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The Twelve Gays of Christmas

One of my favorite columns in Georgia Voice is D’Anne Witkowski’s “Creep of the Week.” Her rogues gallery of infamously awful souls is a Who’s Who of wretchedness, and I get a guilty pleasure out of reading the latest outrage committed and called out.

But during this holiday season, I want to challenge Georgia Voice readers to rise above the horrible creeps we find ourselves surrounded by on a daily basis, and to pursue our better angels as well. My wish is for us to exhibit, even if only for the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, what my childhood Sunday School teacher called the “fruit of the Spirit.”

Of course, by “fruit” I mean the twelve gays of Christmas.

Some of the ghosts of my Christmases past include the ghost of “The Messy Drinker” and the phantom of “The Fastidious Foodie.” The Messy Drinker (I think we all know who she is) certainly provided plenty of salacious material for weeks of gossip following the festivities, but this Christmas let’s promise to limit our libations to just enough to add some sparkling effervescence and not so much as to puke in the guest bathroom.

Likewise in the case of the Fastidious Foodie, I’m sure you have an opinion about everything culinary, but can you keep your questions like “are there peanuts in these cookies” and your comments like “I don’t eat meat … (followed by a soliloquy regarding the horrors of modern husbandry)” to yourself? Part of being a missionary for healthier lifestyles is to demonstrate the effects of your veganism, and presumably that includes a happier disposition. So smile and enjoy life while munching on the delicious gluten-free holiday cookies that you prepared yourself and brought to the party.

I know that politics are important, and that most of life’s injustices are linked inextricably to political and economic inequities. However, during the end-of-the-year festivities, instead of the kind of angry activism that has its place in the streets protesting against police brutality, can we put into motion a momentary positive activism of love for one another? Think of a friend or a relative who might be particularly lonely this time of year and reach out to them. Send them a casserole from Casseroles restaurant on North Highland Avenue. I have friends who have lost their parents, and another friend who is going through some hard times financially, and nothing says “I love you” like a good warm meal.

Personally, I love the kitsch of Christmas. Putting on a sweater while listening to old Andy Williams and Ray Conniff Singers albums instantly puts me in the holiday mood. If you love the season as well, why not share it with your friends and invite them over for a Christmas tree decorating afternoon? Some people can’t afford the trappings of the holiday; getting a tree and decorating can be expensive, particularly when being pressured by our consumerist system to buy gifts for everyone we know. In lieu of gift giving among your friends, get together for an afternoon of fun, and put together a pool of cash donations that you can all give as a donation to either a person in need or to a worthy cause. Meanwhile, sip some hot wine and play your favorite Christmas classics while decking the halls with your friends.

Finally, we are a diverse bunch. Some of us are genderfluid or nonbinary, and some of us have even settled down, gotten married, and had children! What makes being LGBTQ+ so wonderful — and I think we are truly a gift to the rest of humanity to teach others about love and acceptance — is the creativity and wondrous genius so many of us are innately gifted with. So I want to challenge each of us to harness that magic we all possess and use it for good this December. Touch one another’s lives in a way that brings joy, laughter, and cheer to everyone we come in contact with.

From my warm little French apartment to your Atlanta home, I wish y’all joyeuses fêtes. Oh, and to put the ASS back in Christmass.