26 June 2009

Dear Friends,

The “Heritage of Pride” parade takes place this Sunday in New York City. Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual and Queer people and those who love and support them will march from 5th Avenue & 52nd Street to Christopher & Greenwich Street. to celebrate who God created them to be and to demonstrate their pride in themselves and their communities.

The Bible warns against excessive pride, but it is a healing and empowering emotion when you have been treated as if being who you are and loving who you love is shameful. Most people know what it is to have experienced shame in their lives. Shame is an effective means for social control and has worked to keep people silent and undermine their self-worth. It can lead people to living dishonest and inauthentic lives. Shame tells sensitive little boys that they are unmanly and little girls who’d rather wear pants than dresses that they are unnatural. And as for those who do not fall within the gender dichotomy at all – well, as my friend Dina says, “Fuggedaboutit.”

Pride breaks the crippling hold shame can have on people. When thousands of individuals carrying banners and balloons march in public, it is a healing light streaming into the shadowy closets where shame thrives and tries to suffocate the spirit. I believe that Heritage of Pride Sunday can speak to all of us who feel different in some way from what is too readily considered “normal.” It can remind those who follow Jesus that He, too, did not fit the norm. An outsider who proclaimed that another kindom was being born into an empire that seemed invincible, Jesus was quite at home with those others condemned and taught that each of us is a reflection of God, that we carry within us a piece of the divine. God bless all who march this Sunday – and let your light shine.

For more information on the Heritage of Pride Parade, go to http://www.flamingforchrist.org

Peace to you,

Elaine Connolly
Jan Hus Presbyterian Church


Anonymous said...

What a timely and thoughtful message! I'm going to print and distribute this to friends before the parade. God bless and thank you.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Elaine! I wish I could be there to march with you!