One of the Stonewall Veterans–my friend, Sylvia Rivera (who also founded STAR, Street Transvestite Action Revoluntionaries in the 1970s and later started the homeless shelter for queer youth at MCC New York)–once told me, “Not everyone agrees with me, but I know God was there.”
Sylvia knew that when sparks fly and catch fire and people rise up to claim the life God gives them, that God is doing some poking and prodding and inspiring.
There were a lot of sparks–folks had been agitating for more than a decade (including picketing the White House and Independence Hall), Rev. Troy Perry began MCC 8 months before –and then Judy died, and the queens and their friends had had enough.
Most of the activists were not religious, some of them even anti-religious. But it takes some sort of faith to stand up when few, if any, others are standing with you, especially when you are used to being swatted down.
You can celebrate that kind of faith this weekend, at many different events, every one celebrating the Spirit of Stonewall.
You can even find prayers on line if your religious community does not welcome such faith or you want to suggest a prayer to your religious leaders–visit People of Faith for Equality in Virginia at http://faith4equalityva.org . Or join MCC Richmond, with Miss Joanna Powers and Friends, for Stonewall Sunday Worship at 10:45 a.m.
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.