Comments presented during the Equality Loudoun Pride Worship Service, June 12, 2022 at Crossroads UMC, Ashburn, VA.
The Oxford Dictionary defines reconciliation as the restoration of friendly relations, the action of making one view or belief compatible with another, or the action of making financial accounts consistent; harmonization. I like that.
And, on this Second Sunday of June, those of us in this room find ourselves “united in faith” while acknowledging there is still reconciliation that needs to happen, not just with the world at large, but sometimes among ourselves.
We may be united in faith, but we need some reconciliation between our community and, in some instances, in our own families. Some of us have been driven out of our communities of birth, our communities of origin, our communities of faith because others just cannot comprehend that we don’t choose to be gay. We DO choose to be fabulous, we DO choose to be awesome, we DO choose to live lives that are meaningful and whole. We DO choose to create families…and many of us long to be reconciled with those we no longer have friendly relations with.
We may be united in faith, but we need some reconciliation in making one view or belief compatible with another. If you don’t believe me, look at how some towers of power in this society treat the Rainbow Community, and that is what I am going to call us, because look at all the splendor represented today. However, there are people who think we should be a monochrome, even within our own community. Some think that only this group or that faction or this belief or that belief is the right one. We must learn to live together as siblings or perish together as fools. I paraphrased Dr. King on that one.
Finally, while we may be united in faith, we must find harmonization. We have to help balance the financial books. We have a duty to speak out…and speak up…about how many members of our Rainbow Coalition face economic harm simply because the live in their truth. Our siblings in the struggle are being left behind…and members of the faith community, we MUST make sure their voices are heard, their concerns are noted, and call on our leaders to ensure that the least of these receive fair and equitable compensation, housing, medical care, and just plain old respect.
Before I take my seat, I do believe we are united in faith…and that belief comes from, of all places, Broadway. I am a middle-aged gay man, you know, and 1983, Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein wrote the smash musical, La Cage aux Folles, and this is a play about, at its roots, reconciliation. I won’t go into the plot, but I will tell you that the best song from the show, for me, is I Am What I Am, and not only is it a hell of a song, but it is a theological treatise.
I am what I am
I don’t want praise I don’t want pity
I bang my own drum
Some think it’s noise I think it’s pretty
And so what if I love each sparkle and each bangle
Why not try to see things from a different angle
Your life is a shame til you can shout out
I am what I am
I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the ace sometimes the deuces
It’s my life that I want to have a little pride in
My life and it’s not a place I have to hide in
Life’s not worth a danm til you can shout out
I am what I am!
My friends, let’s reconcile ourselves with THAT.