Permission to Live: A Church Where We Are More Than Just Queer

Melissa at Permission to Live has just written a beautiful post about her family’s first experience in an accepting church:

A Church Where We Are More Than Just Queer

A man plays the piano softly, a candle is lit, a list of prayer requests are read out loud by a young woman who has grown up in this church. I wonder what it would feel like to grow up in a church where you are an equal, allowed to participate and contribute fully, even though you are female. A woman gets up behind the pulpit and begins to speak, it takes me a few minutes to realize that she is one of the pastors here. She gives a quick synopsis of the church’s mission, and concludes by welcoming everyone there, including “those who have not been welcome in another church”. I am surprised by the lump that comes into my throat when she says those words. We are welcome here. I find myself breathing easier, the tenseness in my thighs and back relaxing a bit. 

Melissa’s story reminds me of the first time my partner and I went to our Unitarian Universalist church. I sat very still, holding my own hands steady on my lap, repeatedly reminding myself, I am among friends. I am among friends. I am among friends. Plenty of women there had hair shorter than mine. Many wore pants. Children went off to Sunday school after the first songs. As I got to know people there, I realized that everyone supported my educational goals, nobody batted an eye at the fact that my partner and I weren’t married yet, nobody scrutinized my wardrobe or tried to sell me on any philosophy. Now and then, I caught hints that many people in my church had left behind fundamentalist backgrounds. The first time I heard our female pastor speak, I was sold. People listened respectfully. Men nodded and smiled along with women.

To be in a place where people put into practice the ideals of equity and fairness that we talk about so much really is paradise.

You can't stop the reign of guns and patriarchy without talking about religion
Sexism, Judgment Day and Forgetting as a Survival Skill
Love is what "we" do; sex is what "they" do
Evangelical Christian Marriage: Hawking the Product