This piece comes out during Thanksgiving week. I would like to acknowledge that the narrative of Thanksgiving often taught in American History classes, which portrays harmonious feasts between settlers (often called “pilgrims”) and the Wampanoag tribes (often referred to non-specifically as “Native Americans”), is false and intentionally misleading colonial propaganda. For many, Thanksgiving Day is a day of mourning representing genocide, theft of North American land, colonization which continues to this day, and the systematic erasure of these truths. While I believe expressing gratitude is always beneficial, I also believe that celebrations of gratitude in the context of Thanksgiving should acknowledge the violence upon which the United States and its Thanksgiving tradition is built. I am grateful to this article written by staff at Cultural Survival.org for calling BS on the US’s Thanksgiving holiday and providing many resources for further education.
Food: a good meal or snack is always something to look forward to.
Our little garden, for making me go outside.
Trash days for the same reason.
Healthcare workers, truck drivers, first responders, postal workers, cashiers, and other essential workers who keep the country running, make it happen, make it so that we can live off of store bought food instead of the four string beans and 1 ping-pong ball sized beet our very non-agrarian family harvested from attempts to garden.
My friends and family for making me socialize: playing boardgames, card games, and karaoke, watching movies over text and Discord, and calling weekly to give updates on our lives.
The Prompt, for encouraging me to do what I love, for all the amazing writers and creative people who provide thought provoking and entertaining content, and getting to see familiar faces / avatars / hear familiar voices at the Sunday meeting call.
Newborn babies of family and friends.
All the blogs of talented homemakers who share their gluten-free, vegan baking recipes so everyone in my family can enjoy some sweet carbs once in a while (this brownie recipe has been a favourite).
My friends from high school who have miraculously kept in touch and instantly make any nightmare a hopeful dream—both literally and metaphorically..
Trans, NB, GNC forums, reddits, and blogs that have everyone’s business available for public knowledge across the internet. Thank you.
Vivek Shraya, for showing trans femmes can have careers in publishing and as creative writing professors. I am also grateful to her for proving that, as creative people, we don’t have to be beholden to expressing that creativity in a single medium. Shraya writes poetry, long form personal essays, novels, children’s books, and fiction and sings albums, photographs, models…
Educators of all stripes, putting in a lot of hard work and heartwork to figure out how to keep the minds of students fed while staying as safe as possible during a pandemic. I am especially grateful for school districts and public officials who have the common sense to keep school remote, considering both the health of students and our teachers.
This unexpected snippet of history recently stumbled across, found at A Mighty Girl:
Music, particularly all the music I absorb from my sister, like this one by Sasha Sloan.
Particularly particularly this song by Alicia Keys.
Nostalgic shows from childhood that are even better than remembered, such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, especially the fact that the writers don’t let misogynistic behaviour and colonialism go unchallenged (although the majority of the characters of colour are voiced by white people–yikes, yellowface alert).
Issa Rae’s Insecure, for getting me through the first few months of the pandemic and giving me the ability to connect with contemporary pop culture to some degree.
XL baggy T-shirts for basically being simple dresses.
Geneva Bowers and other artists who represent POC, especially Black people, in beautifully rendered cartoon drawings.
God persistently Loving even when you, the country, and the world seem to have fallen so far from the light.