Lexington Gay Pride Apologies

June 30, 2012 is Gay Pride in Lexington.  If you’re wondering what Gay Pride is all about, check out our series running this month: Hey Gays, Why So Proud?

We’ve talked before about Why Gays Deserve An Apology from Christians and we want to do something public about it.  And so, we’re hosting an apology booth at Lexington Gay Pride this year, in conjunction with our good friends at Embrace Church.  We’ll be making signs and t-shirts that apologize to the LGBT community for the way the church has historically abused them and we’ll be offering free apologies, free listening to people’s stories, free prayer (if anyone feels a need for some), and free hugs.

We’ll also be giving out some free stuff, which is why we need your help.  Embrace has graciously provided us with the funding for  the basic setup (registration, freeze-pops to hand out, etc.)  However, we want to do more!  LOVEboldly has some extra ideas for doling out an extra measure of grace and love to our friends in the LGBT community, as well as some promotional costs.  And, unfortunately, we are running out of time.

Would you prayerfully consider donating towards our need to lavishly give God’s love to the LGBT community in Lexington?

We need to raise the lion’s share of this by the end of this week:

  1. T-Shirt Printing     $250-300
  2. Business Cards (Qty 1000)      $35
  3. Other Printed Promotional Handout Materials     $15
  4. LOVEboldly –  Banner 3’x6′ (which we will be able to use at other events as well)     $100
  5. Hand Fans – Qty. 500 (it’s HOT at Pride)   $250

TOTAL NEED: $650-700

If you are willing to help support any of these needs, please contact us via email – loveboldlynow@gmail.com and we will provide you with the information you need to send a donation.

We also are taking volunteers to help us man the table and deliver the apologies, hugs, and free stuff!  If you would like to sign up for a 2 hour shift (or more) you can sign up here.  You should be familiar with Our Vision and we would really appreciate it if you’d watch the Defeating Agendas Videos before the event (especially Session 3).  Those videos can be accessed here.
Confused yet?  Questions?  Comments?  Email us!

Why So Proud Caleb?

This first post in our “Hey Gays, Why So Proud?” series is brought to you by Caleb Ritchie, one of my favorite gay men in the world.  It’s true that I have a lot of favorite gay men in the world, but Caleb ranks high on that list.  Caleb is smart as a whip, funny as can be, and a genuinely good friend.  So I said, “Hey Caleb, what does Gay Pride mean to you?”  And he said this:

What immediately comes to mind about gay pride is a festival or celebration. A parade. Floats. Drag Queens. Lots of same sex couples holding hands or making out. Booths about AVOL, suicide hotlines, and/or free condoms. Lots of romance for gay couples. Like, lots. People drinking beer and then signing up haphazardly for amateur drag. People drinking beer and then laughing at the amateur queens and kings.  

In a more abstract, touchy-feely sense, I think of non-heteronormativity as a norm, and straighthood as being an abberation, one I get to accept and love.  At pride, we gays can embrace and love straight people, the minority. Everybody is completely free to be themselves.  People who are not trans or queer or ace (Asexual) can express themselves however they want to, and yet, in all of this heterogenous expression, there’s a unified feeling of belonging to a community. A community of people who aren’t afraid to be different. Definitely a lot of counter-culture that isn’t expressly related to the LGBTQQIAA communities, but is embraced there in ways that it may not be in more heteronormative society.

In terms of what I feel I belong to: I belong to a community of trail-blazers. Of gays that came out at a time it was dangerous, making it easier for me to do so years later. Of gays that fought for rights and protections. A community of people politically involved and impassioned, who are determined to change the world for the better. Of people who regardless of their hardship, still find time to reach out to other people who may be on the fringes of society. People who risk being hurt again. People who consciously ask themselves how to better a community, or make it more inclusive. People who question what it is to be in this “community.” People who have a really good time. People with whom I am myself, and am not defined by my sexuality (Or that difference from societal norms.) Men and women who aren’t afraid to question what it is to be a man or a woman, or to be a human being.

There are a lot of other characteristics of this community that I cannot really think of, because I’m blanking, but there are tons. And no, you’re not going to look out on a gay person and find all of these traits off the bat. But, when I think of pride, I think of it being a time where I can appreciate the best in my friends, straight or gay, and think about people who made a difference. Maybe akin to the way I look at people with goodwill near Christmas, or treat people at church on Sunday. It’s a time that, for me, crystallizes goals and ideals for this “community,” whoever might belong to it and whatever on earth it is, and it makes me think of what we’re capable of when working together. Whatever I do in my walk with Christ, for instance, I can look at my behavior on Sundays and be like “Whoa, I can totes do that. Why don’t I do that all the time?”

In a similar way, I think Pride represents to me a lot of accomplishments and overcoming adversity for the LGBT community (Though with much more still to go, especially for our transgendered friends), and something to work towards.

So, whenever I go to pride, there’s always part of me that resonates more with these ideals than with just having a fun time watching a drag show and running into friends. I can think of just the work that went into putting the festival on, the people working at the booths, and what I can be doing to be contributing. Of thinking about being “Free at last” and what that means for me, and for anybody else, and how I might be a part of bringing that about. And this happens while I’m having a genuinely good time.

That’s my response. Probably high-fallutin or however you spell that word. But there it is. 🙂 Also, I’m positive that many LGBTQQIAA people would find my views rather rose-tinted and idealistic. But, that’s me. 🙂

Got a response to Caleb?  Leave it below.  I’m sure he’d love to respond!

Hey Gays, Why So Proud?

GAY PRIDE?  What’s that all about?

Why so proud?

There are a lot of misconceptions about Gay Pride events but it’s important to understand that the event was begun, and continues, as a remembrance of the Stonewall Riots.  The Stonewall Riots were the LGBT community’s response to police brutality on June 28, 1969.  In commemoration of the resistance, Gay Pride events are held across the country every summer, particularly towards the end of June and beginning of July.

What happens at Gay Pride?  The event is often kicked off with a parade of floats and marching done by gay friendly organizations and businesses (support groups, clubs, philanthropic organizations, advocacy organizations, churches, and more), followed by a fair of sorts.  The fair includes booths where people promote their organizations or offer free services and info (AIDS testing, information on adoption, church info, etc.), food vendors of terrible artery clogging delicious food, lots of hugging and happiness and fellowship, and live shows (often drag) which occur on at least one stage.  There is always a lot of water that must be chugged because it’s always FLIPPING hot.  And yes, there are usually a number of feather boas, drag queens, and scantily clad folks mingling about.  I’ve only been to three Gay Pride events (Harrisburg twice, and Lexington once), so I’m no expert, but this seems to be the typical setup for Gay Pride.  This year will mark my fourth.

Many folks outside the LGBT community don’t understand the history of Gay Pride, or why the Gay Pride events are meaningful to the LGBT community so I’ve asked a few folks to share about this.  I’ll be posting comments from folks over the next several weeks leading up to Lexington Gay Pride, which is happening on June 30th.  If you would like to submit your thoughts to be considered for feature here, send them via email to loveboldlynow@gmail.com.

Click here to see the ones posted so far:

Why So Proud Caleb?

Why So Proud Greg?