If Lifetime and Logo had an Internet love child, then it would be Your Holiday Mom: Loving Moms Supporting LGBTQ Children This Holiday Season.
The website was started by a woman known as Shamama (yes, the screen names can be a bit much —we’ll get to that). Each day since Thanksgiving, mothers (and in some cases, fathers and aunts) have posted messages of support and acceptance to LGBT youth, and will continue posting until New Year’s Day.
Many messages are addressed as letters to the “adopted holiday child.” Audio and pictures often accompany the text, enhancing the emotional significance. Reading Mom Marji’s words: “you are allowed to be different from everyone else” is one experience. Hearing her say them is another.
Although Your Holiday Mom is directed towards LGBT youth, older LGBT individuals visit the website. A woman of 57 responded to Mom Teri’s message: “Hope you don’t mind if I take your recording to heart cause I need a mom right now.” No matter the age of “adopted holiday children,” the mothers frequently respond to comments, affirming the caring relationship promised in the messages.
Honestly, suspicion may arise at the schmaltz, since a few mothers are known by screen names such as “Shamama,” “Mamabear,” “Mama Sunshine.” One header picture looks like a hymnal cover with a close-up image of a pair of hands, palms outstretched to the dawn sky.
But there is a sincere desire for connection, and the expression of love for all who need it. As far as religion, a few messages talk of faith or forgiveness. Yet Mom Logan is an atheist and Dad Burt “wish[es] you a hearty Happy Everything.” As the website states, “the moms here represent diversity.”
Some mothers describe how they would spend the holidays with their adopted child: “Can you see me at the door, with my arms open, waiting to hug you?” This visualization technique could bolster an LGBT individual’s self-worth. One person commented about how she uses the messages as affirmations.
Your Holiday Mom provides powerful support for LGBT individuals who do not feel accepted by their own families. That is validating. However, it would be helpful if Your Holiday Mom also connected LGBT individuals to resources — for example, CenterLink or Safe Schools Coalition. That way we could add “real-life” support networks to our virtual connections, and have something to build on when the holidays are over.
For more information, visit http://www.yourholidaymom.com