Dear Santa: Please Redefine “Fundamental Principles” of Mankind Dear Santa, I know my wish list comes a little earlier than usual this year, but I really wanted to get in before all the other kids, to be sure that you got my letter and had time to read it from top to bottom, as what I have to say I feel is very important. I come from a country that was just measured by the 2010 United Nations Human Development report as the third best country in the world to live in. Nestled way down in the Pacific Ocean, you know New Zealand as that cute little country you visit first in the wee small hours of the morning on December 25th. I love my country. I also love men, and I am very happy doing so. I love men so much that one day I hope to find the one man I will spend the rest of my life with and ultimately marry. In my country, and many others like it, the title of marriage is only reserved for that of a man and a woman. I’m not sure how New Zealand managed to slip its way in to third place, considering the previous, but that’s an issue I will take up with Secretary General of the UN personally. I think its time that the “fundamental principles” of the 21st century are finally redefined. In a world as grand and beautiful as ours, Kris Kringle, why are groups of people still subject to discrimination? Do you not think its time we all agree to disagree? Can’t we live out our lives, abide by our own opinions and beliefs, and live together side by side in perfect harmony? I know you have no influence over the powers of parliament to change legislation to allow all of its citizens to equal rights, but for my first wish could you please pop a pro-gay marriage pamphlet into every member of parliament’s stocking? That would be much-appreciated thank you! I kind of have a trending theme this year, Papa Noel. This year I want to spread a message. I would like for you to deliver a message for me to the youth of this world. I want any and every gay, straight, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, confused, scared, bullied, beaten, black, white or brown kid out there to know this: In life there will be pain, there will be sorrow, and when you feel like the walls have fallen around you, when you feel like your hope has turned to dust, let the sound of love surround you. Stand up, use your voice, take no shame in calling out for help. Life is a gift, one not to waste or cut short. There will be comfort and healing, high above any pain and sorrow, a change will come. You will be able to see that dream, you will reach it, keep trying, don’t give up. Hold your head high. There will be more mountains to climb, but trust me in this, the view once you get there is worth the climb. Saint Nick, I know there are a lot of pressing issues present in the world today. If you could see my wishes become realities I would be greatly appreciative. I do not think I am asking for too much. Realistically, where is the big ask in asking for equal rights? Children should be able to live life free of hate and discrimination. I am merely asking you to fix the wrong that has become much too apparent in today’s society. I wish you a safe journey this year. I will be leaving you three Diabetes-friendly treats for you to eat when you visit my humble abode. If you have any left over iPads or Bose noise-canceling headphones in your sack, please do not hesitate to leave one, or both, under my tree. Feliz Navidad, Blake Blake Skjellerup is a competitive short track speed skater who competed for New Zealand in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Blake trains and lives in Calgary, Canada, where he will spend the next 3 years preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. You can follow him on twitter: @blakeskjellerup. Blake Skjellerup Blake is a competitive short track speed skater who competed for New Zealand in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Blake trains and lives in Calgary, Canada, and it's here where he will spend the next 3 years preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Blake has been speed skating for 15 years and started out in his home town of Christchurch, New Zealand. Blake is openly gay and came out in hope of enlightening the world of gay people in sport.