The below is offered for those of us who are working for queer liberation in mostly straight, liberal enclaves, where the going vibe is “hey, gays, we’re all ok!” and queer energy is cheerfully coopted to keep the straight status quo on the go. It’s a challenge to keep exhorting these good-hearted people to bust out of their complacency without actually using the f-word. Below is one of my latest attempts, to be published in our UU church newsletter. The backstory is more complicated than I will go into here, but basically, Interweave is sort of a UU church GSA, and (surprise) it’s mostly G and the G are doing almost all of the work while the S in the larger congregation stop me at coffee hour and thank me for the wonderful work I’m doing.
Whose Pride? Who’s Proud?
What percentage of our UU church is LGBTQ? Sometimes it seems that we make up half of the congregation! The numbers are quite a bit lower than that, however, but one reason LGBTQ folks might seem more prevalent here is that our visibility is quite a bit higher than it is on the outside.
We have so much to celebrate.
Our chapter of Interweave was formed in order to give straight and LGBTQ members of our church “opportunities for fellowship, support, spiritual growth, social justice work and community activism, both within the congregation and in the wider community.” One of these opportunities is fast approaching! Yes, it is time to start planning for the Pride Parade.
Last year, our church officially registered with the Pride committee and marched with our own banner. The Sunday before Pride, we had a Pride service. The day of Pride, we enjoyed a Pride breakfast, a moving Invocation, and an After Party here at church. This year, we are planning to secure a good spot for folks from the congregation to watch the Parade together, as some would prefer not to march or are unable to. And we hope to encourage more members of the congregation to attend the very moving service at the Arlington Street UU church before the Parade. Our observances of this wonderful and important day are becoming deeper and more varied.
We have so much to celebrate.
Our very first Interweave Interlude, published last year, was about Pride. An Interweave member and lesbian mom wrote:
Our family plans to march with our church in the Pride Parade…and we want to invite you to join us. I know if you don’t identify with the gay community, or don’t have close friends or family members in our community (or even if you do), it may not feel as if it is your place or responsibility to march with our church in the Pride parade. If this is the case, I invite you to reconsider. Pride is our one day of the year to come together, gay and straight, to promote awareness, justice, understanding, acceptance, and equality… If you want to show your support for equality for all and help our church become a more inclusive community for everyone, this is the single most important event that you can get involved in.
Interweave again extends the invitation not only to participate in Pride activities this year, but to lend a generous hand in helping plan for this wonderful and important day. At the time of this writing, we do not yet have our two marshals, nor have we secured enough members of a Pride committee to do all of the necessary planning. Our next Interweave meeting will focus on Pride. Please plan to participate!
Let’s celebrate together.
The Total Femme