So, you’re sitting across the table from the aunt who voted for Trump and your nephew who might as well have been marching with a tiki torch down the streets of Charlottesville, wondering just what the hell you have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The country’s a dumpster fire of bigotry and ignorance and you can’t seem to escape the suffocating smell of everything you love going up in smoke…
I’m not here to tell you this country isn’t an absolute shit show, because it is. But, if it makes you feel any better, this is nothing new. It’s been a nonstop catastrophe since Columbus sailed the ocean blue and planted a flag in land that wasn’t actually up for grabs. Some of y’all are just now noticing for the first time. Things are getting better, though, slowly but surely as time marches on and more people start paying attention to what’s right in front of them.
This is honestly my favorite time of the year. Always has been. And the end of one year naturally leads to thinking about what the next one will bring. We had some tough election results here in Florida, but we also had some real wins. There’s so much work to do before the next cycle, but I actually feel hope for the future and what we can accomplish if we just get our shit together and keep it that way. So, today, because of the holiday and my enduring love of cliches, I’m going to name a few of the things for which I’m most thankful:
None of them voted for trump (PRAISE BE) and they’ve supported me throughout my entire life, including the last 2 crazy, action packed years. This campaign/activism life is a wild ride and I intend to keep seeing where it will take me. It’s good to know I have a soft place to fall and people who accept me, no matter what.
Friends Who Have Become Family
Y’all, making new friends as an introvert isn’t easy, but I’ve been waaaaay outside of my comfort zone since November 9th, 2016, and I can honestly say that actually leaving my house has led to meeting some of the hardest working, funniest, and best people around. These are folks I couldn’t imagine not knowing. They’ve enriched my life beyond what I thought possible. I’m honored to know them and to be in this fight together, shoulder to shoulder.
Doing What I Love and Loving What I Do
This sounds cheesy af, but it’s true. For the first time ever, I’m doing work that seems vital. Even when I’m too tired to bitch (admittedly, this is rare), I feel the importance of what I’m doing, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
The Victory of Amendment 4
We worked so hard all last year to gather petitions and get this initiative on the ballot. 1.4 million Floridians now have the right to vote back. I’m humbled to have played a small part in dismantling a system of disenfranchisement in the state of Florida that was a remnant of the Jim Crow era. This is game changing. It’s historic. We did this, y’all. All of us, together.
Having the Freedom to Fight for What Matters to Me
Not everyone has this privilege, and I cherish the fact that, though I have certain disadvantages in this country based on skin color and gender, I’m free to voice my opinion, to fight for what I believe in, and to work hard to champion causes that will make this country better for everyone. Those of us able to speak out, to fight, to work hard, need to keep doing it on behalf of those who can’t. That’s our duty, because the freedom to do so comes on the backs of people who risked everything. Honor them with action.
I’m not going to keep y’all, mostly because the smell of turkey roasting is making it hard to concentrate. My guide to living a good life is simple: hug those close to you, cherish those far away, practice selfcare as often as you can, challenge white supremacy, and fuck the patriarchy. This country is becoming a better place every day because of you, because of me, because of all of us. I’m thankful for that too.