I recently got back from GALA Choral Festival 2012 in Denver. There were around 6,200 LGBT and affirming straight people at this festival, and I was stricken by the true sense of community that was all around me. The vast majority of these people had never seen each other before, and yet we immediately loved and accepted each other. For once it didn’t matter how “gay” I was! People didn’t look at me funny when I had on eyeliner, and no one rolled their eyes when I brought up yet another Broadway musical. We all just reveled in the beauty and diversity of our community. That is one thing we miss out on living in a smaller, mostly conservative city.
As a people who constantly fight to be loved and accepted, sadly, we often act in very unloving ways toward each other. I don’t think it’s fair to expect the world to love and accept us if we can’t do it ourselves. How many times do the mainstream portions of our community look at the more gregarious members and turn them away for being too gay, too butch, or too obvious? How often have we shirked the trans community (especially those that don’t “pass”), or the leather community, or the BDSM community?
During GALA, I was surrounded by every aspect of our community. We were all there to raise our voice in song together. And it was beautiful! I have seen that same beauty in our church from time to time. I urge us to exude that inclusive beauty every week. I love each of you for exactly who you are. I love the beautiful creation God has made in you! It is our mission to spread the message of God’s all-inclusive love and that message starts right here in our church home.
“Love each other as I have loved you.” That, for me, was Jesus’ greatest commandment. So let’s love each other. It has become my custom to close my articles with a quote from a musical, but this time I have to disappoint! The quote below is from the song, “What Matters,” and it was performed by the San Diego Women’s Chorus at GALA. With these words, I encourage you to go out and show the world what Christ’s true love is.
“So, who cares who’s arms I’m all wrapped up in? Who cares who’s eyes I see myself in? Who cares who I dream of? Who cares who I love?…It doesn’t mater what I dream of. It only matters that I was loved. And I am loved.”