By Bishop Bonnie Radden, Q Voice News Contributor
LONG BEACH – Being celebrated – not tolerated – is something we all want as LGBTQ individuals.
Let me share a wonderful thought with you today – You should always be celebrated. Let me say it again – You should always be celebrated and you should also go where you are celebrated.
Yet, I know many of us are in places or in situations in our lives where we are not being totally celebrated as our true, authentic selves. One of those places is our place of worship.
Let me explain
Week after week, many of us go to churches, cathedrals, synagogues, temples, etc. and are simply being tolerated and not celebrated as we should be. Many of us hear things like “Well, we love the sinner, but hate the sin” or “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” along with many other anti-gay remarks and slurs.
In my own situation, I would leave the church where I worshipped each week, but I was feeling defeated and sad. I wanted to be in a place that would truly celebrate all that I was, in my true authentic self, as a gay woman who loved God. I wanted to be in a place where I could be me.
I would wonder, as I left each week, Will there ever be such a place?
The answer is a resounding – yes.
I am a lesbian and also the pastor of an open and affirming church, Refiner’s Fire Fellowship United Church of Christ. We celebrating 20 years right here in Long Beach.
But we aren’t the only place
Whether you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, there are places in Long Beach
where you will be celebrated. Places that will honor you and your partner as a couple, places that will honor your family as a family.
You are worth celebration, not tolerance. Let’s celebrate that.
Here are a few Long Beach-based faith-based organizations that will truly embrace you as a LGBTQ person:
- First Congregational Church
- St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
- Temple Israel
- Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach
To find other LGBTQ inclusive churches in Long Beach or your city, visit GayChurch.org.