Uplift: Uplifting LGBTQ+ Experience Within and Beyond Unitarian Universalism

UPLIFT: October 2023

The UPLIFT logo that includes the UUA chalice in blue, pink, and white trans pride colors and UPLIFT, Uplifting the LGBTQ+ Experience Within Unitarian Universalism and Beyond. 

The UPLIFT logo that includes the UUA chalice in blue, pink, and white trans pride colors and UPLIFT, Uplifting the LGBTQ+ Experience Within Unitarian Universalism and Beyond.

By Michael J. Crumpler

October 18th is International Pronouns Day

Pronouns Education as Resistance

In November 2016, I was reeling. Donald Trump had just been elected. He had wreaked so much destruction just in the campaign cycle, it was hard to imagine his term in office. He was actively antagonizing to immigrants, to women, to disabled folks, to people of color.

In the two months leading up to Trump’s inauguration, I had a whole tornado of experiences. I attended the last transgender convening at the White House of the outgoing administration, a gloomy gathering where the only joy was spending time with other trans activists. Separately, my office building was vandalized by white supremacists emboldened by the political climate.

I was organizing professionals in my community to be prepared for the onslaught of policies, especially ones that we knew would immediately harm undocumented people. I attended a meeting of progressive advocates where people were talking about how this felt different than any typical political or social justice setback. Resources about genocide prevention were shared.

By inauguration weekend, my sense of powerlessness had grown. What could I, just one person, do – to make some shift, some small change? I was so tired of explaining my pronouns to people over and over again. I knew a lot about pronouns and how to explain why they matter. So, during the inauguration weekend, after attending a women’s solidarity march, I wrote down my thoughts about pronouns.

My writings became the Pronouns.org website, and the next year I founded International Pronouns Day, which occurs on the third Wednesday of October. I had no idea how much could spring forth from the simple act of writing down my thoughts, the act of doing the next thing that I could do, the next thing that felt possible.

Big things can happen in community, and with a mix of opportunity, luck, and effort, but sometimes a small action within one’s smaller realm of control can become something huge.

Join me this International Pronouns Day on October 18, 2023. Learn more and educate others about the importance of pronouns for trans/nonbinary folks, and for all people to offer more dignity and respect in and beyond our UU communities. Even seemingly “small” actions can generate great impacts.

Rev. Shige Sakurai (they, them)
Director of Equity, Belonging, and Change

October 11th is Coming Out Day

Coming Out Spiritually

When you think of National Coming Out Day 2022 versus 2023. What is similar? What is different? Clearly, this year, Christian Theocracy and White Nationalism movements are emboldened. Hateful legislation is being proposed around the nation.

The very act of “Coming Out” and “Being Out” is simultaneously more important, more transgressive and more dangerous than ever before.

We each have spiritual journeys to find out what fits best body, mind and soul. My journey started out in a fundamentalist evangelical version of Christianity. I was raised (indoctrinated) to sing childhood songs like: “One door and only one! Yet, its sides are two! I’m on the inside, on which side are you?” You might know that song, you might also know the hand play poem “This is the church, This is the steeple. Look inside and see all the people.” By the time I was in high school I was decrying local pastors telling them to their face that they were going to hell, and that their whole congregation was not saved because they did not baptize their congregants by immersion – the way God intended it! I used scriptures from of course, the only reliable source of scripture, the King James Version of the bible. Hmmm, I hope I haven’t lost you in the harshness of this story. There is a good outcome.

At eight years old I realized that I was gay, and finally, two decades later, at 28 years old, I actually came out. I owe many dear, patient friends who helped me with “Coming Out” and who helped me to forgive myself, to help me out of my “Straight” jacket. Coming Out. Being Out. Being my whole, complete, authentic self was my salvation, my freedom. [Read More]

Rev. Eric Eldritch (he, him)
Rev. Eric Eldritch (he/him) is ordained as Pagan clergy with Circle Sanctuary, near Madison Wisconsin and a Third Degree Priestx of Stone Circle Wicca and a member of Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church in Adelphi, Maryland.

UPLIFT Monthly Trans/Nonbinary Gathering Space

Join the UPLIFT monthly gatherings focused on trans, nonbinary, and other not (completely or at all) cis UUs. Join us to connect with other trans/nonbinary UUs and co-create support and community across our faith. All you need to bring is yourself (and other trans/nonbinary friends, if you’d like)!

These gatherings focus on getting to know each other and on sharing our collective dreams, ideas, and talents for this space. Expansive definitions of trans, nonbinary, and UU all apply. If you are interested in this space, and you aren’t cisgender, it’s a space for you.

NOTE: This space is intentionally multi-generational. It is open to and welcoming of trans/nonbinary elders as well as children, youth, and young adults. Standard UUA online safety measures apply to ensure all people under 18 are able to attend. We're glad to have you here!


2023 The Five Practices of Welcome Monthly ZOOM Orientations

In 2019 we launched a new Welcoming Congregations renewal program called The Five Practices of Welcome Renewal. The goal of the program is to encourage congregations to practice Welcome every year, year-round.
As such, we are inviting religious leaders and congregants to join one (or more) of our Five Practices of Welcome Renewal - Monthly Orientation sessions.

  • Monday, October 16th
  • Monday, November 27th
  • Monday, December 18th

All sessions are at 2pm ET / 1pm CT / 12pm MT / 11am PT

REGISTER for a Monthly Orientation.

View previously recorded session.

Support UUA LGBTQ+ Ministries

Each of us has worth and dignity, and that worth includes our gender and our sexuality.
As Unitarian Universalists we not only open our doors to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, we value diversity of sexuality and gender and see it as a spiritual gift.

Your support helps keep our LGBTQ Justice and Public Witness work active and vibrant, as well as deepening our Welcoming Congregations program.

About the Author

Michael J. Crumpler

Rev. Michael J. Crumpler joined the UUA in early 2017. Shortly thereafter, he was ordained to Reverend in the United Church of Christ....


For more information contact .