This year the holidays look different.
A lot of us played it safe during Thanksgiving and opted to stay home and only celebrate with the ones in our household. With Covid cases rising, it looks like we’ll need to isolate for Christmas as well.
However, for lots of LGBTQ people, being isolated during the holidays is routine. Unsupportive and abusive family members force us to choose isolation and peace over a dangerous, hostile environment.
Indya Moore, most known for playing Angel on Pose, launched TranSanta to help trans kids know they’re loved and lift their spirits during the holidays.
TranSanta is kind of like a humongous, virtual angel tree except they’re trans instead of children with incarcerated parents. Each participant has a personal, Target registry. You can buy them something on their wish list and it’ll get sent straight to them. She came up with the idea with Chase Strangio, who is a trans rights lawyer.
It’s mainly run on Instagram. Clicking on the link in their bio will take you to the registry site that will take you to their Target wishlist. Here is one of the posts:
“Hello! My name is JJ. My pronouns are he/him. I’m a FTM 16-year-old boy. This year has been tough since I finally decided to leave my heavily abusive household and have been staying with a friend. This Christmas is the first time I’ll be away from my younger siblings and mom who I miss, and although my friend’s mom adores me. She definitely cannot afford to get me presents along with her own child’s….” — J.J.
J.J. wants a polaroid camera, rollerblades, a sketchbook, and a gift card so they can buy their friends gifts. Fortunately, J.J has already been gifted most of what they asked for. I tried to buy them a sketchbook, but the one listed will only ship with a $35 order.
As I keep reading different posts, a tornado of emotions hit me.
Sadness, anger, frustration rush to my head. Relief hits me too. I’m grateful for this platform and the amount of support it received. This year has been hell for all of us, but it’s been the deadliest year for trans people. The life expectancy for trans people is 35 years old.
How would you feel if you were only expected to live to 35?
The letters to Santa are heart-crushing. Some have been kicked out, outed, abused, and neglected. Some have lost their jobs and have become homeless due to Covid. One of the first posts I read was asking for a space heater because they can’t afford to heat their apartment. I saw kids as young as 12 and the oldest I’ve seen so far is 24.
I know we’re all stretching our money due to the pandemic, but if you can, purchase a gift or two for a trans or nonbinary person in need. Imagine going through the winter without heat in Detroit, Baltimore, or New York. Imagine having to ask for a space heater or money for food.
Buy a gift. Share the TranSanta link with your family members and friends. Share the link on your social media accounts. Make the holiday special for someone that may need it more than ever this year.
It might only make a small dent in your wallet, but it will mean the world to them.