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DC Pride: When the Baxters Joined In

The Baxters
The Baxters

We were determined to participate and show solidarity with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters

by Grant and Amanda Baxter

On Saturday, June 8, our family marched in Washington DC’s Capital Pride Parade for the first time. We joined our fellow Mormons under the Mormons for Marriage Equality banner. The logistics of travelling into the city on the Metro from our home in the suburbs with our five young children and all the accompanying gear were daunting. However, we were determined to participate and show solidarity with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and express our belief that God loves, accepts, and rejoices in ALL of His children equally, without condition, and without exception.

As soon as we stepped out of the station and into the crowds, we felt an atmosphere of joy and unity, with people gathered together in a celebration of life and humanity.

That feeling of unity only intensified as our group entered the parade route and began marching. We were overwhelmed and touched by the cheers and encouragement from the crowd. The love was palpable and flowed freely back and forth between the marchers and the spectators. We shared hug after hug, high-fives, waves, and smiles. Our children were cheered and felt the energy and the love, and had a wonderful experience.

After the parade ended, we shared the rest of the evening at a social hosted by the group organizers, and attended by most of the marchers, as well as a few others. It was a wonderful opportunity to relax, celebrate, and build new friendships. The glow from the whole experience stayed with us for the rest of the weekend and made us wish we had been able to enjoy the Pride Festival the following day. We are already excited for next year’s parade, and are determined to participate every year from now on.

One thought on “DC Pride: When the Baxters Joined In

  1. I haven’t much cared what the Mormon church leadership has though the last 30 years, but I was shocked and dismayed by the recent way the church is now treating the children of LGBT people. It is mean spirited and cruel, and shows a total lack of understanding of LGBT people by a leadership who should know better. If the prophet really talks to God, and I think he does, then he isn’t listening

    Society classifies me as transgender because my sex is Male to Female and if you listen to the church leadership, I’m going to Hell. I figure God will decide that issue.

    When I joined the church in Grand Junction Colorado in 1980, as Michael Lawson Kratz, they asked me if I was gay and I said no, because I wasn’t a gay male then and am not a gay male now, I’m a girl. I attended a singles ward from 1980 to 1982, which did have obviously gay members, in LA which was located across from the temple. I was happy being just a member and I refused to accept a temple recommend from the bishop because I didn’t want to go into the temple as a male, because I was a girl. I met a lot of really wonderful people, and I did date Mormon girls.

    I eventually got married in 1987, adopted 2 kids and my wife then died in 2014. I wish God had taken me instead. I guess he has plans for me. Maybe its finally to let everyone know I’m actually a girl, as people who know me, like me I thought as I begun transition why is it a bad thing to be a girl.

    If I showed up at ward, I doubt anyone would know. I seem to pass without an issue. I just wish I wasn’t as tall as I am.

    I hope you and your family are well and thank you for marching in the parade.

    I have met a number of really wonderful people who are LGBT since finally being who I really am. And if they are going to Hell, then Hell is going to be a good place to be.

    Marcia Lauren Kratz

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