Michael Munoz, a queer Latino from New York, has replied to a letter to Santa written by a gay boy who asked, “do you support the LGBTIQ community.”
Munoz, a volunteer elf with the United States Postal Service (USPS) Operation Santa, told The Advocate he took part in the volunteer program that replies to North Pole letters with words and gifts after seeing the child’s letter.
“I was heartbroken point-blank,” Munoz told The Advocate. “Every year I read dozens of letters from children; some ask for toys, but most ask for clothes or presents for their moms as they can’t afford anything. What made this different and really difficult for me to read was that he didn’t ask for anything physical.”
“All he wanted was to know that he was loved and accepted. So how could I not answer his letter, being a queer Latino male who growing up had those same feelings? Within minutes I had texted a dozen or so of my family, chosen and blood, and we were off to the races to make it the biggest, gayest, love-filled Christmas he hopefully will remember forever!” Munoz said.
In replying to the boy, Munoz and his LGBTIQA friends collected queer-inclusive children’s literature to send to him so he knew he was loved.
Munoz also has a message for all LGBTIQA children who feel unloved this holiday season. “Love and joy come in many forms, and sometimes it finds you and other times you have to find it for yourself,” he said. “There, unfortunately, will always be a bully or someone with something negative to say, but if you love yourself, give love, and spread love they can’t affect you.
“Remember, Rudolph was different, bullied, and dare I say, unloved. But in the end, it was his differences that made him beautiful and a hero. Your differences are what make you unique and beautiful and no one can take that away from you,” Munoz told The Advocate.