Rejection, shame, and loneliness are common feelings many of us in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community have experienced, especially after coming out. These are feelings we have encountered from people’s reactions in our churches, families, and circles of friends. What would be the opposite?
When I was a child, the run-up to Christmas was much more churchy than it is today. Every year we started an Advent calendar on December 1 with a picture of the holy family, the shepherds, the kings on camels, the star with glitter glued to it. We opened the doors day by day, so slowly, slowly, slowly from my child’s sense of time, revealing the messages and pictures behind the doors.
I make it a point to try to avoid focusing or writing too heavily on my status as an HIV positive individual, lest it come to define me. There are two times throughout the year, however, where I make it a practice to reflect on the virus.
A few years ago when I was new to working as an advocate for inclusion and equality for all in faith communities, Ross Murray from GLAAD taught me that people generally move from active opposition to silence to tolerance to acceptance and then to advocacy.
In 2009, I created my own gay and lesbian nativity scenes for the Christmas season. One had two Marys at the manger with the baby Jesus, and the other featured two Josephs with the Christ child.
World AIDS Day, which marks its 25th anniversary this year on Dec. 1, supports everyone affected by HIV. The day is dedicated to prevention and treatment, and honors those who died of AIDS—more than 25 million people worldwide.
First held in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first global health day for any disease.
In corporate America, particularly Ernst and Young, there is a non-discrimination policy regarding LGBT employees that falls under the corporation slogan: Bring Your Whole Self To Work. It is an incredible supportive statement of the Corporate World towards LGBT people.