Top Five ways to have a Happy LGBTQIA Thanksgiving Weekend!

Let’s start off  with Thanksgiving Day itself.  If  discussions connected to your sexuality or gender identity tend to be limited to “this is my roommate Jake” while the extended cousins, aunts and uncles are around, Glaad ( Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is asking you to go ahead and let Aunt Betty feel a bit awkward this holiday.

According to the Glaad website,”The LGBT community has a ton to be thankful for from the past year.  But we also have a long way to go. And believe it or not, putting down that fork full of stuffing for a minute and just talking about yourself (if you can) this Thanksgiving can make a huge difference.

We’ve all had those Thanksgiving dinners where Aunt Betty decides this is the perfect time to discuss a year’s worth of ailments and medical treatments. Well, you know what?  If she can talk about her podiatrist, you can talk about your partner.

The fact is, while you’re scarfing down mashed potatoes and staying silent while everyone else at the table is freely speaking their minds, you’re missing a golden opportunity to make real, honest progress by talking about your life, and the things you care about.  It’s okay if Aunt Betty feels a little awkward at first, it’s important for her to know that someone she loves cares deeply about LGBT equality.  And the more we all talk about what’s important to us, the less awkward those conversations will become.”

You can click HERE to learn more about the campaign.

Once you’re done explaining how you and your partner are “kinda like Cam and Mitchell”  on that one TV show your Aunt Betty, ” just loves to watch”, you might also mention that unlike the fictional gay couple, here in Idaho you and your partner can still be fired, loose your housing, be denied a hotel room and face a lot of other discrimination because of your sexuality or gender orientation.

Instead of playing Janga with the cousins this year, why not spend some time with your loved writing a few sticky notes asking state lawmakers to help protect the rights of all of Idaho’s citizens by adding the words, “gender identity and sexual orientation”  to Idaho’s human rights law?

If you’re unfamiliar with the campaign click here.

To find out who their state lawmakers are click here.

(In the Magic valley area we’ll be out with the  big “ADD the Words, Idaho” sign on the corner of Pole Line and Blue Lakes in Twin Falls from 12:00-3:00 pm on Friday, November 25th.  Feel free to bring the family down and join us.)

Once you’ve stuffed your envelopes with stickys and stuffed your belly with stuffing, it’s time to start thinking about shopping. If you’re in the Boise area, rather than wandering around Walmart looking for that perfect cheap cologne gift basket for Uncle Ray all weekend, why not check out the eclectic wares at Exposure a.l.p.h.a. Interchange? All proceeds from the store go to help out the prevention of HIV and AIDS in Idaho and their merchandise is,  “rad, reused, and affordable.”  From art to the unusual if you’re looking for something unique they’ll have it. They also offer free gift wrapping. (The store is located at 213 N 10th. in Boise. It’s open from  11:00 am – 7:00 pm on Friday,  10:00 am – 5:00 pm on Saturday and 12:00 am – 5:00 pm on Sunday.)

Be sure to check out the store’s “A Night of Improvisation and Fun!”,  Sunday night November 27th, according to a facebook invite, “One of our Boise State students has put together a performance for his Service Learning project and we are opening the office for this creative project. Robert Tombari and his group of performers (11 Minute Pause: Julia Bennett, John Buffington, Jared Hallock, and Katie Preston) will be performing in our office for you, your friends, and family. Help us kick off the week of World AIDS Day. A $5 suggested donation is asked, and all proceeds will go directly to a.l.p.h.a.”

Finally, rather than drop your hard-earned change into some anti-gay church’s red kettle this year why not put your money to good use by helping out Idaho’s LGBTQIA community?  Whether it’s a.l.p.h.a. founder and executive director Duane Quintana’s Holiday Wish,  The Treasure Valley Community Center, The Pride Foundation, or some other LGBTQIA charity, most if not all get lost in the glitz and glam of the media’s cameras this time of year so save those pennies and put them where they count!

No matter what you do this Thanksgiving, remember to tip your bartender even if it is just your Uncle Fred and have a happy holiday from us here at the Idaho Agenda!

Help spread the word! Hit the “Like” button on our facebook page, follow us on twitter at @Idahoagenda and find us on google+!  Submit your LGBTQIA related events, press releases or written submissions to idahoagenda@gmail.com
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