June 16: 7th Annual Spiritual Pride dinner
Tickets ($35): Please contact Ray at email@example.com
When: Saturday, June 16
Where: Harvard Hall at the Cathedral
Details: 6 p.m., social hour; 7 p.m., buffet dinner, catered by A Fresh Connection, followed by speaker.
Because alcohol will be available (beer and wine), this event is open only to those 21 and older.
June 22: Float decorating click here
June 23: Pride parade/June 24: Pride street festival click here
The Cathedral's seventh annual Spiritual Pride dinner, on Saturday, June 16, welcomes Dr. David Johnson of the University of South Florida, who will speak on the little-known key role played by mainstream Protestant churches in supporting the LGBTQ movement. Spiritual Pride, held during Pride Month, was created to acknowledge the role of a supportive spiritual home for the LGBTQ community.
Dr. Johnson teaches courses that explore politics and culture in the modern United States, including the history of gender and sexuality and gay and lesbian U.S. history. He helped found the Florida LGBT History Initiative within Special Collections at the USF Library, the first scholarly effort to document and publicize the history of the gay and lesbian community in the Tampa Bay area. His first book, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government, is an investigation of Cold War hysteria over national security and the introduction of “family values” into American politics. This book garnered three awards: the Herbert Hoover Book Award (for mid-20th century U.S. history); the Randy Shilts Award (for gay non-fiction); and a Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award (for the study of bigotry and human rights). The book has been turned into a documentary film with narration by Glenn Close and David Hyde Pierce; watch the trailer here: www.thelavenderscare.com.
“In my Pride talk, I plan to discuss the overlooked connections between the LGBT movement and mainstream Protestant churches from a historical perspective,” Dr. Johnson said. “We tend to view the church and gay rights as historically at loggerheads, but in fact recent scholarship has revealed how a small group of Protestant ministers in the 1960s were not conservative oppressors to LGBT rights, but in fact key strategic allies.” Many Protestant churches offered meeting space to chapters of the Mattachine Society, the first organized gayrights organization in the country. A few Protestant ministers founded The Council on Religion and the Homosexual, an organization that sought to reconcile communities of faith with the fight for gay rights even before Stonewall. “So yes, there is a whole subfield of history that studies sexuality and LGBT history,” Dr. Johnson said, “and it is increasingly seeing religion as an important piece of the story.” Looking beyond these national examples, he said, “I will also recount a story discovered by one of my graduate students, about the Tampa Metropolitan Community Church and what I label ‘Tampa’s Stonewall’ — the first documented case of LGBT activism in the city. When a local diner in 1972 refused to seat gay people, the leader of the newlyformed MCC church in Tampa led a successful sit-in at the downtown Denny’s.”
The Friends of St. Aelred is an organization of LGBTQ Episcopalians and their friends and supporters. St. Aelred’s collects gifts each Christmas for children through the Giving Tree project; delivers poinsettias and lilies to shut-ins at Christmas and Easter; and supports Resurrection House through Easter dinner baskets and other activities. Each January they host a brunch to honor St. Aelred, a 12th-century abbot, author, and major figure in English church life who taught that friendship is a gift from God. They host the Spiritual Pride dinner and participate in the St. Pete Pride parade and street fair. (Want to walk in the parade on June 23 or staff our booth at the street fair on June 24? Please speak to Canon Katie Churchwell firstname.lastname@example.org.)
From Stonewall to Spiritual Pride: June Is the Month to Remember and Celebrate
It was 49 years ago — June 1969 — when New York City police raided the Stonewall, a gay bar in New York City. Such raids were commonplace at the time, when gay people were forced to hide their orientation for fear of harassment and arrest. Officers lost control of the situation and riots broke out. There were more protests in the next few days, and within weeks activists were establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested. The Stonewall riots are widely considered to be the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States. It was in June 1981 that the first cases were diagnosed of what came to be known as AIDS. By 2017, nearly 700,000 people had died of AIDS, and about 1.1-million people today are living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes AIDS. Early on AIDS was dismissed as a "gay plague." LGBTQ activists accused the Reagan Administration of dragging its feet on funding research for AIDS because of homophobia. The gay community regarded early reports and public-health measures with distrust, allowing the disease to infect hundreds of thousands more. And then in June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Obergefell v. Hodges, that marriage equality is the law of the land. A few weeks later the General Convention of the Episcopal Church authorized two gender-neutral marriage liturgies for trial June 2018 Page 3 return to Page 1 From Stonewall to Pride continued from Page 2 continued on page 4 use over the next three years. Those are some of the reasons why June has come to be regarded as Pride Month in the United States. In cities across the country, concerts, parties, worship services, parades and street fairs celebrate the full legal protection and rights of LGBTQ people — rights that are too often still challenged or ignored. We aren't done yet. This is why St. Peter's Spiritual Pride dinner is always held in June. This event was created seven years ago to acknowledge the role of a supportive spiritual home for the LGBTQ community. On Saturday, June 16, we will welcome our speaker, Dr. David Johnson of the University of South Florida, who will speak on the little-known key role played by mainstream Protestant churches in supporting the gay-rights movement "Recent scholarship has revealed how a small group of Protestant ministers in the 1960s were not conservative oppressors to LGBT rights, but in fact key strategic allies," said Dr. Johnson. He teaches courses that explore politics and culture in the modern United States, including the history of gender and sexuality and gay and lesbian U.S. history. He is the author of The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government. This award-winning book has been made into a documentary, The Lavender Scare, voiced by stars Glenn Close and David Hyde Pierce. Watch the trailer here: www.thelavenderscare.com. Spiritual Pride is sponsored by the Friends of St. Aelred, an organization of LGBTQ Episcopalians and their friends and supporters. The group founded our Christmas Giving Tree project, takes Easter lilies and Christmas poinsettias to shut-ins, supports Resurrection House with Easter dinner baskets and other activities. They host a brunch each January to honor St. Aelred, a 12th-century abbott, author and major figure in English church life who is believed to have been gay. A contingent from St. Peter's will walk in the St. Pete Pride parade on June 23 and will staff a booth at the Pride street fair on June 24. Please speak to Canon Katie Churchwell if you'd like to participate in either or both. Information from Wikipedia and from episcopalchurch.org was used in this report.