Blessings of Pride

By Alice Knowles, DignityUSA Vice-President

Happy Pride!  Blessings to you in this season of the LGBTQ Calendar.

Yes, it is Pride, the time to reflect on the beauty, the strength and vitality of our sexuality and gender identity.  It’s the time to come together for celebration.  It’s about community and family, and especially the family we share as LGBTQ people.  Historically in 1969, the message was ”Gay is Good.”  Brenda Howard is the ”Mother of Pride” because she coordinated the first march in 1970 in New York City.  At the time, marches were going to be on a day in June in solidarity with Stonewall.  Parades and marches were held in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago; the next year marches took place in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, West Berlin, and Stockholm.  The marches were to serve as an annual reminder of Stonewall and the struggles inherent in the lack of fundamental human rights for the homophile community. 

Currently, the celebrations are frequently a week long and include religious services, cultural events, parades, marches, and gatherings of friends.  Last June, the Supreme Court made a decision for marriage equality.  On that occasion our pride received an astounding affirmation! 

We invite you to join us in a ”Ten Day Countdown to Pride,” DignityUSA’s national Pride Appeal; beginning June 17.  DignityUSA is going to have an on-line presence on our website and social media which will document compelling stories of members of the Dignity community, giving personal reflections on the importance of DignityUSA in their lives. You will be able to share these stories with pride in how DignityUSA affects the spiritual and faith lives of its members, works for social justice, advocates for church workers who have lost their jobs because of their marriage status, works with organizations to enhance the rights of the transgender community, sends pilgrims to participate in the Synod on the Family in Philadelphia, and takes part in the meeting of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, an international network of LGBTQ Catholics and advocates.  

We need to recognize, as fully committed DignityUSA members/supporters or LGBTQ straight allies or partners in the progressive church movement or as family members, we are part of a movement, and movements require fuel, i.e., energy, intellectual and social gifts, time, and financial resources.   On the final day of the countdown, Sunday, June 26, which is the first anniversary of the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling, we hope to focus your attention on joining with others in our DignityUSA family to offer your financial support. A gift to Dignity will allow us to continue our important work to seek justice, inclusion and respect for LGBTQ people.   We appreciate your continuous support of DignityUSA. 

DignityUSA has been doing its work for nearly 50 years; our mission and purpose continue to make a difference in the work towards justice in the Catholic Church, and especially for LGBTQ Catholics.

We have lived our Pride by praying together and celebrating together through the years.  With a warm heart and a shared sense of celebration, may you have a blessed and beautiful Pride.