I am so thankful that I was born when I was, in 1988 rather than in 1968 or 1948.
I am thankful that I came into the world at a time when the prejudices of old were past their crest, were beginning to fall away. I am thankful that the incomplete process of their destruction was so far progressed when I came of age, was advanced enough to allow me to breathe and to be.
I am thankful that I can walk outside and see the blue sky and extend my bare arms into the warm sunshine.
I am thankful that I can feel joy in myself and in the things that truly give me happiness without having to hide it, that I am free.
I am thankful that my soul and mind weren't imprisoned in a body that was locked in an era, that I didn't burn inside for decades, that I didn't have to wait and hope that maybe one day deliverance would come, that I didn't cry into a pillow and pretend that evil wasn't happening.
I am thankful that the cruelty of a past age didn't touch me, that I never felt its wicked fingers. I am thankful that the people who hurt so many, who destroyed countless like me, died or aged into living death before I was an idea in my mother's mind.
I am thankful that I can revel in beauty without having it assailed or obliterated.
I am thankful that the very fact of me isn't enough to incite rage and violence, that I will never swing from a summer oak or hear the pounding on the door in the middle of the night.
I am thankful that our neighbors need not fear terror in a white hood, that I don't have to pretend I hate my own friends to divert the fire from myself. I am thankful that our camaraderie is not forbidden.
I am thankful that my mother and my sister live in a time and a country when they are considered people, human beings with as full a right to prosperity, independence, and success as anyone else. I am thankful that Pie will never be held back by the hem of her dress.
I am thankful that a reverend came before me and began to diminish the hatred.
I am thankful that they will never triumph again, that they will never hold this region or any other on a vise of searing terror.
I am thankful that I can be so careless in my honesty.
I am thankful that the only South I have ever known is a land of wealth and gorgeousness where the tongues of a hundred nations and the hues of the entire world mingle freely.
I am thankful that I can hear Arabic spoken in the park.
I am thankful that this state has become a symbol of progress.
I am thankful that this means so much to me, that I understand. Yet I am also thankful that my generation takes for granted this peace. I am thankful that people can finally be who they are, that our society considers it natural to be natural.
I am thankful that the persecution I have known pales in contrast to what others endured in the past, and I pray that the hardships to come are dwarfed by my suffering.
I am thankful there are people who see the work still to be done, and that they are dedicated to doing it.
I am thankful that Barack Obama can be my president.
I am thankful for every single person who died, for every life given in the knowledge that one day a people would be free. I am thankful for every old veteran who marched in the streets.
I am thankful that those who wept and bled and screamed remember, that they will never forget.
I am thankful that I wasn't just another dead faggot.
I am thankful that I could love a man one day, and give myself away to that love. I am thankful that if he exists, the world will not war to tear us apart.
I am so thankful.