We recently received a grant from the Richmond Christmas Mother, the annual holiday campaign of the Richmond Times Dispatch, to provide a home style dinner for LGBT folks who may not be with family over the holidays. It was not but a few years ago that such funding was unheard of.

Our board members dedicated the funds to a project that was already underway: Trans Town Hall and Dinner, an opportunity to celebrate the transgender community, break bread together and talk about what's good and what needs to change.

In planning the dinner, I was reminded that many LGBT folks cannot "go home." Family get-togethers for LGBT people have been the topic of many support groups and counseling sessions. While holiday-family stress is nothing unique to our community, we can have our special challenges.

Our community is a strong one. We have proven that many times. How about we all promise to "reach out" a little extra over the next few weeks? Make that call, send that email, reminding people how important they are to us.

We have been each other's family forever. We invented the concept of creating our own families. Celebrate what you have when you have your friends.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Bill Harrison
President and Executive Director