Catching The Christmas 2018 Vibe
We were there to get her Dad his Christmas present but of course, being the 11-year-old and only child she went straight to what she wanted for Christmas :).
“A-Dawg, we are not here for your present but your Dad…”
“I know, but did you know I wanted these noise canceling headphones for Christmas?”
“Yes, by now who in the world doesn’t know what you want for Christmas, now get over here and pick which one of these you think your Dad will like…”
A Smiling A-Dawg comes over, and we start picking, poking and playing around with Bluetooth speaker gadgets. At one point we were sampling the hip-hop clips used as test audio on the speakers. And oh yes, this fairy godmother and A-Dawg the fairy princess got our groove on. Bemused looks came our way while dancing to Rihanna in the middle of a Best Buy Bluetooth speaker aisle.
We were late to meet my parents for Christmas Eve lunch. It was my mother that taught me that if you are ten minutes early you are already 5 minutes late. Not only that, at first they were not very affirming (to say the least) of my coming out. They wouldn’t meet with Dan and me last year for Christmas Eve dinner. This year they did. I was so excited/nervous and here we were 20 minutes late.
I was quite the grouch but it all went away as we sat down at the table and we easily slipped into conversation. There was laughter and Mom went into silly tidbits of info and storytelling mode. When she does that you know it’s a good sign. Of course, she found some way to tell me to shave and lose weight. I knew she would J.
I was floored when the food came, and Mom asked me to say grace. All four of us held hands, even my step-father and I were both holding our respective Dan hands. But when she told Dan that it was once her time to take care of me and now it is his, I think I short-circuited. Never thought in a million years she would say something so sweet to my partner. It is four days later at the time of this writing, and I am still trying to process what happened. I keep coming back to simply enjoying it at face value; at that moment in time my parents accepted me for who I am as a person, and my relationship with Dan.
That’s a grace I hadn’t expected. Maybe the best Christmas gift I have gotten from them.
Christmas Eve night was spent with chosen family (adults only) at the Gill house with lots of great food. I took my 8th Sally Mae’s Tennessee Whiskey Chocolate Pecan pie of the season that got rave reviews. We played Cards Against Humanity. It was my first time, and I won! I am proud and scared of myself all at the same time. That’s pretty much the worst game ever, but I haven’t laughed that hard or squirmed that nervously, in a long time. It was fun.
Christmas Day was spent quietly with Dan, A-Dawg was with her mother so it was sad to not have her in the morning, but it was nice to have quality Christmas morning time with Dan. We went back over to the Gill house and exchanged gifts. I now have a Unicorn Mug and magical tape for my Unicorn tape dispenser. Both of which are incredibly important for my well being since my spirit animal is the Unicorn.
Speaking of A-Dawg, her Mom dropped her off at the Gill house. We spent time hanging out and playing Mad Libs (since all the kids were around, no Cards Against Humanity).
We came home and with plenty of laughter and 11-year-old girl squeals as we opened our presents to each other. There was plenty of light, life, and love… and a 3-day trip to New York City in March!
So, Where is Jesus?
At this point, my former friends and those who have disowned me, if they are reading this (which if you are, I am glad you are) may be wondering where is Jesus in all of this? Jesus is the “reason for the season”…right?
For me as a believer, Jesus was in every moment. Every moment of merriment with believers and non-believers who are celebrating different holidays or simply the season. He was in the Best Buy aisle dancing with us. He was in the grace that empowered a mother who had twice rejected her son’s coming out to accepting him, and his partner while agreeing with us in prayer. He was enjoying the squeals of delight emanating out of our home from an 11-year-old girl getting some pretty dang awesome gifts. He was in Dan’s eyes when we kissed, held hands, and enjoyed each other as partners.
He was in the fact that I didn’t have to fake a darn thing this Christmas, that every moment was lived honestly and empowered by love.
A New Year’s 2019 Wish
I spent many decades of Christmas seasons hurt and alone. My time in the ex-gay world led me to get dressed, go to church functions, and be awkwardly invited to other’s big family celebrations. Not being heterosexually married with children, I always felt alone in those crowds. It seemed that others, while smiling, thought of me as “less-than” in comparison to their seemingly perfect heteronormative looking Christ-centered families. I would always come home to an empty house (because I was “called” to celibacy) and weep because I felt so lonely. I never shared that with anyone but that lonely grief was a yearly Christmas tradition. It’s been nice to have broken that mournful tradition the past few years and being around people who accept me for who I am, not who they (or even I) thought I should be.
It is my wish, my prayer even, that in 2019 more people will find their way to living in “what is” defined by unconditional love and not “what should be” in an imposed system of legalistic belief or toxic theology. That those who are struggling with who they are and where they are in their journey that they, maybe you, wouldn’t give up. I don’t think for a moment that I have any authority or “success” to laud. It’s not my place to try to direct anyone toward any particular identity, life-plan or belief. But what I do know is that there are many LGBT+ siblings out there who don’t need yet another speech. They certainly don’t need another “you must do this or that” to be authentic during the holidays. What they, what we all need, is a hand to hold; someone who gets it and can communicate with empathy regardless of whether words are involved or not.
Wherever you are, and in whatever place you are at in your journey, I pray that whatever vibe you experienced this holiday season will carry forward to only positive results in 2019. Dan, I and the Thrive LGBT+ team are here to journey with you if you would like. You are not alone; you are loved.