Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teenager Comes Out to Entire School in MLK Day Speech

Originally scheduled to sing at a Martin Luther King Day event at Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa, California, Kayla asked if she could speak to her student body instead. Here is her story.

25 years ago the idea of a high school student making a speech like this was about as inconceivable as Dr. King getting elected president in 1968. When we get frustrated at the seemingly glacial pace of progress, let's remember how far we've come.

"We ain't what we should be, we ain't what we gonna be, but -- Thank God -- at least we ain't what we was."


If someone knows who that quote is attributed to, please comment!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Finding Jesus... At A Drag Show

As we mentioned in a recent post, Jay Bakker (son of Jim and Tammy Faye) has started his own LGBT-friendly congregation in New York City. However, as he tells the Huffington Post, he still had some of his own demons to deal with when invited to a performance by Ru Paul. He tells the Huffington Post what happened next.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lessons in Grace from Maurice Mannion-Vanover

The New York Times reports on the death of Maurice Mannion-Vanover, a young man whose short life -- anything but what society would call "traditional" -- has much to teach us all. He and his family belong to St. Luke's: Montclair.

Against All Odds, A Beautiful Life

"It Gets Better" Jersey Style

Students at the University of Medicine and Dentistry - New Jersey Medical School in Newark, N.J., contribute a video to the "It's Getter Better" program.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ecumenical Prayer Meeting this Saturday in Oradell

Join Us For An Evening
Fellowship & Faith
January 22, 2011
5:30 PM at
The Church of the Annunciation
343 Kinderkamack Road
Oradell, NJ 07649

Bring Your Own Bible


Join us as we
share and grow in faith

Music, Fellowship & Faith

All are welcome!

Child care will be provided!
Entertainment for the children!
Fellowship for all to include light fare!

Contemporary & Non Denominational
Adult Prayer Meeting

Public Transport:
RAIL - Pascack Valley Line - Oradell Station
BUS - 165, 762

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Short Films Encourage Acceptance by Families

Courtesy of the Impact Program blog, "Always My Son" is one of a series of short documentary films called are being produced by the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University to encourage the families of young LGBT people from a variety of cultural backgrounds to be supportive vs. judgmental.  Studies show a family's response can have a dramatic effect on a person's well-being.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Remaining Awake During a Great Revolution

Did you know that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last Sunday sermon was preached from an Episcopal pulpit?  He offered these words at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter & Paul (AKA the National Cathedral) in Washington DC on March 31, 1968, four days before he was assassinated.

As the nation attempts to make sense of the Tucson shootings and the degree to which the polarization of our ideals and politics played a role, Dr. King's words remain keenly relevant, especially for those of us whose permission to be full participants in society remains a commodity controlled by others.  Thanks to Fr. Ron Pogue for the link.  Read his thoughts here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A "Great Gay Awakening" in the Evangelical Movement

Today's Huffington Post article by Cathleen Falsani discusses the LGBT-welcoming ministry of Jay Bakker (son of Jim and Tammy Faye), and points out several others within the Evangelical movement who are having having a re-think of their understanding of the Bible's teaching (or lack thereof) of homosexuality as we understand it.

At the Believe Out Loud Power Summit in Orlando this past October, we met Justin Lee of the Gay Christian Network, an organization that empowers and supports LGBT Christians.  The group's annual conference in Denver last month drew hundreds of attendees.

Meanwhile, busily undoing our work of reconciliation in Schenectady a city councilman and a couple of preachers are raising a stink about some affirming billboards targeting gay African-Americans sponsored by local LGBT group In Our Own Voices, as reported in the Albany Times-Union.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gay Athletes Speak Out

The other day we shared a blog called Born This Way, which is a collection of childhood photos, self-submitted, that suggests that non-normative mannerisms and interests associated with same-sex attraction are evident way before a child is thinking about such things.

Today, perhaps as a counter to that, we offer a blog (Three Kids, Three Time Zones, One Mission) written by three male varsity athletes who happen to be gay.  These young men are not ashamed of their orientation, but at the same time they seek to let the world know that not all gay folks will talk, act or have the interests we have been socialized to expect they will.  They invite other LGBT athletes, out or not, to share their stories, and some have done so. Not surprisingly, the world of competitive sports is not an easy place to be LGBT, and the scarcity of out athletes means it can be quite isolating.  Brad, Robert, and Ben seek to change all that.

Friday, January 14, 2011

They say "a mother knows"....

A new blog called "Born This Way" challenges the notion that same-sex attraction or the interests or mannerisms associated with it are either learned or magically appear at adulthood.  LGBT folks share childhood images of themselves and describe how they began to realize they were "different".

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Tale of Two Heroes

Daniel Hernandez, the gay assistant of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who helped save her life, was hailed by President Obama as a hero. 35 years ago, the gay man who saved Gerald Ford from a similar attack had a very different experience. 

 The Lead offers some commentary on a Los Angeles Times editorial comparing the two stories and their aftermath.

St. Aelred's Day Message from Integrity NYC-Metro Convener Mary O'Shaughnessy

On this Feast of St. St. Aelred, from a midieval manuscriptAelred , the patron of Integrity, below is a message from Mary O'Shaughnessy, the newly-elected Convener of Integrity NYC-Metro:

In its original incarnation, Integrity/NY served as a support and refuge for gay and lesbian Episcopalians who had very few welcoming parishes to choose from.

Today, we are blessed in the dioceses of Long Island, New York and Newark with a wide variety of parishes who have integrated LGBT people as members, leaders, and clergy.

You might well ask, “Why is Integrity/NYC-Metro needed?”

Our LGBT brothers and sisters need our support. There are many Episcopalian and Anglican LGBT people who are not as blessed as we are. This past fall, Integrity/NYC-Metro helped raise $6500 to support Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a Ugandan supporter of LGBT rights who has been stripped of all his income and threatened with death, because he believes in our equality before God. There are U.S. dioceses in which no openly LGBT person can present themselves for vocational discernment, solely by virtue of their orientation or identity. We need to continue to stand with those in need.

There are LGBT Christians who are seeking welcoming churches. Many LGBT people who were raised in hostile churches or denominations still love Jesus Christ and want to follow him as Lord, even though they feel shunned or alienated by “organized religion.” Integrity/NYC-Metro wants to reach out to these Christians and offer them the same gift we have found for ourselves—membership in welcoming, truly integrated faith communities. Parents of LGBT people have also found themselves choosing their love for their children over the condemnation of their churches, and they too seek church homes. We are actively working to identify parishes who want to be part of this Integrity/NYC-Metro movement.

We need to be as out as Christians as we are as LGBT people. Many progressive people scoff at Christianity as a close-minded, ignorant refuge for the hate-addicted and self-righteous. We need to fight that stereotype by coming out as Christian and LGBT wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself. Integrity/NYC-Metro is a supportive group for coming out as Christian!

Please join Integrity today. A portion of every member’s dues comes back to our chapter. This is how you can support our ongoing outreach to the LGBT community and the church. Visit www.integrityusa.org and sign up at the Membership link. Be sure to specify Integrity/NYC-Metro as your chapter!


Mary O'Shaughnessy
To learn more about what Integrity NYC-Metro is planning, or to get involved, please visit us at http://www.integritynycmetro.org.

Friday, January 7, 2011

For Gates of Hope: Speaking the truth in love

Our Bishop, the Right Rev. Mark Beckwith, recounts his encounter in December with the Right Rev. Christopher Senyonjo, a retired bishop from Uganda whose ministry to LGBT persons in his country has come under attack under the anti-gay fervor being stirred up in part by Western churches.

For Gates of Hope: Speaking the truth in love