And yet, many of the proud LGBTers at various Pride events—in Virginia and elsewhere—are people of faith. For some of us, it was our faith that helped us claim our pride—our delight—in being queer.
For some years, People of Faith for Equality in Virginia has sponsored an interfaith worship prior to DC Pride—usually during the week leading up to that big event.
And . . . drum roll, please . . . this year the organizers of Virginia Pride, in Richmond, approved the request of).
So, we’re going to be there—one half hour of interfaith proclamation and witness for justice, for celebration of all God’s people, for thanksgiving for the variety of humanity with which God blesses us, to remind the world that God is an all-inclusive God.
This is not the first time religious groups will be at Pride. Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond and New Beginnings Christian Church traditionally have had booths, and will again this year. And this year, organizers hope that those churches will be joined by other congregations who will hold their own congregational banners high during the prayer service. We often pray with our eyes closed or down, but showing our true colors is also a form of prayer. Pride is a time to celebrate, and it is a time to give thanks for the blessing God gives us in our sexuality and gender—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, male, female and everything else, too. Certainly, straight folks can celebrate at Pride—for their friends and family, for the joy of knowing they are joined in human community by others, and for their own sexuality and gender expression and identity (Pride folks show all of us how to celebrate our beauty).
Join us at 1:30 pm (Pride opens at 2:00 pm) near the fountain at Kanawha Plaza for prayer, a litany for justice, a brief message about justice, a song, some more prayer—a blessing of Pride, a blessing of the people who are LGBT and those who stand with us.
Rev. Dr. Robin H. Gorsline is President of People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, an interfaith organization of gay and straight clergy and lay people working for equality for LGBT Virginians. Read more of his thoughts on faith and spirituality on his personal blog.