LGBT+ family anonymously received hateful holiday card, prompting support from local community


‘I don’t understand you people’: Queer family receives anonymous, homophobic Christmas card.


The holidays are all about spreading goodwill and cheer, but to some people the gift of joy only extends as far as their prejudice allows and, in this instance, if you’re truly pissed off, you might decide to spread some hate instead. 


That’s what happened to Melissa Sheehan, a queer parent, living with her wife Kelly and their two children in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, who went to check the mail outside her home on December 23.


The couple, who are described by neighbours as “the first people everyone calls when they need something”, will often temporarily decorate their yard with LGBT+ Pride flags, trans Pride flags, Black Lives Matter flags, and, during the last presidential election season, put out a sign that said “any functioning adult″ as a joke.


The flags generally get a positive response from the community: “Most offer a beep and a wave, one even wrote a letter to them because as a member of the LGBTQ community, their signs and flags made him feel welcome in a new community”‘ said a neighbour.


Upon checking their family mailbox two days before Christmas, Melissa Sheehan discovered a hand-delivered card, which featured a drunk Santa who had fallen in the snow. 


Anonymous drunk Santa card. Web capture: Trevor Project fundraising page

“Sheehan’s – I drive by regularly and wanted to drop you a note about your signs and flags. I love your = and pride flag but if you are = why do you have to put it in everyones face? Seems you want to be special. Any functioning adult??? How did that work out for you”.


The note continued: “Record inflation, record illegals crossing, record debt, record low favorability rating for Joe the rapist even with a media that kisses his you fill in the blank. I don’t understand you people you would believe CNN, MSNBC, Rachel Maddow if they told you the sky was red. Just remember… you wanted this”.


Anonymous card left at the Sheehan’s house
Screen capture: masslive


The hand-written letter was then signed off anonymously, without any return address, simply with: “Your unequal neighbour”.


“As I’m reading the note, I really wasn’t angered” Sheehan said, reports  MassLive. “It was more laughing just out of the closed-mindedness of individuals”.


After initially laughing the drive-by greetings card off, the couple decided, in good humor, to share it to Facebook and post photos of the card on two of the town’s pages:

“I wanted to share the beautiful Xmas card we received from an anonymous person in town. What I find crazy though, is this person didn’t sign the card when so much love went into it. You would think they want to take credit,” Kelly Gray-Sheehan wrote, adding a laughing emoji.


The upside to all this is… not all people are idiots.


What came, next was an outpouring of love and support from several members of their local community, including one neighbour and friend, Renee Considine.


Renee asked if she could post about the card to raise money for The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention charity for LGBT+ youth.


On the fundraising page Considine set up, named ‘In honor of The Sheehan’s, let’s turn hate into love!‘ it reads:


“What the author must not have known is that Melissa and Kelly are often the first people everyone calls when they need something.


“That’s because they will stop whatever they are doing to help anyone they can.  They offer donations, time, energy, resources, care and love to anyone who may need it. They give love and support to our community and surrounding areas.”


“The other thing the author clearly doesn’t know is that our community, the LGBTQ community and its allies, take every opportunity to [turn] hate into love.”


She added: “We are going to do our part to educate and support the youth in our community and across the country so they are not discriminated against and this behaviour, intolerance and homophobia is something the next generation does not have to endure.”


Speaking about the fundraiser, Melissa Sheehan said: “If anything, we can turn some of the hate in this into some donations for the Trevor Project. It’s kind of a win-win for everybody,. It’s pretty nice to have such a good friend and ally living right next door.”

So far, the page has raised over $1,400, almost three times Considine’s original goal.