Thank You. Thank you. Thank You.
I have to admit, I was nervous about today. I had a hard time falling asleep last night, thinking about all the ways that things could go wrong. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be welcome, because all people would see was the word “Christian” and they’d assume I was there to judge, condemn, hate, or mistreat them in some way. I was afraid that this totally justified reaction would mean that all the work, time, energy, and care that had gone into distributing and collecting the cards would be for naught.
I was wrong to be afraid.
I experienced so much love and kindness today that it overwhelmed my heart. I met so many wonderful, fun, open, and amazing people, and experienced love in a way that I had never before. It’s funny, I feel like I was affected more than the people I went there to reach out to, and I am totally OK with that.
I talked with a man who’s children had disowned him upon coming out, a woman who’s son was murdered for being gay, multiple gay and lesbian couples who had been married for decades yet unable to receive any legal benefits or recognition, and a teen who was asked by her church youth group not to come back when she told them she was gay. I met people who have experienced incredible heartache, pain, and evil at the hands of those who call themselves Christians, yet none, not one, treated me with anything other than kindness.
That was the most powerful thing I experienced today. I was surrounded by people who have been hated, tormented, bullied, beaten, and tortured, who have every right to be angry and resentful of a God that would allow these things to happen, or a person who claims to represent him. Yet, never have I been in a more loving and kind environment in my life. I was changed today by the love I experienced, and the love I was allowed to show, and I am so, so thankful.
So I want to say thank you to everyone I encountered at PRIDE. Thank you for accepting me without prejudice, when people like me have been so quick to reject you. Thank you for engaging with me and letting me into your pain. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You changed me today, and I will forever be grateful.
As a token of my thanks, here are some of your cards that you filled out as a message back to, “The Church” and Christians as a whole. Hopefully, this will be a start of a conversation that will continue, and more people other than me can be changed. Thanks for taking this journey with me.