The Irrational Season of Christmas

This is the irrational season, when love blooms bright and wild. Had Mary been filled with reason, there’d have been no room for the child. ~ Madeleine L’Engle

I am a human rights activist. As someone who works for the recognition of human dignity and the achievement of equality for LGBT persons and their families across the world, I have come to understand myself as an irrational optimist.

Remarkable gains for LGBT equality have been made in 2015 such as the U.S. Supreme Court ruling for federal marriage equality; Mozambique removing its colonial penal code which had criminalized homosexuality and same-­sex love; Ireland’s national vote for marriage equality with thousands of Irish people coming home to vote; Botswana’s ruling to give space to a LGBT organization; and this week, Greece’s Parliament approving civil unions for same-­sex couples.

And, at the same time it is still illegal to be gay or LGBT in 78 countries with the death penalty a threat in 10 countries. In the U.S. transgender women of color and gay men are victims to violence in many cities and a federal LGBT nondiscrimination bill is not in place to protect our own citizens. Criminalization, persecution and violence is epidemic for LGBT people across the world particularly in Africa, the Middle East and Russia.

I am grateful for every recognition of human dignity and every advance toward LGBT equality and each one gives me hope. If I looked only at the dire statistics and harsh realities; if I did not believe in the possibility of change; if there were not such amazing, resilient LGBT activists and allies working for change within their own countries all across the world, I could not be optimistic. In the midst of all that is yet to be accomplished, I am aware that my optimism is irrational, not unlike this irrational season of Christmas.

May you remember that you are a child of God and loved unconditionally by the God who created you just the way you are. May you remember that all of us are God’s children and one human family. May you make room for Love this Christmas.