The ultimate test of any civilization is how we treat the most vulnerable…what we do to our children. ~ Ravi Zacharias

Today is National Coming Out Day and coming out is still awkward for me.  I find it is often times easier to come out to strangers or friends than to family.  For many other people, coming out is not just awkward but dangerous.  It is illegal to identify as homosexual in many countries and my transgender friends tell me that this is the worst they have seen this country react towards them in the last twenty years.  

Total marriage equality has not happened in the United States – I am painfully aware that polyamorous relationships are not allowed to become marriage.  Like Christina Crosby in her book, A Body Undone: Living On After Great Pain, posits, I think it would be best if the government had nothing to do with marriage and marriage was simply a beautiful ceremony about love and committment.  

It is my belief that the way you determine either an individual’s or a country’s character is how they treat the most oppressed and the most vulnerable.  It makes me sad when I see so many “Christian” people espousing tough love that can become cruel.  The only way anyone can pull on a bootstrap is with other people’s help.  We aren’t born wearing shoes.

This is why I love Pride!  Atlanta Pride is during October, which I know is odd, but it makes me happy, as our summer sun is too punishing for a parade.  This year, I marched with my church in the parade and it was lovely.  There was a moment when the street became narrow for us because there were so many people in the street yelling, “Happy Pride!”  A woman ran forward, got close to the kid holding our banner, and said, “Kid, you are awesome!”  Seeing people make points to high-five and give words of affirmation and appreciation to the kids made my heart swell.  The feeling of love towards all was palpable.  Every type of person was represented and all were there together to welcome an oppressed group in love.  In that moment, I experienced heaven.

I believe we can bring heaven to Earth by welcoming the oppressed and by wholeheartedly showing the Holy One’s love to each other.  This requires dialogue, compassion and a willingness to see the holy in the other.  Some people think that seeing all the open sexuality on display during Pride and the declarations during National Coming Out Day as a problem – I see it as the solution.  We need a planet where everyone is loved and welcomed home.