It’s that time of year, where we come together as families and try, and midst all the food and, sometimes passive aggressive comments and avoidance of political talk, we remember to be thankful. Yes, the first thanksgiving was a feast for the pilgrims and the Native Americans, and our cultural memory of it is idealized. But the first time Thanksgiving was actually recognized as a national holiday was during the Civil War. In the darkest part of our history, Abraham Lincoln - spurred on by the lobbying of an awesome woman named Sarah Josepha Hale - declared a national day of thanks. When our nation was being torn apart, Lincoln realized it was important to stop and remember what was worth preserving. And it’s a good thing too, because sometimes we do need to sit down and think about what we are thankful for.

So, dear friends and fandom family, I want to say that I am thankful for you.

I am thankful for the beauty you create and share with us all. Your writing, your art, your tweets, your gif sets, your reviews, your memes. You do so much out of pure passion and love, rarely asking anything in return and with it you bring joy to my life and so many others. In the same way, I am thankful to the amazing actors, writers, directors, assistants, producers, camera people, make-up artists, editors, drivers, stunt people, production designers, admin staff and assistants that work tireless to transport us to another world week after week. You all make something that so many love, that brings comfort and consolation, exquisite pain and glorious laughter. From the bottom of the heart you have filled: Thank you.

Thank you, to the fans, creators, actors and more that inspire me every day with how much you are willing to give and do to make the world better. Your work and support for so many causes is staggering and makes me so proud to count myself among you. Thank you for helping. Thank you for giving. Thank you for doing so much to make the world better. Thank you for the kindness, because it is never wasted. It is easy to look at the state of the world today and simply be angry, to give up or give in. But you never do. You keep going, and when some of us can’t, you carry us through.

Thank you for teaching me to be strong. Thank you for celebrating all of us, over every size and color and sexuality and nationality and faith. We all have a place, here among our fellow weirdos, and we know our differences are what make us powerful, that our struggles and mistakes make us not only better, but wayward AF.  Thank you for making be feel beautiful and seen, even when I wanted to be invisible. Thank you for teaching me to be kind, even when it’s the hardest thing in the world not to engage. Thank you for teaching me to be me and to wear my weirdness with pride. Thank you for the shirts that say all of this, that I wear like armor on the hardest days to know that this story and this fandom is with me. You are magic. Thank you for all the things we have yet to learn together.

Thank you for showing me that I am not alone. Thank you for the friends I carry in my pocket, who are there to make me smile or dry my tears at all times. Thank you for bringing so many weird and wonderful people into my life, from all over the world to right around the corner. Thank you for the adventures you made me brave enough to take and the ones yet to come. Shows may end, but the friendships and memories I have made through this fandom will last my whole life. Thank you.

Thank you for the joy. Thank you for stories. Thank you for the adventure. Thank you for the hope.

Thank you.

-Jessica Mason

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