I just wanted to have a word to whisper in your ear tonight. For those of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Yule. Holidays can be tough, especially for people who are marginalized or need to lie to their families about what they do. So here I'm going to discuss that.
I need to lie to my family. I don't like it. I need to, though. My parents would break, and my nuclear family would be disgusted, because I rely on sexwork for money. They don't understand a whole lot about our community, and they would prefer not to think of us at all. They come from old families - my Dad is a New England native, and my mother's grandmother was British. I don't need people to call out my white privilege -I recognize that, by virtue of many factors, I am very privileged, so I constantly take that into account when writing.
I recognize, too, that there are people for whom the holidays are a very difficult time - people who are possibly cut off from their families, people who are out as LBGBT2S who are no longer accepted by their families, people on the streets, and generally just good people, for whom the holidays represent a gaping hole or a period of loneliness. As the good gentlemen say to Scrooge in a 'A Christmas Carol,' "...a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is most keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices.(p.13, Dickens, 1843)."
I do not think Dickens was necessarily speaking strictly of material Want, but of spiritual Want as well. Companionship and camaraderie are in the spirit of the season, and as warm as it may be in Toronto and elsewhere on the East Coast, people's hearts may become cold. I implore you that it should not be so.
Even if you are not Christian or any other organized religion, please open your hearts and let your pre-conceived notions vanish as you think of people who engage in sexwork or other minorities. We are not so very different from you. In fact, you have probably walked by us many a time and not noticed us. Let minorities, then, and not the societal default white male, become recipients of your goodwill, however small, and let us all be the happier for it.
I shall close with the prologue of 'A Christmas Carol,' which I think is fitting to begin the holidays with:
'I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.
Their faithful Friend and Servant,
December 1843. (Ibid).'
Happy Holidays, everyone! May you all remember that you are cherished.