WACO, Texas — Waco Pride Network, a local all-volunteer organization, is hosting a holiday meal for LGBTQ community members without a family to join for Christmas.
The holidays can be a challenging time for LGBTQ people, especially if their identities are not accepted by immediate or extended family. That's how "Friendsmas" came to be.
Co-organizer Kyndall Rothaus recently came out to her family, making the holidays a bit more complicated.
"This is my first Christmas to not spend with family," Rothaus said. "I just thought I'd like to spend my holiday helping create that space that I know I'm missing and therefore, I know other people are missing."
The "Friendsmas" potluck will take place Saturday afternoon at the Good Neighbor House at 2301 Colcord Ave. in Waco. It is open to all LGBTQ people and allies.
"We know that that makes a difference and can really help people get through tough times and get through those feelings of isolation," said Waco Pride Network board member Lucas Land.
This is the second holiday gathering Waco Pride Network has hosted this year. The organization also hosted a Thanksgiving dinner, which Land said was a success.
"People really felt great and loved and supported and a time that could've been a very sad and very lonely holiday," he said.
To learn more about this year's Friendsmas, visit the Waco Pride Network website. The organization also lists resources for mental heal health, homelessness and guides for families and allies.
For LGBTQ mental health support, you can call the Trevor Project's toll-free support line at 866-488-7386.