Social Justice

Greater NW Pride: Transgender Visibility Day and Other LGBTQ+ Days

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Transgender Visibility Day and Other LGBTQ+ Days   Happy Transgender Visibility Day! After seeing all the rainbow bunting, flags, t-shirts, and stoles on so many United Methodist Church websites, Facebook posting, and Instagram accounts after the vote taken by the UMC General Conference in February 2019, I thought it would be helpful to share with those UMC churches who are supportive of LGBTQ clergy, lay leaders, and lay members other ways of supporting those of us in the LGBTQ+ community. I...

Greater NW Pride: What Does it Mean to be an “Ally” in the LGBTQ+ Movement?

Brett Webb-Mitchell


What Does it Mean to be an “Ally” in the LGBTQ+ Movement?   From time to time, in and among my LGBTQ+ friends, we joke about getting our “membership card” when we come out of our respective closets, receiving a list of what is the “gay agenda,” in which we strive for ultimate world power, somewhere between waking up, coffee brewed, showering, going to work, work, lunch break, take over the world, work some more, coffee break, and going home to make a “fabulous” meal before we turn in and go to...

Greater NW Pride: What Does LGBTQ+ Mean? A Primer

Brett Webb-Mitchell


What Does LGBTQ+ Mean? A Primer   Language matters. And naming and labeling matters. One’s “sexual orientation” is a social construct and context dependent, which we all use to identify and self-identify just one part of our life. So, I am a gay, cisgender, white, male, Christian, who prefers the personal pronoun “he/him/his;” I am able bodied and hearing. Our gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, age, ability, hearing, being deaf, disability, socioeconomic class, and religion also matter and ...

Greater NW Pride: Beyond the Rainbow Flag

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Beyond the Rainbow Flag (Or “Once the Rainbow Flags Are Down, Then What?”)   Since the vote taken by the delegates at the United Methodist Church’s (UMC) specially called General Conference, my Facebook page with other UMC contacts exploded with images of rainbow flags, banners, bunting, pics of whirligigs, candles, hats, pins, ribbons, hair bows, and tassels. Everywhere I looked on various UMC websites, there were more rainbow memorabilia, with banners draping church signs, rainbows flags ...

Greater NW Pride: What St. Harvey Milk Has to Say to Queer UMC Folk

Brett Webb-Mitchell


What St. Harvey Milk Has to Say to Queer UMC Folk   Above my desk in my office space in the OR-ID United Methodist Church Conference Center is a modern-day icon of St. Harvey Milk, one of my heroes in the LGBTQ movement, painted by the local artist Chris Haberman. In this moment of change within the United Methodist Church, I’ve asked myself, “What would Harvey do?” After all, he was in the nexus of change in modern American society, and his story, like many other stories of LGBTQ people in ...

Observations from St. Louis

Jan Nelson


Your Oregon-Idaho delegates were deeply disappointed in the outcome, a step toward punitive legalism and away from inclusion of all God’s people. As your lay delegate, I’d like to share some observations

Greater NW Pride: Solidarity in Love for and with LGBTQ+ United Methodist Clergy and Members

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Solidarity in Love for LGBTQ+ United Methodist Clergy and Members   In Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, the pastoral part of Paul talks about the incredible nature of the body of Christ in terms of the interconnectedness and solidarity we are to practice with one another. What came to mind as I watched the decisions being made by the delegates of the United Methodist Church’s General Conference (UMC-GC), are these verses: “But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to ...

Greater NW Pride: Prayer, Patience, and Perseverance

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Prayer, Patience, and Perseverance In the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), the lead up to our amending our Constitution (Book of Order) in 2011 to welcoming and affirming LGBTQ people as out and ordained as Ministers of the Word and Sacraments, Ruling Elders, and Deacons, was dramatic, long in coming, and drawn out. Our process of amending the Book of Order begins with an amendment beginning from a church’s session, followed by its approval by a Presbytery Committee (Conference), followed by ...

Greater NW Pride: Who's Going to Get It Right?

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Who’s Going to Get This Right?   Something amazing is going on concurrently involving the LGBTQ community and the Church. More specifically, something is going on this week in both the Roman Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church and their respective relationship with LGBTQ people, having to do with the matter of including and integrating us into their largely cisgender and straight faith communities. In the Roman Catholic Church, columnist Frank Bruni of the New York Times focused on...

Greater NW Pride: Valentine’s Day in the LGBTQ+ Community

Brett Webb-Mitchell


Valentine’s Day in the LGBTQ Community   My partner Christian and I celebrated Valentine’s Day early this year because he was going to be in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Valentine’s Day, and I was going to be in Portland. It was also our first Valentine’s Day as a couple! I surprised him with chocolate, red wine, a card, and an orchid, and he gave me a card last week, along with numerous gifts of shirts, meals out, and love! The card was huge, as he said to me after I opened his card to me, “I usually ...

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