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    No News Like Good News

    By Jewelle Gomez–

    I’ve been trying to come up with thoughtful, end-of-year things to write about and, as is often the case, I’m drawing a blank. I’m not a Christmas person for a lot of reasons, none of which mean I’m Scrooge. I was never able to give credit to a bearded white guy flying through space for the sacrifice my family made to buy me a surprise pair of ice skates. And there’s even a logical explanation for “Jane the Virgen.” However, I do love celebrating Solstice—the more lights (blue for Hanukkah) the merrier!

    I turn on the television to relax during this calendar lull, and instead I get a cinematic sugar overload. I did, however, successfully re-watch Single All the Way (who can resist the evergreen, I mean evergay, Michael Urie?) with no bad health effects. Ditto Love Actually, and yes, I do fantasize about jumping into the screen to comfort Emma Thompson after her husband cheats on her!

    The universe, though, had some good news to share.

    Raphael Warnock became the first African American from Georgia (or any state in the former Confederacy) to win a seat for a full term in Congress. As embarrassing as that is for Georgia, I want to individually praise the 1,816,096 people who voted for him. And solicit volunteer emotional help and education for the 1,719,483 people who voted for the other guy, who, himself, was a sad embarrassment.

    And Warnock isn’t just Black; he takes progressive stands on women’s rights and queer rights, and is anti antisemitism. It is spiritually uplifting to listen to him speak and feel he’s being honest. That’s what I need for the holidays.

    Then news that the Senate voted to pass (61/33) the Respect for Marriage Act (that’s us, this time) is thrilling! I came of age in the wild lesbian/feminist 1970s, so I don’t believe marriage is for everyone. The suspicion cast on people, especially women, who want to remain single is untenable. But rights for one should be rights for all.

    And the icing on the cake of holiday spirit is the release of basketball phenom Brittney Griner, who was detained by Russian police and sentenced to 9 years for a minor drug offence. If the WNBA paid women a fair wage, Griner and other women in the league wouldn’t play in repressive countries; they could relax in luxury like the male players for the NBA.

    But the release details are so delicious: the image of Griner walking to her homebound plane towering at least a head above her military escort is astonishing. President Biden, who negotiated her release, announced the results on Twitter, (I’m still trying to decide to keep or let it go). He then held the press conference in the White House Roosevelt Room—which I’m calling the Eleanor Roosevelt Room right now—alongside Griner’s wife, Cherelle, who wore a celebratory red dress and spike heels. Vice President Harris stood behind her holding back her tears of joy.

    I do love random stories of neighbors banding together to take care of an elderly acquaintance, or hearing about the 135,000 children adopted in the U.S. (Although another 100,000 are still waiting.) Or the kid who sticks up for her bullied classmate, or the boy who rescues a fox from a well. Taken all together, those individual stories and seemingly trivial observations about the Griner news reveal miracles. The kind I can actually believe in.

    Jewelle Gomez is a lesbian/feminist activist, novelist, poet, and playwright. She’s written for “The Advocate,” “Ms. Magazine,” “Black Scholar,” “The San Francisco Chronicle,” “The New York Times,” and “The Village Voice.” Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @VampyreVamp

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    Published on December 15, 2022