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Uplift Blog Archive
Uplift Blog Archive
LGBTQ Welcome & Equality
  • 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...
    By Michael J. Crumpler | 5/15/2018
  • Affirming the Promise: Full Dignity of Queer & Non-Binary Folx in Unitarian Universalism

    I never realized how truly complex gender could be until I had to try to explain it to my two-year-old. How do we know which pronouns to use for others? Why do we have all these other words like “woman” or “daddy” or “girl” when we’re all “people”?  What does it mean to...
    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. Douglas was the leader of the Nation...
    By Jason M. Lydon | 2/25/2018
  • Welcome is in Our Bones: Moving Beyond the Binary to Answer the Call of Love

    My congregation, First Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse, recently hosted a Building Beloved Community Beyond the Binary conference.  This is the second time we have hosted this conference that focuses on transgender identity.  Last year, we had Kate Bornstein...
    By Jennifer Hamlin-Navias | 2/25/2018
  • Resistance is Not Leaving Ourselves Behind

    My generation has seen a rise in the number of openly queer-identified people, who are black. As a 17-year-old living in the “Deep South,” I often find myself in a beautiful atmosphere of openness and understanding, when conversing with my peers. We often talk about topics,...
    By Jaidyn Bryant | 2/25/2018
  • The Ghost at Church

    After I got done with my sermon, white people approached me in droves. Many with tears in their eyes, thanking me for my message. Many regaled me with stories about what they did to address racial injustice in their lives, or moments they wish they did more. I looked around the...
    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

    For many trans and gender non-conforming (trans*) persons, the days of our lives are often marked by anxiety, shakiness, and fear.  For many of us, it feels as if we are flailing about, overwhelmed with the tasks of transition, and forced to put on an armor of confidence in...
    By Jaelynn Pema-la Scott | 2/25/2018
  • In Wakanda and Beyond, Black Queerness Should Matter

    When I first heard that Black Panther creators decided to cut a scene that would have resulted in black queer representation in the film, I didn’t think much of it. I convinced myself that the voices of the “representation pragmatists” were right. The collective wisdom of...
    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 community...
    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 Unitarian...
    By Chris Long | 12/1/2017
  • December 1st is World AIDS Day

    December 1st is World AIDS Day! World AIDS Day is a day of mourning. We mourn the 35 million lives lost to the HIV and AIDS pandemic since 1984. We mourn the staggering rates of preventable HIV and AIDS infections. We mourn that 40% of those living with HIV and AIDS do not...
    By Michael J. Crumpler | 11/30/2017
  • Reflection on Transgender Remembrance Day

    This is a day of remembrance—to recall those who’s very being was not seen as a divine gift but seen instead as different and dangerous. We mourn their loss. Their contribution to this world cut short.   And in these times, when all we have worked...
    By Paul Langston-Daley | 11/18/2017
  • Nov. 20th 2017 Is the 18th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance or #TDOR

    Mesha Caldwell  Sean Hake Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow  JoJo Striker  Tiara Richmond (Keke Collier)  Chyna Gibson  Ciara McElveen Jaquarrius Holland  Alphonza Watson  Chay Reed  Kenneth Bostick Sherrell Faulkner...
    By B Herbert | 11/18/2017
  • Cautious Optimism on Transgender Day of Remembrance

    As another Transgender Day of Remembrance approaches, the recent election to public offices around the country of eight members of the trans and non-binary community is a reason for cautious optimism. It seems that in the modern history of America, or the world for that...
    By Terry Cummings | 11/18/2017
  • On Transgender Day of Remembrance, an Invitation

    Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to annually memorialize those who were killed due to transphobic hatred or prejudice. Originally, it was to honor the life of Rita Hester, a transgender African-American woman who was murdered in Allston, MA in 1998. Today...
    By Barb Greve | 11/18/2017
  • Congratulations Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (PUUF)

    On August 31, 2017, the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (PUUF) in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, reached a milestone in its history, when it received official approval as a Welcoming Congregation through the UUA. The congregation applied for this designation following...
    10/6/2017
  • LGBTQ Arrests at Vintage Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria

    Last month, in Lagos, Nigeria, 42 young men and teenagers were arrested, detained, and arraigned in court for the allegation for being gay, which is illegal under the Nigerian constitution and for which one could face a prison term of 14 years in Prison. Some young men...
    9/29/2017
  • Divided

    I was born in Appalachian East Tennessee.  My father is from Connecticut.  My mother is also from Tennessee.   The first place I remember living was a small town in Connecticut.  When I was 8, we moved to Kentucky. I joke I am the product of a mixed...
    By Keith Kron | 9/29/2017
  • UUA Statement Condemning the Nashville Statement

    The UUA condemns the recently published Nashville Statement in the strongest terms. The Nashville Statement is not only historically and theologically flawed, but spiritually damaging and culturally oppressive to all people, namely those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual,...
    By Michael J. Crumpler | 9/29/2017
  • Thank You, Edie!

    On June 26, 2015, I remember not fully realizing what was happening. I knew it was important…and would impact my life, but how and why we were at this moment in history on this day in history, was confusing. Had someone asked me, I would have surely credited President Obama,...
    By Michael J. Crumpler | 9/29/2017
  • Times of Transition

    Editor's Note: Tim Byrne returned to the UUA in early September from medical leave after suffering a brutal attack in downtown New Orleans during 2017 General Assembly. Tim’s healing and recovery is emblematic of the resiliency we all seek during these turbulent times. May...
    By Tim Byrne | 9/28/2017
  • #BlackTransMagick Prayer Book: To Be Black, Trans & Magickal

    In 2017, across the U.S., we have seen a rise in unapologetic white supremacy, hate crimes and the usage of violent theologies to further cause harm against already targeted populations. As we know, faith spirituality is an important part of resiliency. In a world steeped in...
    9/25/2017
  • I Wish I Knew How to Quit You: One Bisexual Catholic’s Relationship to the Church

    Editor’s Note: Many of us love our faith tradition for what it tells us about ourselves, but just as often, our faith can wound us. This reflection comes from the Catholic spouse of a UU, who has experienced welcome in UU spaces in relation to his bisexuality, while feeling...
    By George Grattan | 9/25/2017
  • Living in Dualities

    I want to think the community I’m surrounded by is LGBTQIAN supportive, but I’ve seen otherwise. I go to a mid sized high school right outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and also attend a Unitarian Universalist congregation in  Milwaukee, two very different places, shaping me...
    By Ehlona Walker | 9/22/2017
  • Lines Can’t Save You

    Living in the conservative midwest, I’m no stranger to bigotry. I’ve been fired from jobs I’ve loved, driven from the dorms I called home, and had my life threatened just because I’m queer. Preparing to take on abuse all of the time is exhausting. It’s usually the first instinct...
    By Stanley Petkus | 9/22/2017
  • It’s Not About Me

    There’s been some news coverage of my recent call to the First Parish in Malden, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that many of the local publications in Malden and the surrounding area have focused broadly on my call to this congregation. However, this piece that aired on on...
    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”

    In July, the UUA joined the United Church of Christ (UCC) and Scouts for Equality (SFE) at the 2017 National Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Jamboree to host the Friendly Cafe exhibit at the Duty to God and Country tent. The early days of the Friendly...
    By Michael J. Crumpler | 9/21/2017
  • Congratulations - Welcoming Congregations of 2017

    Michelle Robinson’s, pastor of Clayton Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church, leadership statement on “Welcome": 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...
    6/30/2017
    Filed in: Social Justice, UUA
  • Welcome Without Limits: A Welcoming Congregation Profile of the Midcoast Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

    The Midcoast Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (MUUF) is a small congregation in rural coastal Maine. Founded in 1982 and initially lay-led, MUUF now has a half-time minister and 49 members. MUUF has always been the spiritual home to people with a passionate commitment to social...
    6/30/2017
  • "Gay Purge" In Chechnya

    Recently, Russian officials have begun to look into claims being made that there is a “purge of gay men” in Chechnya. There have been multiple reports claiming that gay men in the region being held in detention centers and even being tortured. These abuses are all part of a...
    By Hanna Skinner | 6/30/2017
  • Learning to TRUUsT

    It’s not hard to find places to feel unwelcome. I knew that even when I didn’t know all the reasons that I was different from how the world expected me to be.  Once I accepted that I’m transgender I had an explanation for many of the unwelcoming experiences I’d had in life...
    By Anya Drew Johnston | 6/30/2017
  • Praise the Lorde!

    Praise the Lorde! That is never a typo for me, nor a bad pun meant to be tongue in cheek. On the altar in my office at Starr King School for the Ministry rests one of those tall multi-day votive candles with a photo of Audre Lorde on the front. It proclaims, “Praise the Lorde!”...
    By Sofia Betancourt | 6/12/2017
  • Remembering Pulse: We Go On!

    I woke to some of the worst news I’d ever received. The Pulse Nightclub tragedy was plastered all over social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. News articles were everywhere and I clicked them all, slowly piecing the story together. My friends, queer or not, uploaded...
    By Cody Blattner | 6/12/2017
  • PRESS RELEASE: Largest-Ever Gathering of Trans UU Religious Professionals

    Last month saw the largest-ever gathering of transgender Unitarian Universalist religious professionals. Twenty-seven trans and non-binary UU leaders and two allied UUA staff gathered in Palm Harbor, Florida, for the second membership retreat of TRUUsT, Transgender Religious...
    By Alex Kapitan | 6/6/2017

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