Times are rough. Every five seconds, the news tells us something terrible that Trump and his administration has done. White Supremacists have a renewed, public boldness. Social media feeds are landmines of triggering comments about race, gender, sexuality, and many other issues that make up one's humanity.
In 1988, LGBT activists Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary established National Coming Out Day (NCOD), to be observed on October 11—the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights.
This article is for everyone who’s been kicked out.
When I worked as a youth leader, I had the pleasure of having a few of my youth come out to me. Having the chance to minister to them as a supportive, understanding adult was a blessing and a responsibility I did not take lightly. While it was certainly serious business, their coming out also led to some moments of fun and amusement between us.
I am the daughter, granddaughter, niece and relative of more than ten evangelical Baptist and Methodist ministers in Alabama and Georgia. I am also an openly-gay married woman and the Alabama State Director for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest civil rights organization dedicated to achieving equality for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) Americans.
I was 13 and sitting in the basement of my childhood home in the Amish-laden countryside of Pennsylvania.
When I was a kid my grandmother would rock back and forth on her green metallic rocking chair singing old Spirituals like, “We shall overcome, someday.” I still remember her tears. My grandmother, big and yellow, a proud Christian, guarded our South Dallas porch singing songs like, “I’m a solider in the Army of the Lord. I’m a solider in the Army.”
Affirming pastors can have an immeasurably positive impact in the lives of their LGBTQIA congregants.