By Eleanor Mendoza Whitney
June is the month that kicks off summer, commemorates fathers, honors graduates, and celebrates diversity through “Pride” events.
Pride events have been happening since before I was born, but I never attended or understood their significance in the LGBTQ+ (or queer) community. As a young person, I didn’t know any “out” or openly queer people.
However in my adulthood, I have become close with a number of people who identify as “queer” in orientation (e.g., gay) or in identity (e.g., transgender). As I got to know more people in the LGBTQ+ community and learned their personal histories, it seemed clear to me that they, like me, wanted to live a life that is full, healthy and loving.
In recent years I have been to several peaceful Pride celebrations. I have appreciated the generosity, and grace, I have received there. I learned that Pride events bring joy, support and healing to many who have been marginalized or discriminated against.
I am thankful for the ways that members of the LGBTQ+ community have welcomed me into their spaces, taught me acceptance and shown me love. I offer my support by attending Pride events and listening closely to the stories I hear.
This June, as you enter into all the celebrations it may bring (graduations, travel, weddings, etc.) I wonder...
What communities do you interact with?
What might Spirit be nudging you toward-- even if it may feel a bit uncomfortable?
If you are one of privilege in most spaces, what would it be like/how could you be the uncomfortable person in the room for a bit? What might you learn from that experience?
How can you offer a glimpse of grace, healing, listening, acceptance to the marginalized, discriminated against, vulnerable that come across your path?