In this final issue of 2007, Lavender is proud to feature the Reitans as its very first “Family of the Year” (see page 20).
This close-knit clan joined ranks years ago around gay son and sibling Jacob, forming a solid front to support him, and then going farther afield to fight injustices perpetrated against any and all people in the GLBT community.
The Reitans have traveled together and separately throughout the United States, working with a myriad other volunteers to spread knowledge by personally meeting with and speaking to young people (and adults) who may never (knowingly) have met—much less talked to—a gay person.
Even as the Reitans set a vivid example of what love and education together can accomplish, so others here in the Twin Cities are working toward the same goals. Members of Catholic Rainbow Parents, to cite one group, are determined not to be separated from their gay children by increasingly coercive church doctrine. They continue to raise their voices in protest, making their displeasure clear, as they did most recently in a Vigil for Solidarity in St. Paul on December 9 (see page 30).
Many people generally object to the prevalence of Christian motifs during this season—with good reason, as Hanukkah, Kwanza, Solstice, and Ramadan also are observed. I’d like to take a page from the folks above, and ask that the “Holiday Season” be truly a time of unity and celebration for all.
While “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men” seems only a dim hope at this time, I believe it’s a goal worth striving for, despite all evidence to the contrary. Just one instance: I learned of a new film concerning the famed “Christmas Armistice” of 1914 during World War I, when British and German troops joined together in peace, for one night, exchanging presents, singing carols; then I read that the top brass on both sides immediately forbade, under threat of punishment, any future such demonstrations of amity.
It occurred to me that today, with so many sects and differences, we might just designate a celebratory time for all? A “Holiday Season” that’s not just a euphemism for “Christmas”? It needn’t be one particular day (Orthodox Christians already celebrate Christmas January 7).
I suggest the last two weeks of December through the first two of January, for religious or non, Baptist or Humbugger. The time originally was chosen by Pre-Mall Man, who prayed to the Sun to reverse his downward path, and return with his warmth, light, and life.
Then, let’s use this time to renew. Celebrate the miracle of your existence. Pass that joy to those closest to you. Let them pass it on and on to others—one heart at time—finally to the Grail of “Peace on Earth.” A month of merriment and thanksgiving! What’s not to like?
I’m confident, at least, of the retail community’s support.