PFLAG Pittsburgh issued the following message during the holiday season:
A Minute with Dave: A Letter from the PFLAG Pittsburgh President
Happy holidays from PFLAG Pittsburgh! We have much to celebrate this season: a light in the distance marking the end of the nightmare of COVID-19, leadership that not only recognizes but honors LGBTQ members of our nation, and the support of those we love.
Our days are still dark, both literally and figuratively. For the first time in my life, I am struggling with how early the sun goes down. Just the other day, I finished watching a movie with my oldest and announced I was going to bed. It was 6:30 in the evening… The darkness seeps inside of us as well. We are social creatures. We need human interaction and touch. Our current situation will not allow it. That is hard on us, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is hard, no doubt. I hope you have the tools needed to push back against the darkness. At least the existential darkness, we have to wait for the Earth to get back into position for Spring before we can do away with the actual darkness.
One way to deal with loneliness and fear? Reach out. Reach out to someone you love. Reach out to a friend. Reach out to someone you barely know. Use Facebook, Twitter, email, Zoom, or God forbid, the phone. (When did we start avoiding using the phone??) If we are ALL feeling the loneliness of the quarantine, we can assume that just about anyone we reach out to will welcome the connection. Say I love you. Say I miss you. Say how the hell are you? Say anything really. It is the connection that counts.
The holidays can be particularly difficult for members of the LGBTQ community. Memories of a family now gone. Thoughts of a life of support, acceptance, and love, not one of being made to feel like an “other.” Missing their chosen families due to the quarantine. Bring them into your circle of connection. There is light ahead. We just need to stick together and keep one another afloat for a bit longer.
For my family, much as our Thanksgiving was shrunken in size, our Christmas will be the four of us. That’s not only okay, but it is also wonderful. I hope your holiday or celebration, whatever it might be, is joyous and hopeful as we move toward better days ahead.
Allow me a shameless photo of my best friend Jed. He is excited for his first Christmas and hopes this Santa guy isn’t TOO judgmental.
Dave West, President – PFLAG Pittsburgh