So while it is not the actual Thanksgiving holiday yet, today (at least for me) is much, much better. It's Thanksgayving - my absolute favorite holiday of the year.
It all started six years ago, when ten lonely, family-less-for-the-holiday homos decided they needed one reason a year to indulge the cravings they so obviously denied themselves the rest of the year, seeing as how it's nearly always beach-body season in Austin. Anyhow, the result was a potluck that celebrated both the gay community, and their impressive inherent tolerance for large quantities of liquor. They found a great bar/restaurant downtown that agreed to not only let them use their venue but to provide full service at the event and close down to the public for the day, so long as they met a certain bar tab. Done, and done. The event has spiraled now to include a guest list of nearly 500 people, usually around 350 of which are able to attend, with each person hand-crafting their own side/dessert/appetizer/etc, while each of the ten hosts is responsible for a turkey or ham. We bring our dishes, set up shop, and the wonderful staff does the rest, with a massive Thanksgiving dinner being served up to friends and family, both old and new. This is my third year as a host, and since you're probably saying, But you're not gay?!, you should know I'm as close to their favorite accessory as you can get. I mean absolutely no offense to my family when I say this, but the upwards of 300 people that will gather downtown to celebrate the impending Thanksgiving holiday with me today are my family. I love the other hosts, and many of my guests that will be attending, the way I love my mother and grandmother and aunt and D and the baby, and am so very grateful and blessed to be able to share in this event with them. Seriously, I love you guys more than any cliched words on a silly little blog could express. On this day of giving thanks, I am so very thankful for you all and your love and support of me and my family (can you believe I have my own family now?!) during this amazing and life-changing event. You all are the absolute best uncles that any little girl could ever ask for, and I'm only now starting to realize how insanely lucky (and spoiled!) Baby B is going to be. Thank you for your unwavering support, love, and ridiculous tolerance of Brooklyn's (inside joke - sorry) antics you have been. Thanks for holding my hair back, taking my keys away, and being my shoulders to cry on. I could not ask for a better group of friends.
On a less sappy note, I am proud to say that our event is in it's sixth year of benefiting the Capitol Area Food Bank, and while we have donated money to SafePlace in the past, this year we hope to raise quite a bit of money for the shelter through a raffle of prizes that have been so generously donated by some great local (and other non-local) businesses. Thank you guys for all you do! Let's celebrate how fortunate we all are to have one another, while raising money and donations for those who aren't as lucky and hopefully help to change their situations!