Jonathan Van Ness calls the holiday season ‘tricky’ for LGBTQ youth

Megan Sims

Though Jonathan Van Ness has many wishes this holiday season, one of his most important is for LGBTQ youth to have some version of that movie-worthy holiday moment, surrounded by those who love them.

“I do know how tricky the holiday season is for youth and, or for LGBTQ youth especially… if your family does not accept you, and it’s such a celebration of togetherness and… unconditional love and family times,” Van Ness told Monét X Change for the latest episode of The X Change Rate, for Yahoo Entertainment, which premiered on Dec. 24.

Van Ness recalled a holiday scene from the 1995 film While You Were Sleeping, in which Sandra Bullock — portraying a subway employee who saves her longtime crush from being run over by a train and then, as he lay in a coma, being mistaken as his fiancée — sits by a cozy fire holding onto to her present while the man’s family opened gifts.

“Everyone wants that! Everyone wants to sit by the fireplace and watch each other open presents with their family,” he says, although, “not everyone has that… So I think that because we live in this culture that teaches us to compare…our worth and our love and our value against what other people are doing…that can be a really tough mirror on holiday season.”

X Change and Van Ness also discussed a letter written to Santa by a boy named Will, asking him if he supports the LGBTQ community, requesting that he ask God if he loved him even though he was gay — as well as TranSanta, a gift-giving campaign for transgender youth cofounded by Pose star Indya Moore.

“The thing that is so neat about TranSanta is that you can like literally pick out folks… [and] know that it’s going straight to them,” Van Ness noted. “Any way we can ally and support LGBTQ youth and each other this year by slowing down enough to reach out to your friends and…your loved ones, and asking how they’re doing, ’cause not everyone has that Sandra Bullock While You Were Sleeping moment.”

Video produced by Jacquie Cosgrove

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