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7 Queer Reasons to Be Thankful


Having trouble finding the thanks in Thanksgiving? Here's some inspiration.

You don't need us to tell you 2016 has been a crap year, so our national day of gratitude (and gluttony) couldn't arrive any sooner. But even with the Butterballs and mashers, it's a difficult time to be appreciative. Here are some LGBT-centric reminders on why things aren't so bad.

The Obamas
Think of our lives pre-2008: no nationwide marriage equality, LGBT service members forced into the closet, no Matthew Shepard hate-crimes law, absolutely no national discussion of transgender rights. On top of all the queer progress our 44th president pushed through, he helped turn around the economy and saved the auto industry. Meanwhile, Michelle Obama has become an icon of resilience and grace. Thank you, now and always, Barack and Michelle (and hey, we still got 'em for two more months).

Powerful New Female Voices in the Senate
From California's Kamala Harris to Illinois's Tammy Duckworth to Nevada's Catherine Cortez Masto, several women of color were elected to the upper chamber of Congress this month. These LGBT-friendly politicians will help usher in one of the most diverse Senates ever and bring the count of female senatorial voices to 21 (out of 100). Busting the patriarchy helps both women and men, but especially gay and bi men.

The Likely Firing of North Carolina's Pat McCrory
This derided governor signed in House Bill 2, which overturned all of North Carolina's LGBT protections and dictated which public facilities transgender people can use. The state has since lost billions in revenue from canceled events, which helped contribute to McCrory's likely defeat at the ballot box. McCrory's LGBT-supportive opponent, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, is ahead by thousands of votes, yet McCrory refuses to concede and wants a recount. The pressure is on for McCrory to quit, and we're crossing our fingers.

To go from #OscarsSoWhite in 2015 to this year, with movies like Loving, Birth of a Nation, and Moonlight is extraordinary. Moonlight, specifically, is one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year and beautifully dissects the black gay experience and the epidemic of toxic masculinity. Nominated for several Independent Spirit Awards, Barry Jenkins's Moonlight is thankfully getting the attention it deserves and will be an Oscar contender next year.

Ellen Getting the Recognition She Deserves
Remember that Obama guy? He just gave out trailblazer Ellen DeGeneres a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor for civilians. Ellen's tearful acceptance of the president's medal is enough to warm the coldest of hearts. Watch it here.

America Will Soon Hear Our Story
ABC just released the first trailer for When We Rise, an epic miniseries coming in February that chronicles the modern queer rights movement. Written by Dustin Lance Black, directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Whoopi Goldberg and Guy Pearce, When We Rise is shaping up to be a powerhouse of entertainment and education. As we bravely step into the Trump era, this miniseries will give us the fortitude to gird ourselves for the next fight.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
This iconic annual event isn't gay per se, but we'll say it's pretty queer by proxy. Celebrating 90 years, the parade will hop through the past decades and feature cheesy/lovable performances from Regina Spektor, Sarah McLachlan, and De La Soul, all of whom will undoubtably be freezing their asses off while we sip cocoa in our Snuggies.

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