The Sticking-Your-Neck-Out Guide to Loving Courageously

I’m not prosthelytizing.

Believe me, I’m pretty sensitive about that after growing up as a religious minority in the Deep South.

What I am though is extremely proud of my religious tradition, Unitarian Universalism, for being so affirming of our LGBT sisters and brothers.

This morning on the way to work, I drove by my church, situated at the corner of Cass and Forest in Detroit, and the marquee out front informed me that this week’s sermon is entitled “Why We Support Same Sex Marriage.”

I haven’t seen many church marquees that are both blunt and positive about the issue. But isn’t that what we’re celebrating this Pride weekend at Hart Plaza?

Pride isn’t about tiptoeing around the facts.

Pride isn’t about accepting second-class citizenship.

Pride isn’t about hiding a part of one’s identity because it makes other people uncomfortable.

Love Courageously

During this month of Pride celebrations around the country, I’m proud to be from a religious tradition that is out and upfront about its support of LGBT rights, including marriage.

It is one thing to be quietly supportive (and amen for those people too), but it is an act of courage to publicly defy the stereotypes about “what religion should be ok with” or “what religious people believe is right and moral.”

This is fitting, since part of the mission of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit is to Love Courageously.

There can be hardships endured as a result of these brave acts.

Almost 4 years ago, a man opened fire on a UU congregation in Knoxville, killing 2 people and wounding 7 more during a children’s musical performance. Part of his rationale was that the church supported gay rights.

Of course, this man is extreme and most people who are against same sex marriage also are against shooting people because they have different beliefs.

My own wedding day is approaching and even though the state’s sanctioning of my partner’s and my union isn’t the part that’s most special to me, I am mindful that not all of my friends can have that piece of it.

On our big day, we are planning to have a moment of recognition of this fact – right in the middle of our ceremony – because we are proud and we strive to love courageously.



Photo credit (balloons): Guillaume Paumier



About Dessa

Originally a Southerner, Dessa loves the charm and hospitality of Detroit. Dessa is a proud Little Person, using her disability to challenge, endear, and cut lines at amusement parks. Training community organizers by day and earning her Masters of Social Justice after hours, Dessa loves shifting paradigms, breaking glass ceilings, and honoring the Feminine Divine. Click here to read more about Dessa

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