Identity / Life

Support for the Transgender Community

The holidays can be hard. Loss of a loved one, illness, financial worries, addiction or distance from friends and family can make this time of year, when joys (and sorrows) are amplified feel especially lonely. For people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, rejection by our families is an acute pain when so many people are “home for the holidays.”

I remember when I was in college and I was involved with the campus LGBT group. There were always one or two members who were unwelcome home after coming out. My mother would invite them to our holiday meal and we would talk, eat and celebrate together. Hopefully, they felt a little less alone.  I was reminded of this modest gesture my mother extended when I read about “The December Project.”

The December Project was founded on a very simple idea – help people in the trans community feel less alone during what can be a difficult time of year. It’s a labor of love run by four people: Mara Keisling, Dylan Scholinski, Jennifer Finney Boylan, and Helen Boyd.  If you are trans (or love someone who is trans) and are struggling during December, you can send an email to the founders. One of them will call you, like on the phone – and talk to you. They consider themselves “friends you haven’t met yet.” Everyone can use a friend. The team is very clear that they are not a crisis help line, but they do provide contact information for a suicide prevention lifeline. For those in the trans community who need to hear a friendly voice, it’s the perfect resource.

At it’s core, The December Project represents what the holiday season is about; reaching out, connecting and sharing a bit of what you have – whether it’s a physical gift, money, food, or love. The concept is so simple and lovely. I hope if you could use a chat from The December Project you reach out. If you know someone else who might benefit from their services, please share. And either way, you should, as I am, wrapping myself in the warm fuzzies this project gives me.

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