Several years ago my husband and I made the decision to discontinue his family tradition of Thanksgiving.
We made this decision because when we attempted to bring our families together for the first time, it was a horrid disaster. Also, because Thanksgiving is a celebration of mass genocide, more on that in a moment. Back to that Thanksgiving. There was fighting. There was backbiting. There was crying. That day I called my best gay friend and said, “Darling...we will be coming to you next year. And every single year afterwards.” He was thrilled. So were we. And so a new tradition began. San Francisco for Thanksgiving. Gourmet food with all the gays. Prayers at Alcatraz. Balance in my chosen, beautiful family. This year I invite you to look at Thanksgiving with fresh eyes. This involves facing difficult truths about the holiday.
Difficult truth: Thanksgiving is the celebration of the mass genocide of Indigenous people.
Difficult truth: Thanksgiving is a traumatic perpetuation of family traditions that are harmful to many folks.
Difficult truth: Thanksgiving is HARD.
I know, I am being a downer. However, it is my hope to lift you up for this next part because that is just my nature and I love you. This year I invite you to look at Thanksgiving with fresh eyes. This involves balancing the difficult truths with some joyful ones.
Joyful truth: Thanksgiving can be an opportunity to tell accurate stories of the actual experiences of Indigenous people.
Joyful truth: Thanksgiving can be an opportunity to connect with the family we choose.
Joyful truth: Thanksgiving can be DIFFERENT.
We have permission… To tell the truth To listen to our intuition To dare to wonder what would happen if we did it differently To wrestle To imagine a different way To be bold and to laugh and to cry To be convicted and to stretch into discomfort To lift up our hearts and our spirits And to give thanks. ✨ I love you. Xoxo, Dr. Melissa Bird