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Giving thanks: 15 reasons we are grateful for LGBT Atlanta

As we sit around the Thanksgiving table counting our blessings, we won't forget to put the best of life in LGBT Atlanta on our list. Sure, we live in a blue oasis in a red state. Sure, we're still fighting to pass an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes law and employment non-discrimination law, and same-sex marriage remains illegal here. Sure, the bars close earlier now than they once did.

But just like the relative that everyone always complains about but still fiercely loves and can't wait to see during the holidays, we can't imagine our lives without this city.

Here are 15 of the people, places and things that make us grateful to live in the undisputed LGBT Mecca of the South.

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LGBT Thanksgiving events: Nightlife, bowling and more

Bring on the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce —- and the LGBT events. Thanksgiving week brings a diverse list of options, from popular DJs to potlucks and bowling, to make you thankful for gay Atlanta.

On Wednesday, you can try your hand at the Turkey Bowl, show your gratitude at First Metropolitan Community Church's Thanksgiving Eve Service, and dance the night away as Power Infiniti spins for the "Butter Ball" at Amsterdam Atlanta.

Thanksgiving Day features events at the Model T, Mary's, and XS Ultra Lounge, among others, and the nightlife parties on through the weekend, including the Turkey Relief Dance Party on Saturday night at My Sister's Room.

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Decatur folk singer Amy Andrews plays for ‘Gay Ole Opry’ on Thanksgiving

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Decatur resident and singer/songwriter Amy Andrews is ready to celebrate Thanksgiving and she's inviting the entire World Wide Web to join her.

Andrews, 26, along with the The Skipperdees, a twin-sister duo based in Athens, will play a holiday concert on Thursday, Nov. 22, to raise money for the North Star Fund, an organization providing relief to those hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.

The concert will be broadcast online at 7 and 8 p.m. ET on the website www.stageit.com. It's pay what you want to view and listen to the concert with all donations going to the North Star Fund http://northstarfund.org/. Now you can use your full belly to prop up your laptop for a good cause and some good music. Good deal.

Andrews came up with the idea for the internet concert after plans for her to perform at the Gay Ole Opry in Brooklyn, N.Y., were canceled due to the damage Hurricane Sandy brought to the Northeast.