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  • Amber

Love is Louder


“I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” (John 13.34-35)

 

Many people are familiar with John 13.34, I certainly reference it often and it bears a resemblance to the Golden Rule from Matthew 7.12. However, I have recently found myself thinking more about the second verse here. Everyone will be able to identify you as a disciple of Christ by your love.

 

So much of the rhetoric that people see from the loud factions of Christians in today’s political climate is not driven by love. Many LGBTQIA+ folk view the church as hating them and have good reason to feel that way. If you ask nonreligious people how Christians feel about queer people, they certainly would not say ‘love’.

 

That’s why the United Church of Christ has adopted the theme of “Love is Louder” for the month of June – Pride Month.

 

June has been heralded as Pride Month for the LGBTQIA+ community for several decades, dating back to the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969. In a society that had been criminalizing and shaming queer folk, standing up and having pride in who you are was some of the best resistance they had, something that still holds weight today despite the legal progress.

 

People are quite familiar at this point of the six striped rainbow flag as a symbol for Pride, but the Progress Pride Flag, designed by Daniel Quasar and pictured in the UCC logo above, has been gaining prominence in recent years. There are black and brown stripes to highlight the discrimination people of color faced in addition to being queer, and the white, pink and blue stripes are from the transgender flag. As for the shape of an arrow within the design, Quasar says: “The arrow pints to the right to show forward movement […] and illustrates that progress [towards inclusivity] still needs to be made.”



I also want to break down the acronym, as I know people can be overwhelmed with the number of letters if they are not very active with the community.

 

Lesbian and Gay are the most recognizable terms, lesbian being woman attracted to women, and gay being men attracted to men, though gay is often used as a wider umbrella term for anyone that is attracted to the same gender. Bisexual is someone attracted to two or more genders and Transgender in some who does not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

 

That covers the base LGBT, but after that it can get confusing. The Q stands for queer or questioning, queer being another umbrella term to catch anyone that falls outside of straight or cisgender (some who does identify with the gender they were assigned at birth), and questioning simply being someone trying to figure out their sexual or gender identity. The A stands for asexual and aromantic, being someone who experiences little to no sexual or romantic attraction, and the I stands for Intersex, someone born with the genitalia of both sexes.

 

This is not an exhaustive list of identities out there (which is one of the many reasons I personally prefer to just use ‘queer’), but it does catch many identities within the community that need support to feel loved and accepted for who they are. A group that has faced unjust hate from people that are meant to love one another. No matter who you are or how you identify, take this Pride to show your love for the marginalized in this world and drown out the hate with your love.



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