Tag: letter

Lesbian mother writes powerful open letter to Joe Biden as he takes office

US President Joe Biden

A lesbian mother published a poignant open letter in Between the Lines this week urging president Joe Biden to support LGBT+ families during his administration.

Writing to Biden ahead of his historic inauguration Wednesday (20 January), Dana Rudolph, founder and publisher of Mombian, painted a troubling picture of an America where four years of Trump have gutted protections won under the previous Obama administration, of which Biden was a part.

She began by explaining her young son’s fears for their family.

“My son was just a few months too young to vote in the last election, but watched it with great concern, for its results would directly impact him and his family

“Would the next administration be one that treated his family with equality? Would it view families like his as part of the rich fabric of American diversity or as aberrations? I’d like to think he has reason for hope.”

The letter referenced a New York Times article which reported that at a 2012 fundraiser, when pressed about marriage equality, Biden spoke about the young children of a gay couple.

He reportedly said: “I look at those two beautiful kids. I wish everybody could see this. All you got to do is look in the eyes of those kids. And no one can wonder; no one can wonder whether or not they are cared for and nurtured and loved and reinforced. And folks, what’s happening is, everybody is beginning to see it.”

Dana Rudolph is a writer and regularly speaks publicly about online activism and LGBT+ parenting.
Dana Rudolph is a writer and regularly speaks publicly about online activism and LGBT+ parenting. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

“Marriage equality didn’t hinge on these encounters alone,” Rudolph continued. “It was the work of thousands of people over many years — but your remarks were a turning point for the administration’s willingness to back it publicly. I hope that as president, you will continue to champion equality for all families.”

Rudolph also wrote about the two lesbian mothers in Biden’s administration: principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and deputy White House communications director Pili Tobar. While neither will work directly on LGBT+ policy, she shared her hope that their very presence will remind the president “that all parents and our children deserve equality”. She also made the important point that LGBT+ families are not just impacted by child services and healthcare policy.

“There are no areas of your administration that will not touch us, for we are woven into the fabric of the American people.”

She closed the letter by speaking again about her son, writing: “I want the country in which my son reaches adulthood to be one of equality, justice and compassion, not only for LGBTQ people and families but for all.

“I’m sure that as a parent yourself, you know what it is like to want such good for your children. Please be the president our country, and our country’s children, need.”

Biden has a largely strong track record on LGBT+ rights – though he has not always been a perfect ally. Today, however, he is considered a powerful ally, especially now that he has taken office.

An Open Letter to Joe Biden from a Lesbian Mom

An Open Letter to Joe Biden from a Lesbian Mom

Dear President-elect Biden:

I’m writing you this open letter as you prepare to take office as president. My son was just a few months too young to vote in the last election, but watched it with great concern, for its results would directly impact him and his family. Would the next administration be one that treated our family with equality? Would it view families like ours as part of the rich fabric of American diversity or as aberrations?

Joe Biden

I’d like to think he has reason for hope. Since this is an open letter, I’ll recap one example, though I’m sure you remember: In 2012, you attended a fundraiser held at the Los Angeles home of husbands Michael Lombardo, an HBO executive, and Sonny Ward, an architect. As reported by Jo Becker in the New York Times, political strategist Chad Griffin (later head of HRC) saw you talking with the men’s two young children and was motivated to ask you your stance on marriage equality.

According to Becker, you responded: “I look at those two beautiful kids. I wish everybody could see this. All you got to do is look in the eyes of those kids. And no one can wonder, no one can wonder whether or not they are cared for and nurtured and loved and reinforced. And folks, what’s happening is, everybody is beginning to see it.”

You said this at a time when the Obama administration was still officially opposed to marriage equality. Some thought your remarks were a planned “trial balloon” for the issue; Becker disagreed, but said that they “inadvertently set off a chain reaction.” Either way, within weeks, President Obama announced his support for marriage equality, relating that his own daughters had friends with same-sex parents and “I know it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents should be treated differently.”

Marriage equality didn’t hinge on these encounters alone—it was the work of thousands of people over many years—but your remarks were a turning point for the administration’s willingness to back it publicly. I hope that as president, you will continue to champion equality for all families.

I am encouraged that you have named two lesbian moms and one transgender parent to your administration: Karine Jean-Pierre as principal deputy press secretary, Pili Tobar as deputy White House communications director, and Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health. And Pete Buttigieg, whom you nominated as secretary of transportation, was asked during his own presidential run if he and his husband might start a family while in the White House. “I don’t see why not,” he replied. Perhaps this might happen even as he takes on a different role.

While their work will not revolve around LGBTQ issues, I hope that their presence will continue to remind you that all parents and our children deserve equality. Despite the progress made under President Obama, that equality has been chipped away at during President Trump’s time in office. Even now, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case about whether taxpayer-funded child service agencies can claim the right, on religious grounds, to discriminate against LGBTQ people, people of different faiths, and others. This would reduce the number of otherwise-eligible homes for children in need and could mean that LGBTQ youth get placed with families that don’t support their identities. That case aside, eleven states now allow child service agencies to cite their religious or moral beliefs as a reason to discriminate against someone; nine of them permit it even if the agency receives taxpayer money.

Additionally, on January 7, the day after insurrectionists stormed the capitol, the Trump administration finalized a rule that will allow foster care and adoption agencies, along with other public health and social service organizations receiving taxpayer funds, to discriminate against LGBTQ people and others. LGBTQ populations are among the most vulnerable here. LGBTQ organizations are already suing HHS for other recent discriminatory policies; you could save everyone time and money, while helping those in need, by changing these policies as soon as possible.

To guide you, the Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign, a coalition of LGBTQ, civil rights, and faith organizations, has released a set of policy recommendations to set us on a renewed path towards inclusive, affirming care for LGBTQ youth and families, people of color, and people with disabilities within the child welfare system. I hope you will take these recommendations seriously.

Equity for LGBTQ families—and all families—goes beyond just child services and healthcare, however. It extends into educational policy, housing, employment practices, and even foreign policy, for we LGBTQ families exist around the world. There are no areas of your administration that will not touch us, for we are woven into the fabric of the American people.

I hope our voices (broadly speaking, not just those in your administration) are among the many you will listen to in order to guide our country forward. I am not asking you to prioritize LGBTQ families above any others, but rather to ensure that your policies include and protect us equally so that we have the same chance to thrive. The more Americans who thrive, the stronger and better our country will be as a whole.

I want the country in which my son reaches adulthood to be one of equality, justice, and compassion, not only for LGBTQ people and families, but for all. I’m sure that as a parent yourself, you know what it is like to want such good for your children. Please be the president our country—and our country’s children—need.

Originally published with slight variation as my Mombian newspaper column.

Queer elf replies to boy’s letter to Santa asking if God loves gay people

Queer Latino volunteer elf Michael Muñoz poses with Santa.

Queer Latino volunteer elf Michael Muñoz poses with Santa. (TheKitchenGaily/ Twitter)

A queer elf has revealed that he responded to a boy’s heartbreaking letter to Santa, asking if he supports the LGBT+ community and if God “loves me for being gay”.

Last month, the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Operation Santa, which coordinates responses to letters addressed to Father Christmas, shared a heartbreaking message from a boy named Will.

His letter reads: “Dear Santa, do you support the LGBTQ community and if you can speak to God, can you tell him I love him, and if he loves me for being gay? Thank you. Love, Will.”

The letter broke the hearts of many after it was shared on Twitter, but luckily it has been revealed that Will received an incredible response.

Michael Muñoz is a queer Latino volunteer elf who works with Operation Santa, and who appeared in a new documentary titled Dear Santa focused on the USPS project.

Last Christmas, Muñoz felt that he “needed a break” from his volunteer elf duties – until he saw Will’s letter.

He told The Advocate: “I was heartbroken point-blank. Every year I read dozens of letters from children; some ask for toys, but most ask for clothes or presents for their moms as they can’t afford anything.

“What made this different and really difficult for me to read was that he didn’t ask for anything physical.

“All he wanted was to know that he was loved and accepted. So how could I not answer his letter, being a queer Latino male who growing up had those same feelings?

“Within minutes I had texted a dozen or so of my family, chosen and blood, and we were off to the races to make it the biggest, gayest, love-filled Christmas he hopefully will remember forever!”

Muñoz quickly “mobilised” his network of queer friends and family to send the young boy a collection of LGBT-inclusive children’s books and a rainbow Santa hat.

Although he didn’t hear back from Will, Muñoz said over the last year he has often “meditated and prayed that he is safe, healthy, well, and most importantly, surrounded by love”.

In a message to LGBT+ children who may be having a difficult time during the festive season, the queer elf added: “Love and joy come in many forms, and sometimes it finds you and other times you have to find it for yourself.

“There, unfortunately, will always be a bully or someone with something negative to say, but if you love yourself, give love, and spread love they can’t affect you.

“Remember, Rudolph was different, bullied, and dare I say, unloved. But in the end, it was his differences that made him beautiful and a hero. Your differences are what make you unique and beautiful and no one can take that away from you.”

Taylor Swift celebrates gay superfan in heartwarming, handwritten letter

Taylor Swift

A gay Taylor Swift fan was blown away when he received a handwritten letter from the singer-songwriter praising him for “choosing to live and love honestly even when it isn’t easy”.

Swift, who recently released her eighth studio album folklore, wrote a heartfelt letter to Andrew Mooney, who is currently finishing up his PhD at Trinity College Dublin.

The letter, dated 23 August, begins: “Andy, someone told me you’re about to finish your PhD! I wanted to congratulate you on this incredible accomplishment and to applaud you for all the hard work you’ve put into your studies.

Swift continued: “This is EPIC!! I saw how supportive you’ve been of my music over the years and was so touched.

“Thank you so much. I’m also so proud of you for the bravery you’ve shown in your personal life, choosing to live and love honestly even when it isn’t easy.

“I hope you’re doing well in and amongst the chaos we’re all living through right now,” Swift added.

“In these times, I think it’s important to revel in the great moments when we can, and this is a moment worth celebrating!”

Gay Taylor Swift fan was overwhelmed by her heartfelt handwritten letter.

Mooney shared a photo of the letter on Twitter along with an envelope addressed to “Dr Andy Mooney” to celebrate the completion of his PhD.

“Thank you Taylor Swift for taking the time to write me such a beautiful message,” Mooney wrote.

I’m also so proud of you for the bravery you’ve shown in your personal life, choosing to live and love honestly even when it isn’t easy.

“You have been an inspiration to me for so many years and I can’t put into words how much this means to me. You have changed my life.”

Mooney’s tweet has been liked more than 20,000 times, with Swift fans reacting with unbridled joy to the letter.

Swift is widely loved by the LGBT+ community for her tireless support of queer rights.

The folklore singer is a tireless advocate for LGBT+ rights.

In June, she blasted the US Census for only having two gender options – male or female – and said the decision contributed to the “erasure of transgender and non-binary people”.

In 2019, she released “You Need to Calm Down”, an anti-homophobia queer anthem, alongside a star-studded queer music video.

She previously revealed that she realised she needed to be more vocal about her support for LGBT+ rights after Todrick Hall asked her a “devastating” question.

“Maybe a year or two ago, Todrick and I are in the car, and he asked me, ‘What would you do if your son was gay?’

“The fact that he had to ask me…shocked me and made me realise that I had not made my position clear enough or loud enough.

“If my son was gay, he’d be gay. I don’t understand the question.”

She added: “If he was thinking that, I can’t imagine what my fans in the LGBT+ community might be thinking.

“It was kind of devastating to realise that I hadn’t been publicly clear about that.”