As I write this, it’s Thanksgiving morning in the United States. As my fellow Americans surely know by now, this is a day to meet up with family, eat copious amounts of food, watch grown men hit each other on only 3 days’ rest… and try to think of what they’re thankful for. I’ve thought a bit about the intent of this holiday’s title, and in this post I’ve compiled some of things I’m thankful for — and a few I’m not thankful for — here in 2017.
- I am thankful for still being employed. Well, duh. And while some of the work may be tedious, and while this is one of the busiest times of year for our team, at least I am doing a job I mostly enjoy using skills I’m proud to possess.
- Despite my own employment and the fact that Madison has a pretty good climate for job prospects and growth, I am not thankful that this Thanksgiving finds some around here who, for reasons beyond their control, must go without gainful employment Case in point: Someone I’ve built a good friendship with this past year (more on how that came about in a little bit) was let go from her steady job last summer. As with other unemployed people around here, I sincerely hope my friend will gain a job with a company that will appreciate her skills, her work ethic, and especially her passion for those who have less and for life in general. (Side note to my friend: I apologize in advance that my bringing up your plight on here may make you sad on this day, but know that I am here to respect and support you and wish you nothing but the best.)
- I am thankful that I still live in such a wonderful, progressive, and wonderfully progressive community that is Madison.
- I am even more thankful that I’ve had the opportunity — and the gumption — to step out as Allison into a city so welcoming. I’ll likely bring this up again in an end-of-year post, but 2017 has been a big year for my stepping out of my wardrobe and into the world, from performing poetry to marching in a parade to attending a banquet. These are experiences that I will never forget.
- I am thankful for the health and happiness of my family. I’m also thankful that we’ve grown bigger through the uniting in marriage of my youngest sister with her husband and his extended family (including his daughters).
- I am also thankful that my four nieces are growing into wonderful young women. One of them graduated from high school this year, and I hope she has ventured into what will be a positive future for her. I hope, too, that my other nieces will have positive futures of their own.
- I am not thankful that some in my family have our differences. Those differences have been shown bare through Facebook: My mom is among a (thankfully) few of my Facebook friends who are not above sharing a conservative-leaning meme with their friends. At least I’m not one who uses Facebook much (at least as Male Mode Me), so I don’t have to see those irritating memes very much. When I do, however, I’m not above using the “angry” reaction button to show my displeasure (I hope Mom and my Facebook friends get the message).
- Needless to say, I am not thankful that our society has become more and more divided over the past year since You Know Who was elected You Know What. Most of the previous 8 years, we didn’t have that feeling of our country being ripped apart centimeter by centimeter. Now, in the past year, it’s as if those rips are not metaphoric and are miles in width — with the chasm being filled not by bridges but by walls.
- Despite that, I am thankful that a great many people in this country are willing to stand up for what’s right and just, rising above the hatred and vitriol to stand for a country that should not have fear and hatred as its bedrock.
- Above all else, I am very, very thankful to have joined and in and being a relatively active part of a transgender/crossdresser support group over the past year. I regularly meet up with this group’s members, and they have proven to be a wonderful group. They are ready to lend an an ear, their advice, and their support to those like me, regardless how how we identify. (Respect for others’ differences is our group’s own bedrock.)
- I have come to know my above mentioned friend through this TG/CD group; she is a cis-gender ally who respects and admires us for the people we are and the identity we know we are. Friendships like this can be a rare thing for some, and I’m very glad — and very, very thankful — to have found such a friendship.
And just as I am very, very thankful for the friends I’ve built over the past year, I am very, very thankful for your readership and kind words. Whoever you are, wherever you may be, whatever your identity, and whatever your background, here’s hoping Thanksgiving 2017 proves to be a happy time for you, and that you have your own reasons to be thankful. Have a safe and enjoyable day.