When Ellis Roberts-Wright came out as bisexual, they received incredible supportive. Other queer folk don't have that privilege, so they decided to do something about it.
The holiday season can be a difficult time for those who have strained relationships with their families. When you throw in a queer identity to the mix, things can get even worse. Sadly, some people in the LGBTQ+ community are disowned for their sexualities or identities, which usually means they have no one to celebrate the holidays with at all. In order to help LGBTQ+ folks disowned by their families feel a little more loved this Christmas, trans man Ellis Roberts-Wright, only 21 years old, decided to write 4,000 Christmas cards to send to anyone who might want to feel the holiday spirit this season, The Mirror reports.
Ellis sent the cards through their project, The Rainbow Cards Project. It was started from their home in Axminster, Devon, in the United Kingdom to help people battle the loneliness they may feel after being disowned, especially around the holiday season. It was only five years ago that Ellis was bound to their bed after being diagnosed with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis), a fatigue syndrome. They could barely move, brush their own teeth, or even hold a conversation. At the time, they depended entirely on their parents. Because they were completely disconnected from the outside world, Ellis felt quite lonely, helpless, and sad.
They shared in an interview with The Mirror, "When I came out as bisexual I was overwhelmed by how supportive my parents were and it made me think about the people who aren’t supported." Thus, The Rainbow Cards Project was born. They continued, "I think the youngest person I’ve sent a card to was 13. 50 is the oldest. The majority are in America but some are in countries where it’s illegal to be gay. There’s a lot of people from religious backgrounds, a lot of people from the bible belt. There are also quite a lot in Britain. I get emails from people or a card thanking me. But it’s for them, it’s not about me." Those who wish to receive a card simply need to sign up on the project's website. Others who wish to send cards instead of receiving them can sign up online as well. Then, they simply need to write out some letters and cards.
"There are a lot of people who say ‘this is the only card I’ve gotten.’ I’ve had so many people tell me they cried when they got it. A couple of people said it saved their lives because they felt so isolated," Ellis revealed. "For trans recipients, it’s quite a big thing. A lot of them don’t have people in their life who call them by their own name, or address them by the right pronoun." Then, speaking about the logistics of the project, explained, "I don’t give out addresses. My main focus is on safety. I wanted people from unsafe situations to be able to sign up without any fear. I knew all the cards would have to come through me, so I’d need a PO box. When the project is in the press I get a lot of 'why are you doing this, there’s much bigger problems in the world'. I think people don’t really understand people not getting Christmas cards is a symptom of a much larger rejection. It’s not the Christmas cards, it’s that their family doesn’t love and support them anymore." Through their small but powerful initiative, compassionate Ellis is spreading some much-needed holiday cheer.