Facing The Lonliest Time Of The Year In Harlem

loneliness purpose 1By Holly Maholm

Not everyone this holiday season will be surrounded by loving family and friends. Those in the LGBT community are often ignored or even disowned by their family and friends – especially when they first “come out.”

Family members can struggle accepting their “new” identity. Suspecting your brother, sister, cousin or parent may be gay, bi or transgender is one thing, hearing them openly proclaim their sexual orientation can be very different.

“I lived for 64 years as a man,” says author, Yale graduate and The Ohio State University lawyer, Holly Maholm. “In 2013, when I first began to transition full-time to living as a woman, I felt wonderful about myself and still do. What surprised me were family and friends who could not accept my transition.”

During her transition, Maholm felt an overwhelming urge to read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. What she didn’t expect was to sob while reading it. Feelings of abandonment and rejection so overwhelmed her that Maholm knew she had to share these feelings with others. She decided to rework the holiday classic into a contemporary story, and wrote Brave in Ribbons – which features the familiar Christmas Ghosts but adds a new character named Connie: a transgender woman.

A story of family, love, devotion and sacrifice, Brave in Ribbons:

  • Breaks through boundaries of traditional Christmas stories by including a transgender character
  • Reminds us the meaning of Christmas is to give freely and joyously to all those in need
  • Encourages families to accept those members who may be “different”
  • Cautions people that their actions – both intentional and unintentional – can cause others to feel abandoned and rejected
  • Gently reinforces the Golden Rule that we are all deserving of love and acceptance

Holly Maholm is a transgender woman who was born John S. Oney. She is a graduate of Yale University and The Ohio State University School of Law. She worked as a senior attorney for a major sports marketing agency until she retired in 2004 and went into private practice. She has been married twice and actively co-parented her three daughters from her first marriage. Maholm began her transition to living full-time as a woman in 2013. She is the author of several stage and screen plays and two novels: When Once I Lived (2011), and Brave in Ribbons (November, 2015). She lives in Cleveland, OH and is an active member of the local LGBTQ community.

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