Monday, July 1, 2013
I celebrated the annual Pride parade with my peeps in Seattle yesterday. Ann and I went to the parade route an hour early with Rose, a long-time friend who was attending her first pride parade. I wore the tank top I bought at the 1995 parade with a triangle with the Space Needle in the center and Martin Luther King’s statement that “No one is free until we are all free.” I also wore a plastic tye-dyed peace sign as a pendent around my neck, a pendant that I found on the street after a march a couple of years ago. (What, you don’t get your jewelry on the street?)
We found a nice spot on the curb in the shade, and Rose treated us to tasty coffee cake from the Dahlia lounge while we waited for the parade to start. Rose seemed a little nervous that we might not be paying attention when the parade started, but I assured her that we would hear the roar of the crowds and the bikes when the Dykes on Bikes, the traditional openers to Seattle’s parade, approached.
We watched the parade from our curb, and when our church—Wallingford United Methodist Church—approached, we left the curb to join the march. The loudspeaker announced that our church has been hosting gay weddings for almost thirty years. A young man from the curb ran to the middle of our group to hug people and to say thank you. Our friends Pea and Ally and Ally’s kids were on the sideline, too, and Pea ran up for a bear hug.
It’s a feel good day, and this year was particularly celebratory with the falls of DOMA and Prop 8. I don’t know how many people were there to celebrate—thousands—but I only know of one who was there to condemn the group to hell. Used to be more. This person who was quoted in the paper saying that he only wanted to remind people of Christ’s forgiveness reminded me of the already famous text from Mike Huckabee on the day of the Supreme Court’s ruling: “Jesus wept.”
The verse that Huckabee uses for his own purposes, from John 11, is the shortest in the Bible and records Jesus’s response to the news that his friend Lazarus had died. More apt, and less out of context, might have been Matthew 22: 35-40:
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Those of us who are GLBTQ and our supporters have so much to celebrate, but Jesus’s words and Martin Luther King’s words, “No one is free until we are all free,” remind us that there is still work to do:
As I celebrate this step forward, I remember GLBTQ people in the states who have not yet adopted gay marriage—or even worse, those in states that have passed constitutional amendments making those marriages illegal. I remember my trans brothers and sisters who have in many places not yet been accepted as healthy members of the human community. I remember people in prison who should not be spending so much of their lives behind bars. I remember immigrants to this country and refugees from so many countries torn by war. There are so many more to name and to remember.
Mike Huckabee’s foolish post, “Jesus Wept,” on the day that DOMA was overturned reminds me that people who coopt religious texts for their own purposes are a danger to freedom for too many people in this world.
My MSW professor Scott Winn at the beginning of second quarter said that his vision is to increase love in this world.
That’s my vision, too. To quote from John Lennon, another famous guy, “You may say I'm a dreamer, / But I'm not the only one. / I hope someday you'll join us, / And the world will live as one.”