Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Untold Story of Gay Pride

This year's theme for Portland's Gay Pride Parade was, "Pride: Bring It!"

I'm pleased to say, my parish brought it. Here I was afraid that our group would be pitifully small, so I had us join up with the largest parish in the state, Trinity Cathedral, so we wouldn't be lonely. Well, Trinity sent two people and we sent eighteen, which included our entire clergy staff, three members of the Vestry, and straight allies with children. I think that's pretty dang good for our first appearance! We're already talking about what to do differently (better, more) next year.

I mean, look at these people. This is the untold story of Gay Pride, folks. The media and the conservatives like to focus on the scantily or otherwise outrageously clad. What they don't show you is a group of devout Christians, gay and straight, who came directly to the parade from the Eucharist. A couple of local columnists remarked that the endless welcoming religious groups are kinda dull because our outfits aren't especially interesting. (Well, come to an Episcopal church on a Feast Day and behold the fabulousness.) But in a way, aren't we the crucial part?

In his speech at the Lambda Legal Liberty Awards in Manhattan in 2006, Bishop Gene Robinson of the Diocese of New Hampshire remarked, "Religion is the source of our oppression." Well, the good people at my church and in congregations across the country and around the world aim to make religion the source of our liberation. As the Reverend Canon Mary Haddad of Grace Cathedral put it once, "If it's not good news for everybody, it's not good news."

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Rocky will kill me for including this picture, but I couldn't resist.

7 comments:

seithman said...

A couple of local columnists remarked that the endless welcoming religious groups are kinda dull because our outfits aren't especially interesting.

If they want "interesting outfits," they should ask to cover the next fashion show, not the local pride parade. I mean, wouldn't coverage of a pride parade fall under "human interest"? So it would seem to me that the important part of the story would be the humans, not the clothes they were wearing. But maybe that's just me.

And I'm going to trust you didn't mean to imply that "scantily clad/outrageously clothed" and "Christian" were the only two possibilities available. ;)

-- Jarred.

Jade said...

Congratulations on such a great turn out! :)

tully said...

I'm surprised the kids are seemingly quite happy to be there. I would perhaps find it a bit embarrassing. More power to them!

tom said...

I loved the article. It's a wonderful thing to see happen.
But the fact the largest parish in the state only sent 2 speaks volumes.
I strongly agree with Gene Robinson and think his words will ring true for many years to come.
But this article shows enlightenment has begun.

seithman said...

Tully: The impression I've gotten when I've seen kids at such events is that they just see it as an opportunity to have fun. They're not as conscientious about the nature of the festivities as you'd likely be.

DJRainDog said...

What a nice-looking bunch you assembled! Diverse, happy, smiling...I like this. (I'm betting the tall cutie on the right side of the pic is one of the str8folk, and uh-oh...Andy...Don't look now, but there's a handsome priest looking over your left shoulder!) ;-) I especially like this: "If it's not good news for everybody, it's not good news." Amen, sister!

bridgeout said...

What a wonderful story! I love that! I did a post on my trip to Portland Pride, and one of the commenters stated "This was a shameful event." Well, clearly they missed your group there!!! I think that most people are simply looking for "evidence" to support the story they are telling themselves... that is why their view seems so narrow. Thanks for sharing this! Yeah for you guys!
I have some Pride pics. up, look for the "Celebrating PRIDE weekend" post. :)