I’m remembering our time at Gay Pride in Cincinnati this afternoon, and all our amazing volunteers who made the day such a success. Was it really three whole weeks ago? It was.
Gay Pride is one of our regular events at LOVEboldly. We go in hopes of emulating the Jesus we love. We go to hang out with the folks who are the least likely for church-folks to hang out with, to offer our friendships and love, to show kindness to those who have, perhaps, only been met with God’s anger or condemnation.
I’ve been to more gay pride events than I can count now, but this year was different. Just two weeks prior to Cincinnati Pride, a man had entered a gay club on Pride night in Orlando and killed 49 precious folks like those we knew we’d be hanging out with. He wasn’t a Christian, but many have conjectured that his killing rampage was religiously-motivated and, whether right or wrong, many have wondered how conservative Christian theology is much different than that which inspired his actions that horrible night.
Would LGBTQ+ folks even want Christians around at Pride, this year? Or would we just be a reminder of past pain and hurt experienced in religious communities? Would LGBTQ+ folks even want Christians around at Pride, this year? Or would we just be a reminder of past pain and hurt experienced in religious communities? Could we blame them if they were angry, if they lashed out? Would our presence be healing, or would it just pick at an old scab that was not yet healed, causing deeper scars, more bad blood between us? Would our hopes of helping bring healing to our divides or just inflict more hurt?