We need safe spaces to discuss and work through the pain that has just been inflicted upon our fellow humans, upon members of our community. Let’s do everything within our power to create communities of safety and refuge. It’s always the time to offer our love and care to those in pain.
Articles by: John Gustav-Wrathall
The senseless violence that occurred this morning in Orlando increased the particular sense of vulnerability that LGBTQ+ people live with every day. It is a reminder to all of us of the vital importance of the entire world community standing together against all forms of hatred and intolerance, to build a beloved community where none need fear being singled out because of who they are, because of how they worship, or because of whom they love.
Jesus turned everything upside down. No sorting of people into social bins. Jesus ignored the social norms that spell out the who, when and what of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is full of surprises. The first shall be last. All are invited, the clean and the unclean. All are loved. All persons are of worth: free and slave, women and men. Everything is upside down and no one is excluded from the Kingdom as unworthy.
A lesbian couple who stopped by were delighted to learn that Affirmation had a place for them even though they had left the Church long ago, while it also had a place for their devout, believing family and friends. Another lesbian woman I spoke to shared her faith and her testimony with me, as she also shared the intense conflict she experienced, and was grateful to learn about Affirmation’s Prepare group, for church-active LGBT Mormons.
We strongly encourage fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, relatives and leaders to protect their loved ones, especially LGBT youth who are exposed to ridicule which has caused suicides. We advocate avoidance of public discourse that undermines human dignity, instead promoting fruits of the Spirit such as love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, temperance, and meekness.
This woman, one day, on campus she put up a sign that said, “Be Brave.” She made it out of paper and yarn and stuff, and she put it up. I had no idea who had made it. She put up this sign that just happened to be on my bike ride onto campus. And she put it up right around the time of the policy. So the first time I saw it, I thought, “Wow. This is a message for me.”
Bring all of who you are and march with us. Bring a sign. Bring a picture. Bring a poster or a painting. Something that symbolizes a significant piece of your journey and/or who you are.
We invite allies to come join us and show solidarity! Bring something that symbolizes your celebration of the life of an LGBTQ+ loved one!
We need to recognize that what is strengthening to different people may be different. We need to foster self care and healing, finding our sources of spiritual strength — whatever those may be — and learning to accept ourselves.
For many years I have struggled, first to have the love of someone who despised me. Then I fought to be someone I was not, then I struggled to accept who I really am… I may have been abandoned in this life by earthly parents, but my heavenly Father has never left me.