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Arts & Culture

Making the Yuletide Gay, Or Lesbian, Or Trans

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Don’t let the holidays make you crazy if you’re LGBT—rely on friends, family and resources

Mourning the loss of someone who is still here—but is changed—is as difficult as mourning someone who is lost completely.”

Farris’ son, Mark, adds, “The hardest thing for allies of people who transition is the fallout from family members. Lauryn’s birth family has alienated not just her, but myself, my wife Danielle and our three-month-old son, Austin. We stand with Lauryn, of course, but we’re caught in the not-so-friendly fire.”

Danielle has reached out to Lauryn’s sister, this being Austin’s first-ever Christmas, but thus far has not received a response.

Importantly, there are resources available. Jennifer Boylan of Colby College in Maine offers a free service called the December Project, through which a trained volunteer will call a transgender person during the holidays to talk and, hopefully, raise their spirits. More information about this non-crisis service can be found at

Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the impact of lost loved ones during this time of year. It’s something we all face in one form or another, and within the LGBT community, it can still be difficult for people to find comfort for their grief. Darwin Huartson of VITAS Hospice and board member of Pride Center San Antonio explains, “Holidays become a collision of emotions—reconciling happy and sad. It’s important to find ways to claim our loss and not [allow] the loss to claim us.”

Huartson, who has himself experienced the recent loss of a partner, is conducting an LGBT Grief in the Holidays workshop on Saturday, December 7 at 10 a.m. at the Deco Building at 1800 Fredericksburg Rd. “Workshops offer the opportunity to find a safe space to create a plan among others in a similar situation. LGBT people can feel disenfranchised by their grief, and times are hard enough as it is. No one wants to be a victim of the holidays.” For more information on the Grief Workshop, please email pridecentersa (at)

Below is this month’s “I Am” statement. Send your own 100-word statement to currentlyrichard (at) for publication in future “Just Happens to Be LGBT” columns.

Mark Farris

I am a filmmaker and activist. I am a native of San Antonio and have lived here all but two years of my life. I have recently become a father, and am a very happy parent. I love the fact that my son will grow up in the same town I grew up in, but with a fully inclusive NDO to protect his grandmother and those like her. I graduated from TCU, and am currently working in the local film community. I am very close to my family, both blood and chosen. I am first an activist, the silent A (ally) in the alphabet. Secondly, I am a son of a T (transgender).

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