Sunday, June 01, 2008

Turning Intentions to Action

So...erm, I guess I'm "coming out" in church today.

I mean, no, obviously, it's not like I'm "closeted" there, but there are those for whom sexuality seems to be somewhat opaque, and I've never made a big deal or "announced" my orientation publicly. That's about to change.

I have formed a small group, and for the first time in our parish history, our church will be represented in the Portland Gay Pride Parade this year. I did receive permission to do this, but was encouraged to keep our group discrete because of pastoral concerns about some church members who may not be totally comfortable with the idea. It was a compromise I was willing to accept, because I think even appearing in the parade at all is a big first step.

So, speaking privately to people I knew would be supportive, I set up a small network and was delighted that everyone I invited was interested. That was that, I thought, until a member of our clergy staff said, "Do you think you should announce it to the congregation?"

I said, "Hrmmm...well, I thought we were keeping this discrete?" But the priest had wondered if maybe there would be people who would feel upset if we didn't tell them and open it up to everyone; people who will be unhappy that we are going are going to be unhappy either way.

We decided to run it by the vestry, at which point one member reminded us that we recently voted to become a "welcoming and affirming" congregation, and pointed out that we would hardly be living up to that if we had to secretly march in the parade.

So here I am. I can hardly believe that all these years after quietly disappearing from church because I felt unworthy to attend as a gay person until I got "fixed," I'm going to stand up during a service and invite people to a gay pride parade.

11 comments:

Faustus, M.D. said...

Congratulations!

Princess said...

Well, well, well. I second those congratulations!

Silus Grok said...

And… and… how'd it go?!

Matthew said...

That sounds great. I wish you all the best, and look forward to hearing how it goes.

tully said...

Maybe this is just the Catholic in me speaking, but shouldn't you call it a "Gay Pride Procession"?

Andy said...

It went well...I was nervous, but it seems to have had the approximate effect of inviting people to a pancake breakfast: no big deal. Well, okay, one lady at our Celtic event this afternoon made a strange comment and I'm not entirely sure what she was getting at, but I'm not sure she knew, either. But I wasn't chased with torches like I was Fuckenstein, so I'd say it was a success.

Gino said...

i would think anybody who had an issue with you had already left that church.

its not 'news' that the episcopalians have been going in the welcoming direction for some time now.

Musicguy said...

congrats! I'm uber jealous, considering that I work for the Roman Catholic church and am very much in the closet. Keep us posted on all this

Anonymous said...

Please, let's not loose our senses. Just remember the new evangelism campaign: The Episcopal Church - it's more than just tlaking about sex!

Congrats! It also sounds as though you have landed in a loving community.

BJ

Jade said...

Congratulations and good for you! When is the parade?

Brent said...

Way to go! Besides opening some more minds, you could be helping and inspiring others in your church, young and old, perhaps struggling internally.