Friday, November 1, 2013

November 1, 2013

If you’ve been reading this column for any length of time, Poppets, then you are probably expecting a Thanksgiving article. Perhaps not a traditional one, but one nonetheless. The last thing I want to do is disappoint.
While I have a problem with the mythos behind Thanksgiving, I do use the month as a reminder. A time to be deliberately aware of the many reasons I have to be thankful. Because, try as I might, to be aware and deliberate the rest of the year, it is easy to become distracted and complacent. Whereas November forces me to take inventory of my blessings. So, in the spirit of giving thanks – if not Thanksgiving itself – I give you the First Five Reasons I Am Grateful This November.

1.      The LGBTQ peoples who have come before – and come out before – us. Who paved the way for us to have any chance of living safe, open, self-actualized lives. Being out is a privilege many still don’t carry, but none of us would if it weren’t for those who came before.
2.      Allies. True allies. The ones who listen, as well as speak. The ones who speak even when it’s unpopular. The ones who face personal and professional backlash – and speak anyway.
3.      Moderate politicians. The men and women who are willing to acknowledge that their party, their viewpoint, their background, is not the only valid perspective. That we are a nation of great diversity, and embracing that will get us further than petulance.
4.      The democratic process. I know, it seems to not be working really well recently. But I am grateful for it anyway. I’m grateful for the opportunity that arises every two, four, or six years for us, as a society, to take a step back, move away from the cliff, admit our mistakes, and elect someone else to office. That when a wave of insanity sweeps a state, or a region, it doesn’t have to be permanent or require armed revolution – at least not so far.
5.      And finally, Betty Desire. Yep, our beloved Betty. Whose voice has never wavered. Who provides a platform for so many of us (often for more years than we’d like to admit). Who is a safe place, if you are out and proud, or questioning and scared, and everything in between. Who offers love and acceptance – all while rocking pearls Barbara Bush would adore.

There you go, Poppets. My first November five. Because however you feel about Thanksgiving, giving thanks is a good thing.

Until next month, Poppets, take care of you – and each other.

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