Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Mormon Family at the Pride Parade

We had talked to him the day before about where we were going and why.  We explained that we were going there to show people that we loved them- even though people could be mean, hurtful, or say they're not as good as other people, we would show them that we loved them and wanted to support them.  That night he prayed that the "parade people" would feel our love and not feel bad anymore.  It probably shouldn't have surprised me then, when he woke, and seeing the signs I made to take to Seattle's Pride Parade with us, he took to his craft table and returned with a sign he had made, all on his own:  "I [love} u."


That was the message our family went to Seattle to share- that while we know that people of our faith have hurt people in the LGBTQ community, our family will not do so- and we will speak up when others do.  Though we were nervous about the reception we would receive our presence was greeted with a mix of cheers, surprise, and at worst, silence.  When people expressed their gratitude to us, it was very emotional- we were here to try to mend hurt feelings, and I was grateful for their welcoming attitude-  but I found myself crying twice while walking- once, when meeting a friend who was moved beyond words to see us there.  The other time, a woman watching the parade saw Stinky's sign said to me "This will be a strong man someday.  You're doing it right, Mom."   

The LDS involvement in Pride Parades across the country has brought up a lot of discussion in our home.  We talked about whether or not we would go, whether we would bring the kids, what our signs would say.  We prayed, a lot.  Last Sunday at church, we sang the hymn "Lord, I would Follow Thee"  These lyrics in particular stuck out to me, as we were making our decision:  

I would be my brothers' keeper, 
I would learn the healer's art. 
To the wounded and the weary, 
I would show a Gentle heart... 

During this hymn, I remembered being a child singing the words of the Carol Lynn Pearson's Primary song "If you don't talk as most people do, some people talk and laugh at you, but I won't!  I wont!  I'll walk with you, I'll talk with you, that's how I'll show my love for you."  I remembered standing in Young Women's, saying that I would strive to live the value of Integrity. I thought about our reasons for not going, and I felt like a coward.  Then, the hymn continued "Who am I to judge another, when I walk imperfectly?"  and I knew that our family would be walking in the parade.  


It was an incredible experience-  and one that I am so grateful we had as a family.   Thank you to those who organized our group, and those who welcomed us.  This is a day we'll remember (if you'll pardon the pun) with pride.

7 comments:

Audrey said...

THAT is the love of God, embodied through His people. It's a powerful force to be reckoned with, and that Aidan of yours? This isn't the first time I've read of things that he's said that were healing instead of harmful in tough situations. Way to make me get all sniffly at my desk!!

911ce558-bec7-11e1-9d67-000bcdca4d7a said...

Thank you so much for showing your support. For a person who is gay like me who has been struggling to convert to the Mormon religion, this is exactly what I needed to see to make the next crucial step. I am imperfect but my sins do not outweigh others. As a woman in this modern day world I deserve to be loved by my future wife and be acknowledged for the love God will always have for me.

Mama D said...

Stinky's sign was the part that made me tear up. You guys rock, really!

The Boxs said...

Your guys are awesome! I love that you did this, and I too feel that exact some way. If you go next please let us know and we will be right there by your side. Love one another!

Chiconky said...

I agree with the woman, you're doing it right. I teared up reading this. You are an inspiration.

Unknown said...

Rachael,

I am SO proud of and inspired by the beautiful display of God's love that you and your family shared. Thank you! And I agree that you are raising boys who will be stong, virtuous men, capable of truly changing the world. Keep it up!

bre and add said...

This makes me so teary. Thank you for taking a stand for love. What incredible parents-I hope to raise my baby with your same conviction :) keep it up!