Not all of us have an awesome Christmas
by Amanda Kerri
Transgender Issues Columnist
Ah, Christmas, that time of the year we look forward to shortly after the Fourth of July when Walmart first starts putting out its decorations. It’s a time of the year when we would stomp an old woman on the ankle and shove a toddler down for a slightly cheaper TV. How tacky. We all know that the Fallout 4 Special Edition Xbox One is the only thing worth macing a pregnant woman for this year.
Yeah, it’s easy to rip on the materialism of the Holiday Season, or laugh at your relatives getting angry about Starbucks cups being an attack on Christianity. With it being the end of the year, I could easily just give this one an underhand throw to get an article in by doing so. I’m not though.
I really don’t care that much about the early decorations or people buying stuff that they don’t really need, it’s just another thing about people that’s fun to watch. My thing about Christmas is spending it with people I really enjoy being around; friends, family, and people who make baked goods. The holidays are the time of the year when we all sit around and enjoy each other’s company and enjoy our good fortune, and that really is something wonderful.
This is the part usually where Tiny Tim throws away his crutches, the Peanuts Gang starts dancing, and Ralphie shoots his eye out. Seriously, who lets a kid play with a BB rifle the first time without proper supervision? Oh God, I sound like an adult.
I really do have a lot to be thankful for. I got a decent job, my heath is only now starting its slow decline due to age, and my apartment’s heater only goes out once a week, so it’s a decent life. I’m gonna be spending Christmas with my friends, I’ll buy my dogs some bones to go in their stockings, and then I’ll eat till I’m diabetic.
One thing I think I can also be grateful for is that I’m not one of the 43 percent of all people who use temporary homeless shelters that are LGBT. While I may not be spending the holidays with my family, neither will 40 percent of all homeless youth who are LGBT. In this country 94 percent of all homeless youth service providers report that they regularly work with LGBT clients.
What bothers me is that the paper this column is written in might end up only providing one bit of help to those kids this year by being something they can burn in a barrel fire to stay warm. Despite the myth that goes around that gay people have more money, it’s not actually true according to numerous studies. Something in the order of 24 percent of lesbian women live below the poverty line and 15 percent of gay men do as well, which is higher than heterosexual people.
I’m not even going to bring up the trans statistics because those are just plain sad, and I don’t want to be a total bummer. It’s tough to hear that, as we ourselves like the myth of the High Class Homo, but it’s really not true.
A lot of us are not going to have an awesome Christmas this year because we’re poor, homeless, or simply don’t have anyone to spend it with. For as disappointed with your life and what you got or gave for Christmas because you’re too broke to buy the really fancy stuff, someone is really hoping that Christmas dinner isn’t going to be a can of corn or expired pumpkin pie filling.
It really doesn’t take much to make those people’s lives just a little bit better. No, you don’t have to go buy the biggest goose in all of London to make it all better, but just paying a little of the prosperity you have forward will help. No one’s asking you to take in all the queer street urchins of the world, but you know, a buck here or a buck there will give them a safe place to eat and maybe a chance at school.
Instead of complaining about tinsel in July, or how obnoxious your relatives are, why not give to these people the cost of one cocktail you’ll be drinking to deal with the stress of the holidays. Think of it as a way of giving yourself the gift of knowing you’re doing more this season than body tackling a minimum wage Target employee on your way to the new iPads.
The Gayly - 12/23/2015 @ 11:35 a.m. CST