No year is perfect, but 2022 was shaping up to be a great sigh of relief following election season. MAGA was reeling. Trump was shrinking. A pandemic was receding.
A young man with a gun and a mind poisoned by the ideologies we’d hoped to vanquish at the ballot box came roaring into a bar in Colorado Springs and our social media to remind us that the hate is still real.
How can anyone be thankful?
It would be easier to curse those who made that terrible night possible. They are easy targets.
It would be simpler to lay down our phones and avoid the news. What we don’t know can’t hurt us.
It would be humbler to pray for those who lost their lives and the young man who inflicted so much pain.
Maybe we should do all of those things.
But today, we also have to explain to a tableful of family and friends, and ourselves, what we are thankful for amid this public tragedy and a million other private ones we’ve been spared.
It might feel like a cruel exercise and terrible timing, as though we are moving on after the requisite thoughts and prayers, away from the wide shot to our own, more manageable story.
But the burden of the big picture is unsustainable. At some point, we must leave those who lost family and friends that terrible night to grieve.
When assigned on Saturday morning, this article was supposed to list 22 things to be thankful for in 2022. “Seems a lot LOL” my editor slacked at me with the assignment, but now it feels like not nearly enough.
Some on the list were related to politics, like winning and losing candidates. Others were heroes who’d made a difference in the arena. The World Cup, brunch and Nancy Pelosi all made an appearance. But now, just the last few feel appropriate to the moment.
A free press
We take it for granted in the United States, but the First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and freedom of the press separate democracy from the black night of authoritarian governments. Should we lose the ability to write and speak freely, democracy will have vanished with it.
The people we work with — in person or remotely — are a chosen family, and if we’re lucky, together, we’re making something worthwhile that we’re proud of. Families feud and members fall short, but they also raise one another’s game. We can all respect and be thankful for the best of our co-workers’ contributions.
Across the page from a free press is the audience we’re writing for. By sharing accurate, timely, and thoughtful information with our readers, we help inform the vox populi. We’re thankful our readers trust us enough to click through, making LGBTQ Nation the most followed source of LGBTQ news.
Family and Thanksgiving come in all shapes and sizes, from dozens around a dining table to what a queen makes for dinner: reservations. Whoever your chosen family is this Thanksgiving holiday, hold them close, share the love, and be ever so thankful you have them.