Fight for equality by embracing the awkwardness this Thanksgiving

I'm letting Aunt Betty feel awkward this Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving approaching, GLAAD is encouraging LGBTQ folks to talk openly about their lives and partners at the family dinner table–even if that makes Aunt Betty feel a little awkward. And us straight people can do our part by talking about why we support LGBTQ equality.

A GLAAD study found that four out of five people who have become more supportive of LGBTQ rights in the last few years say that personally knowing someone was a primary reason. “Talking about our lives with our loved ones and family members is vital to advancing equality.”

Of course, not all LGBTQ folks have the privilege of being able to safely talk about their lives–or even spend the holiday with their families–but for those who can, it’s a good reminder of the immense power of sharing personal stories. (Something I’ve thought a lot about.)

I won’t be with my family this Thanksgiving, but I think the principle still holds for Friendsgiving–and for a range of issues. So I’ll definitely try to bring up that time I got an abortion in between helpings of mashed potatoes. And if you don’t quite want to go there, here are some tips from Planned Parenthood about how to talk about reproductive rights with your family.

What are the important, potentially awkward topics you want to bring up this Thursday?

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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