Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November 1, 2016

It’s November, which means for many of us, myself included, it’s Thanksgiving time. For others, it’s a problematic holiday, and I really get that. So instead of focusing on the day or the holiday, let’s focus on the idea of being thankful. Because, let’s be honest, it can feel like it’s hard to find anything to be thankful for these days.

States are passing oppressive and dangerous anti-trans laws; employment and safety laws are being diluted and eroded; and a major candidate for president refers to us as “the gays” (and so much more, but I promised myself I wouldn’t go there today…).

So, yeah, it’s hard to find something to be thankful for. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there.
This month, rather than get bogged down in the governments, businesses, and communities that hate us, I’m choosing to be thankful for the businesses and communities that are standing with us, pushing back, and declaring our side to be their side.

Now, the truth is that I struggle with having allies and my response to them. Because being an ally means standing with a group of people who are not the people in power. Otherwise, they wouldn’t need allies. On the one hand, I think we should support allies back. Praise them. Thank them. Give them our time, money, and/or energy in return.

However, I also understand the response that says “I’m not going to give cookies to someone for treating me like the human being I actually am.” I get that side of it, too. Which is why I struggle.
So for me, I will be giving these companies my money and my support – and my thanks – this month, and as often as possible. While you have to make the decision for yourself, I can at least put these names in front of you, and let you decide.

Since we’re into the holiday season (again, for many of us), let’s look at some basic categories:

Grocery stores: Kroger brands gets 100% from the Human Rights Campaign. Here in Bellingham, that’s Fred Meyers. Wal-Mart, as much as I hate to give them props for anything, gets a 90. Whole Foods gets an 85, and SuperValu – or the Haggen's here in town – gets an 80. That’s not say that other stores in the area are bad. It just means I can’t find a rating or an official policy for them.

Retail shops: The very cool part about this category is that I can give you several stores that get 100s, and this is nowhere close to an all-inclusive list. Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, GameStop, Hallmark, Home Depot, JC Penney, and Target. 

Miscellaneous: CVS, Chevron, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Starbucks, and Walgreens all also merit 100s.
The Important Holiday Stuff (booze, I’m talking about booze): MANY liquor companies get 100% from the HRC. Some specific options, but not anywhere close to all of them – Bacardi; Bailey’s; Bodega Elena de Mendoza; Glenlivet; Jack Daniels; and Seagrams.

And, one last thought, in case you’re interested… the Trump Organization ranked 0.

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

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