Annual Letter from Your Mother

Hello, my loves.

Every year, I write a letter to you all as a mother. Since many of us have been cut off from our parents because of our queerness, my aim is to tell you all the things you need to hear to get your Vitamin Mom during this difficult time of celebration.

The last two years, I have written messages of love. After my mother’s death, however, and exploring this constant conversation with my mother every day, what I realized is that having a mother not only means hearing words of encouragement. It also means receiving teachings and being open-hearted to the humility it takes to learn those lessons.

My mother is in everything I do. As my sister said to me, she colours every task around the house. Even beyond this plane of existence, my mom still has her opinions on how well I am wiping down the counters. She still shudders at how badly I fold my laundry. I hear her guiding me when I make her signature dishes. I sense her calming me down when I am parenting my surly teenager.

In honour of my mother’s fastidious sensibilities, I am going to say things that might land hard. But I want you to keep your mind open to the possibilities of growth in each of my words.

I want you to clean up house.

I don’t mean this metaphorically. Clean it up. I’ve been to those scary places in my life where I was too busy surviving to keep my house clean. Then I realized I confused cause and effect. If I cleaned my house to a standard I would be proud of, I would stop surviving and I would start thriving. I know that sounds bogus, but truly, a plant is shaped by the pot you put it in. Believe me. Clean into the corners. Fix your bed. Disinfect your fridge and throw out old food. Create a space where you can eat well, even if it’s a crate with a candle on it where you can eat your dinner. Decorate the walls in a way that expresses who you are. Do your laundry. Even if you don’t like having company or you don’t have friends, keep a clean, dry hand towel that is not your bath towel in the bathroom at all times.

Clean up your relationships.

Ask yourself if you have relationships that feed you or drain you. What do you need to change? What mementos are you holding onto deep in each drawer of your emotional desk that are keeping you stagnant? What is the price of hanging on? What is the price of letting it go? Make those changes.

Clean up your finances

I know many of us are underemployed due to barriers created by this homophobic, transphobic world. But I want you to dare to imagine safety. Dare to imagine financial calm. Dare to have dreams that you can afford to realize. The universe made us beautiful and perfect just the way we are. And despite all the bullshit that comes with this white supremacist society we live in, the universe is on your side to make those dreams happen. Look at your money story, ask yourself how you can clear out whatever is blocking you from stability, become financially literate, learn business savvy. Save and spend in healthy ways. Learn more about how to do this.

Okay. Now that I’ve said that, I want you to know why I said it. You deserve a life that serves you, fills you, inspires you. You deserve to have stable housing, fulfilling relationships and money in your pocket. Doing these tasks isn’t about earning a mother’s love, but about confirming what I have loved in you all along. There is nothing you can do that will make me love you more. You are absolute perfection. Like, you are a fucking unicorn covered in sparkles who enters every room to the tune of your own soundtrack. That’s how perfect you are. And shit on a stick, perfection deserves all of this.

Happy You’re a Fucking Unicorn Day.

Love always,

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Image above from this hilarious t-shirt we found online. Buy it here:



Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez is playwright, performer and award-winning author. She is the author of M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book (Flamingo Rampant) and Scarborough (Arsenal Pulp Press). She is the Artistic Director of b current performing arts.

Read all posts by Catherine Hernandez