Earlier this month, I had the chance to take the pulpit at Cathedral of Hope, a Dallas institution. I had not visited the Cathedral in more than 10 years, but when I received an invitation from my long-time friend and community hero, Reverend Jim Mitulski, who has been serving as the interim Senior Pastor, I jumped at the chance to return.
While I’m no longer a part of any religious community, I see every day the difference that faith communities like COH make in the lives of people, including countless LGBTQ individuals and their families. As many of you know, I grew up Mormon in Utah. For much of my childhood, religion dominated my life. Sundays (and every Wednesday evening) were devoted to church activities. My coming out as a feminist and a lesbian made remaining a part of the LDS Church impossible. In the end, I felt that religion, or at least the religion of my childhood, had abandoned me.
But on that Sunday morning, being at church felt right at home. And it gave me a chance to reflect on how far we have come as a community, and, more importantly, what we have left to do. We are in a moment in our fight for liberation and justice that is almost beyond comprehending. The wins on marriage have come so fast that few of us could accurately cite the number of states where we can now marry. At least as of today, it’s 35 plus D.C., by the way.
But what is clear is that even with all our gains, our work is far from finished. For far too many of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, living free from stigma and fully embraced for who they are seems fanciful. Preaching at the cathedral gave me a chance to really reflect on this moment, both the ecstasy and the peril, and what it means to walk the talk of “justice for all.”
I had a blast at the COH and left the experience feeling renewed and restored. With your support and commitment, we are here to go the distance. I have unshakable faith in our mission to fight until every LGBTQ person lives with full equality and dignity. We will win in the end.