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Uplift Blog Archive
Uplift Blog Archive
LGBTQ Welcome & Equality
  • Let Them Eat Cake

    As we honor our lives by celebrating PRIDE throughout the month of June, may all who chose to marry or chose not to marry continue the fight by exposing the hate that we all experience as we go about our daily lives.
    6/12/2018
  • UUA Welcoming Congregation Welcomes the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP)

    On February 13th 2018, QDEP's Bobby Steggert and Ian Zdanowicz participated in a panel organized by Unitarian Universalist Association at the All Souls Church. The topic of the event was forced migration of people identifying as LGBTQ. Debrown Idrissu and Edafe Okporo gave...
    By Ian Zdanowicz | 6/12/2018
  • The NEW Philly Flag Reminds Us that #ALLPrideMatters in St. Croix and Everywhere!

    The new #ALLPrideMatters pride flag is not a divisive distraction from Pride, but a more perfect expression of Pride for are racialized context. The new #AllPrideMatters pride flag expresses a more perfect union of the Pride that we all hope to celebrate across the country and...
    6/7/2018
  • Renewed Welcome in White Plains

    On May 27, 2018, Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains had a special LGBTQ Celebration Sunday Service, commemorating our renewal as an LGBTQ Welcoming Congregation. Our Welcoming designation dated back to 2005, but since then the transgender/non-binary...
    By Anthony Arrien | 6/7/2018
  • Gay Sex is Legal in Trinidad and Tobago… and Beyond???

    Fast forward to a couple of months ago when my 80-year old godfather called to share the news that his beloved country, Trinidad and Tobago, had finally changed its legislation on Thursday, April 12, when Judge Devindra Rampersad “determined that sections of the Sexual Offences...
    By Janice Marie Johnson | 6/7/2018
  • Living Trans Pride and Faith in St. Croix

    When the sharpest words wanna cut me down; I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out; I am brave, I am bruised I am who I'm meant to be, this is me.
    6/7/2018
  • "Life-Altering Grace" (excerpt from Testimony: The Transformative Power of Unitarian Universalism)

    The power of grace to save us, to move us towards our best and truest selves, even when we don’t know what we’re looking for or what we need, is amazing and beautiful. What a blessing it is for me that Unitarian Universalism has been a part of the grace that has shaped and...
    By Manish Mishra-Marzetti | 6/4/2018
  • HIV/AIDS: Georgia Leads the Nation

    Georgia and the Southeastern United States are in crisis because of HIV/AIDS. The people living in the Southern region of the United States are at the highest risk of contracting HIV. Now that I have your attention I want to provide some statistics for the...
    By Derek Rounsley | 6/4/2018
  • Answering the Call

    I came out when I was 12, prompting several years of severe bullying. Soon after I turned to religion for help, only to find out that I was not welcomed, that I was not “the child of God” the church wanted me to be. I quickly learned that being a member of the church meant...
    6/4/2018
  • She is Brown, She is Beautiful, She is Invisible

    I am a privileged, cisgender woman. The world sees me as white. I often pass as heterosexual without trying. My body works in the ways most people expect bodies to work. For these, and many other reasons, I benefit from a vast, unspoken ranking system of privilege and oppression...
    By Rev. Edie Love | 6/4/2018
  • Your Magical Bangin Summer Wardrobe

    But can we talk about what everyone is wearing to Pride, General Assembly, around the house in 90 degree weather, the beach and the cookout? There are so many options to how we adorn ourselves and articulate our lifeforce. As a Gemini and summer babe, I get VERY excited about...
    By Sara Green | 5/31/2018
  • Just Don’t Get Arrested

    Not wanting my parents to find out about my newly blended Black/queer life on the 6 o’clock news; I took a deep breath and made “The Phone Call”. They asked a few questions and said that they loved me. My mother closed the conversation with “Just don’t get arrested.” I promised...
    By Elizabeth Ann Terry | 5/31/2018
  • In the Moonlight, Black Boys Look Blue

    The line “In the moonlight, black boys look blue” will likely go down as one of my favorite movie lines of all time. This line captures and reclaims the beauty and softness of queer black bodies that is so often stripped away from us. I felt visible when I watched this film......
    By Braxton Simmons | 5/31/2018
  • Happy Pride 2018: Recommitting to a Welcoming Faith

    As we celebrate Pride in 2018, I am proud of the courage and resilience of our beloved LGBTQ and Non-Binary Unitarian Universalists who are showing up in the common struggle for justice and truth. Thanks to you, we continue the vital work of building Beloved Community
    By Susan Frederick-Gray | 5/31/2018
  • Arrested for Justice!

    This reflection comes from Rev. Michael J. Crumpler, UUA's LGBTQ and Intercultural Programs Manager in Multicultural Growth and Witness. On Monday, May 14, Michael joined hundreds of people of faith and conscience for the kick off of the Poor People's Campaign: A National...
    By Michael J. Crumpler | 5/15/2018
  • Affirming the Promise: Full Dignity of Queer & Non-Binary Folx in Unitarian Universalism

    But more than any program or initiative, it is the lived experience of queer and non-binary folx in our congregations that is the real measure of inclusivity. Here’s where the intersectionality of race, gender, age and sexuality play out, because the younger generations in our...
    By Carey McDonald | 2/26/2018
  • Not Just White, but Black and Pink: Exploring the Intersections of Queerness, Blackness, and Mass Incarceration

    In late spring of 2003, nearly 15 years ago now, I was classified to a bunk at Ft. Devens prison with a man named Douglas. We later learned that we were intentionally bunked together with the hope that we would have conflict with each other.
    By Jason M. Lydon | 2/25/2018
  • Welcome is in Our Bones: Moving Beyond the Binary to Answer the Call of Love

    You might wonder why a little church in upstate NY is doing this. There are many reasons, but the most pertinent one is that we are a congregation of deep welcome. We know and practice it. We are certified as a “Welcoming Congregation,” and we know that if that means anything...
    By Jennifer Hamlin-Navias | 2/25/2018
  • Resistance is Not Leaving Ourselves Behind

    I see many similarities between “passing” and being “in the closet.” Ironically, while many black people view passing as betrayal, they fail to see the similarities between being black and being queer. By dimensioning queerness as a choice that can be acted on or avoided, they...
    By Jaidyn Bryant | 2/25/2018
  • The Ghost at Church

    There is a spiritual loneliness when looking for your people in the eyes of a congregation that is well read, but not well practiced in the art of addressing racial and trans justice. As a Black trans person whose history has been stolen, erased, and gaslit I had to take...
    2/25/2018
  • This Is US: Moving Beyond Divisiveness into Diversity

    As a 6’5” African-American humanist, atheist, Unitarian male, I have spent much of my life defying stereotypes. This boldness came out of a lot of privilege in that I was raised by a liberal grandmother with whom I traveled to many countries in order to expose me to many...
    By Zachary Bosco | 2/25/2018
  • Living Trans* Theology

    Trans* persons navigate loss, change, and transitions with grace and beauty. Trans* persons of color do it with fierceness, passion, and soul. Our theology teaches us to persist in spite of one's pain, to love those who hate us, and to continue fighting though we are exhausted.
    By Jaelynn Pema-la Scott | 2/25/2018
  • In Wakanda and Beyond, Black Queerness Should Matter

    I almost believed that the presence of queer, Black folks in movies like Moonlight meant that a call for representation in Black Panther was excessive—how could queer folks be selfish enough to want to be represented in movies that aren’t particularly about wrestling with gender...
    By Marchaé Grair | 2/25/2018
  • Addressing Stigma on National Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day

    February 7, 2018 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day . #NBHAAD was founded in 1999 as a national response to the growing HIV and AIDS epidemic in African American communities. The four key focus areas encourage people to get educated about HIV/AIDS, get involved in...
    2/7/2018
  • Keeping the Welcome in our Congregations: World HIV/AIDS Day Prayer 2017

    “Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. Ours is no caravan of despair. Come, yet again, come” . These famous words of the prophet Jalal al-Din Rumi, – may he be forever remembered , often ring throughout our...
    By Chris Long | 12/1/2017
  • December 1st is World AIDS Day

    On this World AIDS Day, as Unitarian Universalists we reaffirm our belief in “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” We reaffirm our commitment to remember the 35 million lives to HIV and AIDS. We reaffirm our commitment to celebrate the lives of people living with HIV...
    By Michael J. Crumpler | 11/30/2017
  • Reflection on Transgender Remembrance Day

    We hold within each of us, the spark of the divine, the love of the divine, the image of the divine.
    By Paul Langston-Daley | 11/18/2017
  • Nov. 20th 2017 Is the 18th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance or #TDOR

    We honor our ancestors by keeping their stories alive within us we also honor the ancestors by being resilient.
    By B Herbert | 11/18/2017
  • Cautious Optimism on Transgender Day of Remembrance

    More than anything, though, on this Day of Remembrance I hold in my thoughts and prayers the countless thousands of individuals, a significant number of whom have been transwomen of color, who have been brutally killed because they dared to live their lives as their true selves.
    By Terry Cummings | 11/18/2017
  • On Transgender Day of Remembrance, an Invitation

    I yearn for a time when instead of memorializing transgender and genderqueer individuals who have been killed for living their lives authentically, we will take time to celebrate the gifts these individuals offer our communities. Until then I will attend the vigils, not only to...
    By Barb Greve | 11/18/2017
  • Congratulations Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (PUUF)

    “As a Welcoming Congregation, the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship invites everyone to share in our faith community. We cherish diversity and foster a safe environment for all.” - PUUF Statement of Inclusion
    10/6/2017
  • LGBTQ Arrests at Vintage Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria

    Unwarranted arrests of 70+ LGBTQ persons gathered at a meeting at the Vintage Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria have put those living with HIV/AIDS and the agencies committed to supporting them at risk.
    9/29/2017
  • Divided

    Listening and paying attention are spiritual practices. They are also acts of justice. There was a time when I saw the number of queer people in our congregation on the rise. Now it’s on the decline. We think we’ve done that. “We’re welcoming.” “Sexual orientation doesn’t matter...
    By Keith Kron | 9/29/2017
  • UUA Statement Condemning the Nashville Statement

    The UUA condemns the Nashville Statement in the strongest terms. It is spiritually damaging and culturally oppressive to all people.
    By Michael J. Crumpler | 9/29/2017
  • Thank You, Edie!

    When faced with unfair taxation after the death of her same-sex spouse, Edie Windsor stood for the right not to be overtaxed or undertaxed because of who you love and how you love.
    By Michael J. Crumpler | 9/29/2017
  • Times of Transition

    Tim Byrne discusses life transitions after difficult challenges.
    By Tim Byrne | 9/28/2017
  • #BlackTransMagick Prayer Book: To Be Black, Trans & Magickal

    As Black trans people, we are a community often the target of criminalization, homelessness, murder and joblessness. As #BlackTransMagick, we ask ourselves “how do we protect our spirits and those of our loved ones who face so much trauma?”
    9/25/2017
  • I Wish I Knew How to Quit You: One Bisexual Catholic’s Relationship to the Church

    Where do I go from here? I don’t know. Like Jake Gyllenhaal’s character in the tragic bisexual romance Brokeback Mountain, I feel a binding love for something that might be damaging to me and that I may never really be able to be happy with; I just don’t know how to...
    By George Grattan | 9/25/2017
  • Living in Dualities

    Ehlona Walker reflects on the realization that even in welcoming environments there is room to grow and in restrictive environments there are champions and allies.
    By Ehlona Walker | 9/22/2017
  • Lines Can’t Save You

    Inspired by Sikhs who have been mistaken as Muslim responding to Islamaphobia by drawing the circle of love wider, Stanley Petkus calls on our LGBTQIA+ communities to stand up for each other.
    By Stanley Petkus | 9/22/2017
  • It’s Not About Me

    Rev. Otto O'Connor commits to using the privilege afforded to him to continue to fight to support transgender people, locally and across our world, and especially non-binary people and transgender people of color.
    By Otto O'Connor | 9/21/2017
  • The Cloaking Device

    “No one is outside the circle of love,” declares UUA president Susan Frederick-Gray. It is a call to draw the circle ever wider, to look beyond that which we know and ensure all are seen and validated. And so we sing “we are gay and straight together.” We recite “If you are...
    By Kimberley Debus | 9/21/2017
    Filed in: Social Justice
  • BSA Jamboree Unfriendly to the “Friendly Cafe”

    BSA Jamboree leadership challenged the values of the UUA, UCC and SFE while they were hosting the Friendly Cafe at the 2017 National Boy Scouts of America Jamboree.
    By Michael J. Crumpler | 9/21/2017
  • Congratulations - Welcoming Congregations of 2017

    The word “Welcome” comes from the Old English and means “one whose coming is pleasant.” I love that we begin with a welcome because as Unitarian Universalists, “welcome” connects us to our 7 principles. In Unitarian Universalism, you can bring your whole self: your full...
    6/30/2017
    Filed in: Social Justice, UUA
  • Welcome Without Limits: A Welcoming Congregation Profile of the Midcoast Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

    Midcoast Maine is not always a safe or easy place for LGBTQ people to live openly. A segment of the population remains homophobic and transphobic, and LGBTQ Mainers face harassment and discrimination. There are no LGBTQ bars or community gathering places. As a Welcoming...
    6/30/2017
  • "Gay Purge" In Chechnya

    These abuses are all part of a campaign against gay men in Chechnya. In this extremely conservative state, homosexuality considered a sin and a “stain on the family honor”. When the leader of Chechnya was asked to speak on behalf of these terrifying reports, he denied that gay...
    By Hanna Skinner | 6/30/2017
  • Learning to TRUUsT

    Although I came out as trans with a plan in place, I had underestimated the losses that accompanied the truth of my identity. Being genuine seemed to make me less welcome than I’d ever been before. I won’t say that TRUUsT saved me; that seems over dramatic. I will say that...
    By Anya Drew Johnston | 6/30/2017
  • Praise the Lorde!

    As a queer woman of color, I experience the diminishment of my own humanity when people try to convince me that focusing on racism somehow ignores sexism, heterosexism, and all the other “isms” that work to make us small. Instead I understand white supremacy to cast a wide range...
    By Sofia Betancourt | 6/12/2017
  • Remembering Pulse: We Go On!

    We honored the murdered, and continue to do so. We wept, and continue to do so. But the hate crime that was the Pulse shooting, committed against the LGBTQ community on Latin night, was not the end of it all. We go on.
    By Cody Blattner | 6/12/2017
  • PRESS RELEASE: Largest-Ever Gathering of Trans UU Religious Professionals

    One attendee reflected: “It's not often that people in leadership in our faith have the space to be ministered to. I was offered this space and the opportunity to be ministered to FULLY. All of my being was validated and appreciated.”
    By Alex Kapitan | 6/6/2017

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