This is a little awkward, as we haven't talked in quite awhile...as in 21 years "awhile."
In my defense I got a bit caught up with puberty, and then college, and then starting a career, followed by relationships and then, well, you get the point. Isn't it crazy though that the last time we spoke I was stressing out about you bringing me a Teddy Ruxpin and to make sure to bring the tapes, because it wouldn't work without the tapes and the stores wouldn't open for another 24 hours. I'm happy to report that life and maturity have broadened my horizons and an animatronic teddy bear would rank fairly low on my list of stress these days.
I'm coming to you this year with a pretty large request though, and one that I think only your magic can help with.
You see Santa, I look around and see a world that is moving forward in such powerful ways and that our government is finally affording my LGBT community the rights we have fought so long for. We almost have all 50 states granting same sex marriage rights and that in itself feels like a Christmas miracle.
I also see a world that, in many ways, wants nothing more than to deny us every possible right. Every day a story pops up in my email or Facebook feed about some state that is trying to implement some form of discrimination, or some lawmaker that is using religion as another fatal blow to our struggle, or a country where people are being killed because they just want to feel the love they were born to feel.
My heart can't take it anymore Santa, it all starts to pile up and I feel as if my heart has no more room for sadness within it. I lie awake at nights trying to find the space to digest the news that an 11 year old has committed suicide because he felt there was no place for him on this Earth. I feel chest pains when I hold a crying 22 year old whose heart has begun to fill up with the hurt of their first time feeling discrimination. They grew up in a progressive state within a "modern family" world, where their icons told them it was okay because they were "born this way." They then want to help the society that nurtured them, offer to donate blood and are told because they love someone of the same sex, they are banned from helping others. Ouch! There's just no room to hold anymore of these stories.
Now, it may seem like I am about to ask you for more room in MY heart to be able to bear all of this, but in the spirit of the holidays, I'd like you to drop off a little room into the hearts of everyone else you visit this year.
I'm not a politician or an advocate of any sort. I don't study sociology or know everything there is to know about civil rights struggles around the world.
I am just a 33 year old gay man with eyes and ears that see and hear the world around him and know that we just need a little more space to fill with love.
Put space in the heart of the politician who will adhere themselves to policies that will promote the discrimination of others. Not because they believe in these, but because powerful institutions are filling their campaign funds in exchange for promises of bigotry. Let this space remind them that true leaders govern on principle and we remember those who support the advancement of people and not the degradation of minorities.
Put space in the hearts of the families that tarnish religion with their own agenda instead of spreading its message of love. Allow this space to promote charity among the church. Charity that feeds the millions that go hungry every day, many of them within the borders of our own country, and not "charities" that use their funds to rip families apart and keep us sociologically within the dark ages. Let it remind them that love is the greatest force of all, and that when you allow the world to love one another without constraint, we flourish and advance towards the greater good that our God intended.
Most of all though Santa, save enough space for the hearts of those who are still growing, and need as much space as they can get. Allow bullies to realize how powerful words can be and that you never know anyone's personal battle until you walk in their shoes. Allow children to question when they hear bigotry in their home and to remind their parents what children all too often know, bigotry is not born within us but instead taught to us. Remind that child with a fistful of pills that there is a huge beautiful world out there and there is absolutely a place for them within it. In fact, this world NEEDS you. You have no idea yet what you will be and all that you have to offer to the rest of us. Feel that extra space in your heart and know that so many of us felt the exact same pain but stuck with it until we saw the light at the end of that tunnel. And the light is glorious! It's blinding in fact. You have a history of millions behind you who fought and continue to fight, and we need you. Our future needs you.
So Santa, I know it's a tall order, but I also know that miracles can and do happen when you really believe in them, and this is the season for such things. We live in a pretty great place as it is, but I know if we all just found that extra bit of space within us, we could love so powerfully that any wall of hatred would crumble at our feet.
I still believe,