Brett Webb-Mitchell



Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell is an openly gay Presbyterian pastor in the Portland area serving as the part-time LGBTQ+ advocacy coordinator for The Oregon-Idaho Conference of the UMC. He can be reached at brett@umoi.org. Become a subscriber to the Greater NW Pride blog to get Greater NW Pride in your email box!

Blog Posts


- 1/18/2019
From Separate to Welcoming, Inclusion, and Integration: Parallels Between the Community of People with Disabilities and the LGBTQ Community in the Church Since assuming the role as the LGBTQ+ Advocacy Coordinator, and attending local churches and Reconciling meetings, regional Annual Conference of the OR-ID UMC Conference, and attending the national Reconciling Convention, I’ve been inundated by the use of words like “separate,” “welcoming,” “inclusion,” and “integration,” wondering if everyone ...

A Kiss - 1/8/2019
A Kiss   A few weeks ago, sailor Bryan Woodington came home to Jacksonville, Florida, after seven months at sea on the USS Sullivan, and kissed his husband Kenneth, dipping him, like the iconic V-J Day kiss in New York City’s Times Square in 1945. The photograph, which showed both on Facebook and a local television network news feed, while garnering much praise, also drew critics and negative responses by those who were offended by two gay men kissing. All this, because two men kissed, and the...

New Year’s Resolutions in 2019 - 1/3/2019
New Year’s Resolutions in 2019    In an article from Psychology Today, “Why We Really Celebrate New Year’s Day,” writer David Ropeik writes that New Year’s Day is, logically, simply the movement of the clock, from Monday to Tuesday. However, we put special, symbolic, and emotional charge to it, making one day “2018” and the next day, “2019.” The reason we celebrate New Year’s Day is something that is ubiquitous, tied to something intrinsic to or in our DNA as human beings, in which we give all...

Forward Together, Not One Step Back in 2019 - 12/31/2018
Forward Together, Not One Step Back in 2019   In the Raleigh (NC) News and Observer newspaper, one of their traditions is to identify a citizen of NC who is “crowned” as the Tar Heel of the Year. This year, 2018, the Tar Heel of the Year is the Rev. William Barber of Goldsboro, NC.  He is also well-known for his work with the Moral Monday movement, in which many of us—myself included—participated in ongoing rallies in Raleigh, the capitol of NC, protesting against the Tea Party Republican ...

Re-Hearing the Magnificat as a Gay Pastor - 12/20/2018
Re-Hearing the Magnificat as a Gay Pastor   This coming Sunday, Dec. 23rd, is the fourth Sunday of Advent. The Gospel reading is Luke 1:39-55, in which the latter part of this reading (vs. 46-55) is the famous Magnificat. The passage opens up with Mary setting out and, “with haste” makes it out to a Judean town in the hill country, where she has fled to the house of her relative, Elizabeth. These two women—both outsiders to the dominant culture because of their gender—share joy in their ...

Baptismal Affirmation and Transgender People - 12/13/2018
Baptismal Affirmation and Transgender People   The Church of England recently issued rules to their priests on ways of being “creative and sensitive” as they welcome transgender people into the Church. Benjamin Fearnow wrote that the Episcopal Church’s “House of Bishops approved the pastoral guidance document that advises Anglican clergy to address trans individuals by their chosen names, rather than their birth names.  The move to welcome more transgender individuals into the church, the BBC ...

World AIDS Day 2018 - 12/6/2018
World AIDS Day 2018   December 1 was World’s AIDS Day. Dec. 1 was founded as World AIDS Day in 1988. We have had 30 years of World’s AIDS Day, in which this is a day to unite against HIV, with people showing their support for people living with HIV, as well as to commemorate those people who have died. Currently, there are approximately 34 million people who have the virus, which was first identified in 1984. Over 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS.    These are the facts.   Then there...

Reflecting on Thirty-Five Years - 11/27/2018
Reflecting on Thirty-Five Years   The invitation: “The Presbytery of Boston invites you to a celebration of joy and peace as Brett P. Webb-Mitchell is ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament at Valley Community Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Nov. 27, 1983, at 10:30 am…and installation as Assistant Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of East Boston, Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2:30 pm.” On the outside of the invitation was a small boy in a too-large Genevan gown, with these words from the ...

LGBTQ+ People and the Caravan - 11/21/2018
Being LGBTQ and the Caravan   With Thanksgiving before us, focusing on the religious pilgrims who sought freedom to practice their religion, and their first harvest meal in October 1621, that we now honor as a nation with a federal holiday. 90 native people and 53 settlers attended the first harvest festival that became our Thanksgiving. In light of this holiday, as a nation we are also aware that more settlers are on the border of California and Mexico, as a caravan of thousands of people ...

"Boy Erased" and the Church - 11/14/2018
    At the center of the book and movie, “Boy Erased”, written by Garrard Conley, is the so-called conversion or reparative therapy. Conversion or reparative therapy is the dangerous psychological practice of “attempting” to turn a person who self-identifies as LGBTQ to being “straight,” with the underlying misnomer that “straight” is normal and good, and same sex attraction is evil or bad. The 19-year-old college student, Jared (who is really Garrard) is sent to an ex-gay Christian ministry, ...

In Search of a New Home Church for a New Family - 11/8/2018
In Search of a New Home Church for a New Family   I am writing this blog with a new title in my life: I am a grandpa, or as I am calling myself, “Pops.” My daughter Adrianne and her husband Scott are celebrating the birth of their daughter, Edie! The news of the pregnancy was a note of coming attractions. The actual arrival of the child gave “birth” a whole new and dramatic shift in the tectonic plates of my family’s life. Upon Edie’s delivery into this world, new titles “birthed” too. The next ...

Lessons from the Life of Mathew Shepard - 10/31/2018
Lessons from the Life of Matthew Shepard   In 1998, outside of Laramie, Wyoming, two men—Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson— beat up and robbed Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old college student who happened to be gay. Matthew was pistol whipped and left for dead for 18 hours, tied up to a fence on a remote Wyoming prairie outside of Laramie. He died five days later without regaining consciousness. For two decades, Shepard’s parents—Judith and Dennis—kept their son’s ashes near their home in ...

Changing the Definition of Gender Matters to LGBTQ+ People - 10/25/2018
Changing the Definition of “Gender” Matters to LGBTQ People               In 1941, there was the creation of a scientific definition of “mental retardation” by Edgar Doll that was approved by the national body known as the American Association on Mental Deficiency (AAMD), and the federal government.  This definition considered a person “mentally retarded” based on social incompetence due to mental subnormality, which has been developmentally arrested, which obtains at maturity is of ...

The Rule of St. Benedict, Hospitality, and LGBTQ+ People - 10/18/2018
What the Rule of St. Benedict, Hospitality, and LGBTQ+ People Have in Common

Honoring National Coming Out Day - 10/11/2018
In Honoring National Coming Out Day


Greater NW Pride: In Search of a Connection with a Community of Faith - 9/27/2018
In search of a connection with a community of faith.

Colonialism, LGBTQ+ People, India, and the Church - 9/20/2018
Colonialism, LGBTQ+ People, India and the Church   In the last two weeks I had an opportunity to be on pilgrimage in India.  When I arrived there on Sept. 4, 2018, “homosexuality” was considered a criminal act under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which banned any “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” In other words, even as a gay man on a pilgrimage in India, it was best that I not say anything about being gay. That all changed on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, when the India ...

Lessons from Camp Hope - 8/23/2018
Lessons re-learned about advocacy with people with disabilities and Camp Hope.

The UMC It Gets Better Campaign - 8/15/2018
What would a UMC "It Gets Better" Campaign Look Like?


Greater NW Pride: More of my story, more of our story - 8/1/2018
In his second installment of his blog, Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell dives deeper into his own personal story, while thanking those who have had the courage to be "out" in a sometimes unwelcoming church environment.

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