Imagine: No Home for Christmas

Imagine being a college student: everyone, your friends, roommates, even professors are excited about the holidays. Most people love the holidays; college students travel home or go to exotic locations with friends and families. The holidays are the time of year where most people describe going to hang out and enjoy family time. However, for LGBTQ+ youth, some of them have no families. This isn’t because they were orphaned, or lived on the streets, but simply because they are who they are and identify as something their families deem wrong and are no longer accepted by them.

For some college students, this is the reality. Dorms closing and the holidays are a stressful anxiety-filled event because they virtually have nowhere else to go. Even if they live on their own, they cannot go spend time with the people they love the most and who are supposed to love them the most simply because of who they are. For those who live in the dorms, this leaves them near homeless as the search for friends and their families who are willing to take them in. For those who live on their own, they may have close friends who treat them like a family and who they celebrate with; or, they celebrate alone, knowing that their family has abandoned them.

The topic of being LGBTQ+ may still be a controversial one, especially as religion and politics are determined to get involved. Whichever side or beliefs you have, the people who are in the middle of this controversy are the ones who are suffering the most. Many college kids dread going home, not because they do not live their family, but because living under the same roof as their parents after being independent for a while is sometimes tough; however, this doesn’t compare to your parents no longer claim you as theirs.

As of now, there are many people who are starting to realize the struggles that some people in the LGBTQ+ community are suffering from, especially during the holiday seasons. These people have set up multiple organizations to help these people feel loved and not alone during the holiday season. Organizations like Your Holiday Mom and Operation Out Front work for LGBTQ+ people, especially youth and adolescents to help them feel loved and accepted for the holiday season. These organizations focus on sending out cards, presents, care packages, and in extremely loving cases, inviting youth who live close by to stay over at one’s home and enjoy Christmas with their families. Helping the LGBTQ+ community during this time is just one more way to spread holiday cheer. You may have your family that you love dearly and enjoy spending time with, but thinking about the others who don’t have a family just because they are unaccepted by them can help one be grateful and humble to who they have in their life. Spending time with them or inviting them over to spend time with your family, sending them something special to know that they are just as loved, helps them feel just as accepted as you are this holiday season.