Pride month has passed. For many, especially the younger people among us, pride is about parades and parties, celebrating and just being out in the community — out as LGBT, out in the community, out to the world.
For those of us in the religious world (the liberal, accepting religious world), it is a time to celebrate that we are all created differently, but loved the same. In July, most put pride on a shelf and move on with their lives, lives that fit in with the mainstream of society, lives that are just a part of the “normal” world.
But, as a part of the older generation of queer folk, a word that many of my generation reject, I am called to remember times when the struggle was year-round, when being identified as “one of those people” (the words used were much less polite), could mean expulsion from one’s religious community, loss of a job, imprisonment, forced mental health treatment (read, “being cured of being gay”), even violent attacks that often resulted in death.
We need to continue to remember. We need to remember the time before Stonewall. We need to celebrate those who helped to set the stage at great risk to themselves. We need to remember that they set the stage for a world, at least in North America, where the Stonewall events and later activism and progress could even be contemplated.
At Church of Our Savior, we continue to remember our history and those who risked themselves prior to Stonewall by presenting “Out of the Shadows, from police raids to Stonewall riots, 1903-1969,” a photo exhibition from the Stonewall National Museum and Archives, in Fort Lauderdale. On Saturday, July 20, the exhibit will be open at Church of Our Savior MCC, 2011 South Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, beginning at 6 p.m., with a coffee and cookie reception at 7 p.m. For those who can’t make the reception, feel free to drop in on Sunday after service, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., to view the exhibit.
From 1968 until today, Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry’s words continue to ring true. As he repeats, every chance he gets, “God made you the way you are and God loves you the way you are!”
Let us remember the beloveds who are no longer with us and the beloveds who remain among us.
Rev. Wendy R. Woodruff, Pastor
Church of Our Savior MCC