Transgender Day Of Remembrance Prayer

I was asked to give the opening prayer of the TDOR at MSU this evening- it was a memorial- it was a celebration.
The truth sets us free….

Loving God,

You have created us all in your complicated image.

But the love you ask of us is not complicated.

It is universal.

It is unconditional.

It is simply and perfectly- love.

With no distinctions or preferences for

gender, sexuality, race, religion, geography, education,

wealth, social status, language, practice or belief.

I have to believe that you are sad that we must gather tonight to remember

your children who are and have been victims of violence and ignorance.

But I also believe that you are delighted to celebrate the great courage of

your trans* children- and the courage of those who love and defend them.

They are the bravest and most wonderful people I know.

Made in your image and likeness, God.

Forever and ever.

Amen.

Westboro Baptist Church in Bozeman- Counter Actions

WBC Poster

Click pic to go to Facebook event page….

 

Latex & Lace 2013

..is tomorrow at the SUB at 8:30 pm!

And it’s FREE!  Click on the link below for the way cool poster.

2013 Latex and Lace

AIDSOutreachlogo2AIDS Outreach is also offering free HIV testing from 4-8pm right at the SUB!

See you there!

Teaser Video From Montana Pride 2012

Do you see yourself?

Bozeman Rally For Tester Saturday

See you there!

2012 Bozeman Rally Flier

You’re Invited

Come together to celebrate Pride Foundation’s
impact on Montana’s equality movement!
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Partners in Pride Buffet Dinner
Saturday, June 16, 2012
5:30 – 7:30 PM

 

Hosted by
Tom Marsh, Greg Smith, and Ken Spencer
Montana State University
Student Union Building | Room 168
Donations accepted but never required!

Please RSVP by Thursday, June 14 by texting or calling Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Montana, Caitlin Copple at 546.7017 or by emailing caitlin@pridefoundation.org.
 


Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation inspires a culture of generosity that connects and strengthens Northwest organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington State.
Visit www.pridefoundation.org for more information.
 Pride Foundation’s mailing address in Montana is P.O. Box 7456 Missoula, MT 59807  

_________________________

Montana Pride 2012 Schedule Revealed!

Click for schedule!

Screening Tomorrow In Bozeman: “For The Bible Tells Me So”

Can the love between two people ever be an abomination? Is the chasm separating gays and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse to hate? We’re going to discuss this after a screening of “For the Bible Tells Me So” Wednesday March 21st 7pm at The Procrastinator Theater in the SUB at MSU- sponsored by BridgerCare. From the movie’s website:

Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families — including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson — we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard’s Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.

I’ll be facilitating a discussion which will include persons who have ben involved in ex-gay reparative “therapy”, and members of local Christian communities.

From my friend Ted Hayes:

Greg,  your audience is in for a great time at this movie.  Daniel Karslake, the producer, is a personal friend of about 15 years and a great guy.  We had a showing in 2008 at the State University of New York, New Paltz, with both Dan and Mary Lou Wallner, who is featured in the film, on the scene for that particular weekend.  It literally poured rain that evening but did not dampen the spirits of the more that 200 persons who braved the storm to be in attendance.

The film is wonderful, the stories are wonderful and the people involved with it are wonderful.  Wish I could be there to share in this experience with all my fellow Montanans-in-law (my late partner was from Lewistown).

Hope to see you there! 

An Evening With Dustin Lance Black

I have to admit, I went in completely biased.

Like many of you, I watched the Academy Award acceptance speech with tears in my eyes.

“…if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, or by the government, or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon I promise you, you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours.”

Like I said, completely smitten biased.

But when he began talking about not settling for “close, but not there”, and not giving up on the vision of panoramic human rights, and overcoming the paralysis of fear- “put your pencil on the paper and start moving it- something has to happen”, I knew my predisposition toward this gentle, fiery soul was completely justified. He talked not so much about activism as the promotion of reality- the reality that LGBT people are everywhere, they just want to love and be loved, and they’re not going away. And he’s right. We aren’t.

Unless we give up.

I sat in a full Ballroom at Montana State university with students, teachers, parents, cowboys and a few kids. This was a crowd that could have been distributed down Main Street, Bozeman, and it wouldn’t have seemed different from the normal pedestrian traffic. People listened to this young man- whose story of a rural Mormon upbringing probably hit close to home to many in the audience, with rapt attention punctuated by laughter and enthusiastic applause. Here was a non-apologetic gay man standing in front of a group in a (generally) conservative state whose constitution explicitly prohibits him from full equality, and his story was received respectfully, even enthusiastically. His story and vision no different from my own.

I then had a realization.

It wasn’t new, it had been knocking on the back door of my brain for a while, but I was now able to hear it. It was this:

I had turned all these people into the bullies from my childhood and young adulthood. I had created an enemy/threat out of people who were probably neither. I was projecting. (The irony of my professional blind spot is not lost on me here) I had imposed my childhood fears on (almost) every Montanan- and I’m not a child. I had allowed this weird, unarticulated fear to hold me back.

I don’t want to do that anymore. So I’m going to pay attention to the injustice sensor whenever it goes off- not just when it’s safe. That was my gift from Dustin Lance Black.

Well, one of them.

He answered my question about religion’s scarring of some LGBT’s with “every religion has something important to say. Mine taught me love and respect of family. …but religion is not its leaders. I wouldn’t listen to the leaders all the time. And anger and hurt about religion didn’t keep me from being spiritual.” He talked with people afterward, meeting every one who waited to see him. Of course, I stood in line.

I got a hug, a brief chat about my crazy life story and was able to thank him for his availability and candor. He thanked me right back. Gracious. From the word grace, meaning “elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action”.

Elegant activism. I think I can do that.

Thanks, Lance.