Chicago kicked off its official Pride Month Celebrations this weekend with Pride Fest, and throughout the next week we’ll be celebrating by sharing stories from LGBTQ+ members of our beLOVEd community. As a community, we believe DIVERSITY of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and religion demonstrates the most glorious aspects of God—the multiplicity of our unity is celebrated through our differences. Today we share and celebrate Rainbow’s story.
The first time I kissed a woman I literally fell head over heels and almost fainted. I was 22 and finally figured out what all the fuss was about. Although I grew up in a spiritual center in Atlanta with an out gay minister, it never crossed my mind that that was an option for me. The heteronormative narrative was so ingrained in my subconscious and I was so committed to “fitting in” and being a “good girl” that my sexual orientation remained hidden. It wasn’t until I left the south and moved to Chicago as a young adult that I allowed myself to even consider that I might be emotionally and sexually attracted to women.
When I came out (which I continue to do everyday), I experienced acceptance from my immediate family yet much of my extended family feared I was going to hell. I saw how the “church” caused great harm to the queer community and knew I must help create sacred spaces for LGBTQ+ folks to be honored and celebrated.
I now experience my queer identity as just another aspect of my being, like being right handed. Being out today is a very different experience from when I first came out over 15 years ago. Pride is a time to reflect on those who have paved the way for me to live such an open and proud life and to celebrate how each of us is an important part of the rainbow of humanity.
I believe being Queer is a Divine Appointment. Over the past few decades the conversation regarding the queer community has shifted from tolerance to acceptance. At Bodhi, we are here to move the conversation to a place of REVERENCE! The queer community is uniquely positioned to assist in the awakening of humanity by challenging the limiting binary constructs of “this or that” and exposing folks to a vast array of human expression.
I am very PROUD to serve this beLOVEd community which not only honors but celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. You have a place here.