Christmas can be a very difficult time for many LGBT+ people, it is traditionally a very heteronormative festival with an emphasis on family. For many LGBT+ people, family has a different meaning: referred to “family of choice”. This is often due to necessity as many still face discrimination, rejection, and estrangement from their biological families and turn to their community for a sense of inclusion and belonging.
Since opening in 2013, Birmingham LGBT has held a party on Christmas Day so members of the LGBT+ community do not have to spend Christmas Day alone. This year due to Covid-19 and the ongoing restrictions, it will sadly not be possible for us to do this.
At Birmingham LGBT we recognise that the LGBT+ community has been significantly impacted by the pandemic. We are now in a second lockdown, and many social groups, bars and community spaces are closed, which can result in increased isolation, poverty and poor mental health for many members of our community. As a result, many LGBT+ people will be dreading Christmas this year, facing the day alone in isolation.
We want those people to know we are still here for them. We will be organising a Zoom social on Christmas Day so people can connect with other members of the community. We are also intending to deliver a small hamper with a Christmas gift and some Christmas treats to community members who would have attended our Christmas party, had we been able hold it.
To do this, we need your help and support to cover the costs of Christmas gifts, food and treats to make hampers for members of the LGBT+ community.