Greater NW Pride: Forward Together, Not One Step Back in 2019

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

Greater NW Pride: Re-Hearing the Magnificat as a Gay Pastor

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

Greater NW Pride: Baptismal Affirmation and Transgender People

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

Greater NW Pride: World AIDS Day 2018

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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...

Greater NW Pride: Reflecting on Thirty-Five Years

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

Greater NW Pride: LGBTQ+ People and the Caravan

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

Greater NW Pride: "Boy Erased" and the Church

Brett Webb-Mitchell


    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, ...

Greater NW Pride: In Search of a New Home Church for a New Family

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

Greater NW Pride: Lessons from the Life of Mathew Shepard

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

Greater NW Pride: Changing the Definition of Gender Matters to LGBTQ+ People

Brett Webb-Mitchell


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 ...

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