Queer Santa Makes Rejected Kids Believe In Christmas Magic

While most believers are aware that Santa Claus is still making final preparations for his flight this coming Thursday night (albeit this year, sufficiently “masked up”), another kind of Santa Claus recently was giving out toys at The Center on Colfax’s Holiday Celebration in Denver, Colorado. She was suited up in the required plush red suit & face mask, but Queer Santa, (as seventy-seven year old Linda Warren has become known as, was spending her twenty-second holiday (as she told CPR) “making sure kids rejected by their parents for their sexuality or gender identity still get presents this time of year.”

Warren’s seasonal metamorphosis into Queer Santa comes from a very personal place. “My family did find out I was gay after I was grown and they disowned me,” Warren told Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner. “So it’s very important to me, to make sure that all children are taken care of and that we can do anything that we can.”

Photo Courtesy-Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

This year, the pandemic did cause things to be changed up in terms of how Queer Santa operated. Warren typically asks for donations during the year & “no one’s safe” from her requests, she joked. The kids sign up for a gift, and then the volunteers step in buy gift cards, fun things like rainbow socks, and then wrap up the items. This year, The Center changed it up (social distancing and all) and set up a group of tables loaded down with presents in its parking lot. That Saturday afternoon, cars lined up with kids in the back, and Queer Santa and her helpers delivered the presents. Sixty-one people showed up, marking the most ever in attendance. “In all my 77 years, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a year like this,” 

 

Initially apprehensive about the title, Warren has now fully embraced the ‘Queer Santa’ moniker. She told CPR News “The word ‘queer’ was used to make fun of us when I was growing up. But I had to finally realize that the children of this day in time have taken that word back, and they will not let people make fun of us by using queer. So, it took me awhile to get used to being ‘Queer Santa,’ but I did. So I was like, ‘Oh God, please don’t call me that.’ But then I was like, ‘It’s alright, it’s theirs. So, we will do it.’ And so now I just refer to myself as Queer Santa.”

For further information on Queer Santa, check out the full interview 

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