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8 Things Progressives Can Be Thankful For

Chin up, after all we've got Rachel Maddow, health care, Pittsburgh's f-you to corporate control, and a whole lot more to be thankful for.

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It also sparked the It Gets Better Project, which first began as a video created by Dan Savage and his partner to let queer youth know that things, do, in fact get better. In only a few months, the project has grown to mammoth proportions, with over 5,000 videos created and over 15 million views. People who have contributed videos to the project include President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of "Glee," Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres and Suze Orman, to name a few. Here's a recent one from the highest ranking openly gay man in our government:

And as good as It Gets Better is, it's still not enough, which is why the also-awesome Reteaching Gender & Sexuality project is so important. Why should youth have to wait and hope that one day, when they're older, maybe people won't be so mean and stupid? Reteaching Gender & Sexuality was "generated to contribute additional queer/trans youth voices to the national conversations about queer/trans youth lives. Reteaching Gender & Sexuality intends to steer the conversation beyond the symptom of bullying, to consider systemic issues and deeper beliefs about gender and sexuality that impact queer youth." Things only really get better if we all work to make them better -- and that begins by examining our perceptions of both gender and sexuality. Let's be thankful for the youth who are helping us to see that and let's help make this a better place for them to live.

Reteaching Gender and Sexualityfrom Sid Jordanon Vimeo.

8. The Food on Our Table

I'd be remiss at this time of year to not give thanks for one of the most basic things of all -- the food we eat. While we may have a supply chain dominated by big business, if you get past the fluorescent glow of the supermarket and hit some real markets, there is so much good food to be found. We have an incredible network of farmers markets and restaurants that help to support small farmers, food producers, ranchers and fishermen and women. If you need help finding a farm or good food near you, check out the Eat Well Guide.

Tara Lohan is a senior editor at AlterNet and editor of the latest title from AlterNet books, Water Matters . You can follow her on Twitter @TaraLohan.