Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Integrity Celebrates Pride Month! Flags and Flyers Abound!!

 Louise Brooks

June is Pride Month. Episcopalians across the country will join people around the world to celebrate the impact LGBT folks have had on their communities. Parades abound! Rainbow flags fly high. We celebrate the notion that diversity is a gift. Everyone is fabulous and a good time is had by all.

President Bill Clinton first declared June as Gay and Lesbian Pride month in 2000. President Obama has carried on the tradition and recently  proclaimed June, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month — a time to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists and to celebrate the diversity of the American people. The White House proclamation reads in part:

The story of America's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is the story of our fathers and sons, our mothers and daughters, and our friends and neighbors who continue the task of making our country a more perfect Union. It is a story about the struggle to realize the great American promise that all people can live with dignity and fairness under the law. Each June, we commemorate the courageous individuals who have fought to achieve this promise for LGBT Americans, and we rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Last Sunday Integrity/NYC-Metro celebrated Pride in the borough of Queens. Integrity/NYC-Metro is focused on reaching out to Christians who feel alienated by or driven away from the faith traditions of their family and youth. This includes not just LGBT people, but their families and friends who have felt forced to choose between their loved ones and inflexible dogma. They created this wonderful flyer that chapter members who staffed their table gave out.. The Flyer's headline was: "Shock your Family (Again)  Bring Them to Church." It got a tremendous amount of attention, and several people immediately stopped walking to read it.

Integrity/NYC-Metro members engaged in many conversations about this church and helped several people who wanted specific recommendations based on where they lived and their language capability. Convener Mary O'Shaughnessy is pleased to report, "We believed out loud and dispensed good advice to everyone who asked for it". She added, "There are many people hungry for what the Episcopal Church has to offer and our mission is to let them know we are here."

What is your goal for your Pride celebration or parade?

Walking With Integrity would love to post stories like Mary's from Intgerity-NYC-Metro. Please send us your Pride stories and pictures, sermons and experiences. Be a witness to our work and mission.

Send your stories to info@integrityusa.org.

Have a great Pride month!

Louise Brooks is Integrity's Director of Communications and a member of the Board of Directors.

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