This year, perhaps more than any other, a majority of Americans wished for more than their two front teeth for Christmas! After four years of a failed and miserable presidency, one that was in no way kind to LGBTQ folks and at every turn opted to go backward, it is slowly coming to an end — and I do mean slowly.
The presidential election held in early November showed a clear winner in Joe Biden. Turn out and numbers alone indicated the majority of voters wanted change. It was this want of change that brought about the not-so-great orange one in the first place. Even still, there are those that when asked why and what can only say, “Hey, the economy is booming.”
This mantra was touted so much that it became believable to many. There is more to an economy than the stock market. Early on, it was obvious that once again that the rich will benefit and the rest…well, good luck.
Volumes will be written about 45 and his attacks and insults on democracy and basic decency; hopefully, those that record history will show his lack of compassion and humanity that was inflicted on America during the past four years.
Come 2021, it will be nice to see a president that hugs his family, kneels down to speak with young children, tears up when confronting emotional situations, and sees beyond himself. Once again, there will be a “first dog” (actually two) in the Whitehouse.
There is something downhome and real about the Bidens. Unlike their robotic and unfeeling predecessors, Joe and Jill Biden are more representatives of everyday Americans; they show this in their actions, their words, and their love for each other. Perhaps where there has been cold and emptiness for the past four years, there will now be warmth and compassion.
The world has existed under a dark blanket since last spring. The Covid pandemic has changed everything and, until very recently, it appeared there was no hope. With the coming of vaccines, there is now a glimmer of light in the darkness. Things will never really be the same, however, the opportunity to return to a somewhat more normal existence appears to be around the corner.
Businesses, communities, and families have been devastated by the loss. In Galveston, where so much depends on the tourism and entertainment industries, the economy has been severely damaged. Many in the LGBTQ community work in hotels, restaurants, and bars, not to mention at retail outlets and other venues that have suffered or shut down completely.
The few bars that are still considered “gay” bars have taken a hard hit. Although some have gotten creative with food endeavors and other means to stay open, there is no doubt about it: the numbers are down. The LGBTQ community members love to gather with their friends to hold fundraisers, celebrate holidays, and party — all things that have been severely missed since March. On that list to Santa that got the U.S. a new president, is also a wish that Covid-19 will be harnessed and life will return to a comfortable level of normal.
The things that make Galveston such fun and sought the place, have been stymied. Festivals and events that normally draw thousands have been canceled. The island is hurting. No Octoberfest, no Lone Star Rally, no Dickens on the Strand, and no Mardi Gras, just to name a few. The pandemic stopped the popular Island Pride festival and beach party, something LGBTQ leaders in the community have strived to enlarge every year and bring more awareness to the island’s diverse population. Every year the ACCT luncheon drew a huge crowd and was so anticipated and became the event enabling the LGBTQ community to shine like a diamond. Canceled!
So many components to the “good life” that is lived in Galveston were canceled or put on hold.
But Galvestonians are known for being strong and resilient. The things that Covid took (excluding lives) will come back. The events and feelings of joy will come back bigger, stronger, and more robust than ever. Galveston folks will see to this.
This year when you write the letter to ol’ Santa, thank him for the early gift of a new president and ask for an end to Covid-19. When everything is said and done, I am pretty sure that even Santa is ready for an end to the pandemic and for things to be better.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from Galveston.