Coming Out Day

It's funny, really--I think I may have reached a point where I take being out for granted.  I came out at 15/16ish (you know, extroverts!) and have spent the last 20 years of my life in varying stages of peace and anxiety around various aspects of my identity.  But, the last few years have been ones of peace and it is from within that peace that I managed to completely forget about National Coming Out Day (October 11th).

But, it's an important opportunity to remember that there are far too many folks in this world who will never have the opportunity to be at peace within their selves, their families and their communities.  That many, many, many folks are still cast out, shamed, ridiculed, excluded, denigrated and killed, on account of their gender or sexual identity.

So, today, the day after...

I pray for the hurting, the broken, the shamed and scorned.  The folks for whom the act of coming out becomes an act of martyrdom.  I pray for those who give witness to a life lived openly and honestly.  I pray for folks who fully embrace the truth of who our creator has made them to be and in that truth found joy and peace.  I pray for children who learn by example what it means to be kind and compassionate--to love and embrace both those like and unlike them.  I pray for the children who have learned to hate themselves when the adults in their lives give witness to hate and ignorance.  I pray for the victims of murder and suicide--when hatred and despair becomes so all consuming that destruction seems the only viable option.  I pray for those who live in fear and secrecy.  I pray for those who proclaim boldly and dance in the streets the joy of their being.  I pray for those for whom every grace is to be embraced as exactly who they are.  I pray for those who will die without seeing mercy.  I pray for those who will die before justice is obtained.  I pray for those who are born, that their birth will herald a new day of love.  I pray for the LGBTAQ people of this world, that our numbers will swell as all people become allies working for equality and the human right to experience and live in love.  I pray for the bullied, that they will find protectors and safe spaces.  I pray for the bullies, that they may find learning and in that learning love and in that love empathy and compassion.  I pray for people who have been destroyed by the very faith communities that have promised to uphold and love them.  I pray for faith communities that have violated their covenants.  I pray for the parents who turn their backs on their own children and the children who have been broken by those who have formed them. I pray.  I pray.  I pray.

And I pray for my children, who will experience coming out in each new school year, each new community and in each new encounter.  That what I take for granted will be granted them.  That we will be able to equip them with all they need to know that not only is love the law...

That love is the truth.  That love is the center.  That love is.


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