Friday, June 11, 2010
Last night at the Fourth Annual Northern Virginia Interfaith Pride Celebration, a colleague read from a 20-year-old entry in her personal journal recalling the evening when, as a still closeted lesbian pastor, she sat in a church board meeting as members discussed pulling out of their denomination over its increasingly liberal positions on GLBT concerns. She wrote that evening of feeling incredibly alive and filled with the Spirit that she found empowering her to be herself and to begin speaking out.
I cannot do justice to the beauty of her writing, and after the service several of us were thanking her for her words and joking that our own personal journals read nothing like that.
Indeed, I haven't kept a personal journal in many years and when I look back at the ones I have kept I find them mostly cringe-inducing. Perhaps it is looking back at the person I was and finding that, like pictures from high school that make you say, "I can't believe I actually wore that stuff!" the words leave me thinking, at best, "I can't believe I actually wrote that stuff," and, at worst, "I can't believe I believed it."
But I did indeed sport the short shorts and tube socks of the late 70s, and I did think what I thought. The short shorts are going to make a comeback -- or so I threaten my kids. But the thoughts are rightly consigned to my own amnesia.
As I celebrated Pride last night I did so with the hope that homophobia will someday soon strike everyone the way a high school yearbook does (minus the fondness of nostalgia) -- can you believe that was really us? Did we really look like that? Did we really think like that?