“HAPPY P.R.I.D.E” Beloveds!
It is June which means that the LGBT Pride season is upon us and this expression will be repeated endlessly by members of our LGBT community from June 1 through June 30. And as we embrace this season with equal amounts of commemorations, pride festivals and parades, it is equally important that we remember to incorporate spirituality into these things. After all our “LGBT pride” should not only be an affirmation of sexuality but also a connection that which touches our overall humanity?
In so doing, we aim to ensure an equally rewarding experience of declaring our own individuality/purpose which positively and collectively contributes to the establishment of LGBT human and civil rights justice. For this purpose, a renewed outlook on pride – P.R.I.D.E. (Purposefully Rising In Divine Essence) – is born out of an understanding of what God has done for our humanity.
The importance of P.R.I.D.E. emerges from the fact that still today in 2015, thoughts of “God and Gay” or “Trans and God” are uncomfortable and oxymoronic, even for those who self-identify as LGBT; “Trans- rights” are practically non-existent; marriage equality in all 50 states is not yet a reality; and the list could go on.
Even more, it is important for LGBT people to connect LGBT justice struggles to the struggles of people of color, women, youth, poor people, people with disabilities, and others because many of us have multiple identities and are not only LGBT people. We also have racial, cultural, class, and other identities. Or as Audre Lorde said, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”
On the other hand, it is impossible to forget that Pride celebrations are often the only time when many LGBT people find they don’t feel alone, isolated, cut-off, rejected, hated and despised. Pride seasons help them to not feel worthless given that Society typically suggests that LGBT people should hate themselves. But after the parties end, discrimination remains real and prejudice is still rampant. So to start the long process of overcoming self-hate we must be ever mindful to ourselves and vigilant in letting others know what a blessing it is to be LGBT because of P.R.I.D.E. (Purposefully Rising In Divine Essence).
Finally, History has demonstrated that through all the LGBT community’s trials, God stays faithful and tarries with us in our suffering. God prevails in elevating us beyond tolerance to higher heights of increasing freedom, acceptance, inclusion, and even embrace. Our journey of faith is best described as a journey toward wholeness. In seeking the divine, we seek to complete ourselves-to fill broken places and find healing. The more these words resonate, the stronger the Presence of God becomes. And in that Presence emerges P.R.I.D.E. – “Purposefully Rising In Divine Essence”.
Pride – a deeper love …A deeper love inside
Now I’ve got love in my heart
It gives me the strength To make it through the day
Pride is love (pride is) Respect for yourself
It’s the power that gives you the strength to survive…
Be Safe and have a Happy Pride….Reverend Gale Jones, Pastor