Keeping hope for the holidays

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We columnists hate writing our holiday columns. Each year we try to find a new angle to the annual feelings we all go through, feelings of love, loss, and hope. But this year, the holiday season offers a chance to view our lives in a different light.

Over the years this holiday column has always centered on those who for numerous reasons would be alone or can’t, for any reason, celebrate with loved ones. This year they will be joined by many others who usually visit with family or friends. Unfortunately, this rise in the numbers should not have happened.

Of course there will be many who will see family and friends on Zoom. But what about those runaways, homeless, and seniors in our community, who don’t have family or whose family tossed them out? They are still there. And thanks to Trump, many are not welcomed in shelters, who are free to discriminate in many parts of the country. And what about those in our community who don’t have access to computers and the internet? What are they to do?

There are three organizations, among with others in this area, who deal with the issues above: the ATTIC LGBT Youth Center, William Way LGBT Community Center and SAGE. The Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs has also released a “Coping with COVID-19” resource guide, which has information on food access, healthcare and testing, mental health resources, and more.

It can be hard to feel hope this holiday season with so much loss and uncertainty. All we can do is take hope where we find it, accept joy where we see it, and hold tight to the people and things we love.