graves Disease, an auto-immune thyroid disorder, which caused her to spend her last 15 years as a recluse in her home. She died of cancer in 1894 at age 64.

She wrote the words to “In the Bleak Midwinter” in 1872 in response to a request from Scribner’s Magazine for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in 1904 and became a popular carol after composer Gustav Holst set it to music in 1906. Her poem “Love Came Down at Christmas” (1885) is also a well known carol. “In the Bleak Midwinter” continues to be sung frequently in churches, by choirs, and on recordings by artists such as Sarah McLaughlin, Julie Andrews, Loreena McKennitt, Susan Boyle and James Taylor. The haunting song includes these verses:

In the bleak mid-winter, Frosty wind made moan,Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow, In the bleak mid-winter, Long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, Nor earth sustain; Heaven and earth shall flee away, When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter, A stable-place suffice'd, The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ….
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, Worship night and day, A breastful of milk, And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels, Fall down before, The ox and ass and camel, Which adore.
Angels and archangels, May have gathered there, Cherubim and seraphim, Thronged the air –
But only His mother, In her maiden bliss, Worshipped the Beloved, With a kiss.
What can I give Him, Poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man, I would do my part, Yet what I can I give Him, Give my heart.


 

The Episcopal Church considered devoting a feast day to Christina Rossetti on April 27 with this prayer for possible inclusion on the official calendar:

O God, whom heaven cannot hold, you inspired Christina Rossetti to express the mystery of the Incarnation through her poems: Help us to follow her example in giving our hearts to Christ, who is love; and who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Rossetti herself may well have felt ambivalent about being honored by the church or outed as queer. She shared her own thoughts for posterity in her poem “When I am dead, my dearest” (1862):

When I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head, Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me, With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember, And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows, I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight, That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember, And haply may forget.


[Source: Kittredge Cherry, April 2020]

 


 

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Sam Smith

Jimmy Fallon & Friends: Wonderful Christmas Time

Shawn Hayes: Jingle Bells

That's Christmas to Me by Pentatonix

Going Home for the Holidays Should Be Beautiful

Xmas Queens: Let it Snow

Queer Black Christmas

SNL: I Wish it Was Christmas Today

Speedo Santas in Boston

Jingle Bells with Boxer Shorts

LGBTQ Families Make Their Own Christmas

Silent Monks "Sing" Hallelujah Chorus

Queer Cheer for Christmas: Make the Yuletide Gay

Take My Advice: Don't Come Out During the Holidays

Steve Grand: All I Want for Christmas is You

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Lesbian Version

Glee: Baby It's Cold Outside

Christmas Queens: Let it Snow

Earth's Holidays: Celebration of the Seasons

 

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