I marched at San Francisco Pride Parade

How does a Christian get to march in a gay pride parade? In my case I have been working on LGBT inclusion in United Methodist churches for two years. I received an invitation from Reconciling Ministries Network about an opportunity to walk with the delegation from Glide Memorial UMC.

When I replied to the invitation I received a response from senior pastor Karen from Glide Memorial. “Hey, join us for the 9 AM service, and you can march with us afterwards!”

On the day of the event when I arrived at Glide Memorial I noticed their homeless food service located at the first floor of their church. I realized the priority of their service to the homeless population because that is the first thing you see when you approach Glide Memorial. Some churches have beautiful entrance ways, but Glide’s food service facility looked more beautiful in my eyes.

I experienced an energetic praise music based worship service. The population in the church was a good representation of the city center: Black, White, Asian, young people, older families, gays, and straight. They accepted everyone, and on that day they celebrated the arrival of marriage equality, which they have been praying and working for a long time.

How about the march itself? Imagine 26,000 people marching down San Francisco’s Market Street, cheered on by a crowd 100,000 people strong. I felt so much love and joy from the marchers and on-lookers alike. I waved both of my arms to welcome the crowds, not embarrassed at all. I was just happy to be there.

In my group of people from Guide Memorial UMC there were a number of marchers that I remember mostly clearly. One was a female transgender marcher who walked, skipped, and struck up poses showing her muscular features. God made her female and this was her displaying that she was wonderfully made just as well as the rest of us! I also remembered a gay couple that had me tearing up by just marching contently holding hand in hand. Their commitment was not at all second class in my eyes. These are real people who fortunately found a spiritual home that they can claim as their own. They are my brothers and sisters as well.

I was grateful for the Pride march, for it healed a lot of my pains. I have carried some of the pains suffered by LGBT people within me when I started working for the inclusion of LGBT people in our churches. We will have heartbreaks and tears, but never forget the joyful occasions as well !


6 thoughts on “I marched at San Francisco Pride Parade”

  1. I don’t think I have have this exact perspective as a Christian , but struggling to come to terms with my son’s sexuality since he came out to us this spring. I’m looking for Christian perspectives that are accepting and loving while understanding our sexuality as part of our depravity.
    I wrote some of my own thoughts today for the first time:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a national organization called PFLAG that could be a source of support for you.

      Some of my basic problems with the condemning verses in the Bible are that they run counter to Jesus’ promises, that the spiritual poor are blessed, and that the burden to follow Jesus is light.

      If we assume Jesus is fundamentally fair, then why should he accept a requirement that does not apply for straight people, but demands lifelong celibacy for gays? If we take fairness seriously then anything we require of gays should have equal burdens on ourselves as well.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Chris,

      I’m so encouraged by your comment (and also your blog post)! Just wanted to say thanks for being a Christian parent who is open to understanding. Unfortunately my parents haven’t yet been open to dialoguing with me about this change in my theology, but I am always so encouraged when I meet parents who are willing to try to understand. Thank you 🙂

      If you are interested, here are a few links to a few resources that might be helpful. Especially the 1st link, the Gay Christian Network, gives a good explanation of both sides of the debate between Christians (traditional view vs. progressive view)

      Liked by 2 people

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