One day to go until Christmas is here. While this has been a challenging year for many of us, the holiday season brings with it a restart. People seem kinder, the world seems brighter, we start noticing each other more than we did before.
But to many LGBTQ+ people, this is not an easy time of year. As often as we like to say "It's 2016, people," there are many folks in our community who cannot return home for the holidays. And for some who do, they can't bring their boyfriend, or be honest about who they are. When "home for the holidays" is supposed to mean something special, for many it's anything but. It means being quiet, shutting up, and hiding out. Others aren't even welcome in their parent's houses anymore.
We can choose our own families, as RuPaul says. We can create the life we want for ourselves. We can find those who love us for who we are. Even so, it's important to take this time of year to think about those who don't have it so easy. Those who have families whose love is conditional. Those who have families who don't acknowledge who they are inside. The ones who sit across from you at the table and know nothing about what beats inside your heart.
While strides have been made, there are many LGBTQ+ youths who have been thrown out of the house, or not told to come home for the holidays. There are many LGBTQ+ youths who are homeless, struggling to just get by. And then there are those people who make it home, but they can't be honest with the ones that they're supposed to call family.
At this time of year, with everything going on, it's important that we don't forget about the struggles others face. When the shopping lanes are busy, when everyone is rushing through the malls, when everyone is hitting the road, there are many who don't have what we have. There are many who aren't sitting down to a gigantic meal.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, and however you choose to love, know this: I see you. I know how it can hurt. I know what it can be like. You have so much life inside you. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You are beautiful. And you are magnificent.