Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pride 2014

Celebrating Pride It seems impossible, but last night as Barry was putting up his collections of Pride buttons, getting ready for the 2014 Pride March, I counted off 19 buttons since I saw my first Pride Parade here in Chicago in 1996. What a transition the LGBT movement has made over those years. Who would have thought in 1996 as I was coming out and leaving parish ministry as a result, that in 2014 there would be 19 states and the District of Columbia where gay couples could be married. And every day the courts strike down another attempt by a state’s vote to exclude queer folk from marriage equality. And who would have thought that Barry and I would be married, and our marriage be celebrated in the church! But even as the legal marriage sea quickly changes, there is a need for continued strong advocacy work. Just as we know that changing of laws some 50 years ago did not eliminate racism, neither will the courts’ recognizing marriage equality eliminate heterosexism. That is why we still march, to give voice to our commitment to our LGTBQ brothers and sisters. I have noticed over the years a different crowd standing on the sidelines of the parade cheering the churches on as we march and hold our welcome banners. It is those who still need to see a supportive religious presence for examples (LGBTQ youth and Transgender youth), who still face social pressures to conform to culturally normative lives (whatever that means). We still march to stand in solidarity with those who are hoping for a cold cup of water, a supportive nod from a pastor, a smile, or a “high-five” from someone over 50. One never knows how life-giving our presence might be.

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